This is one of the saddest stories that I have written.
A senior citizen consulted an agent at this insurance agency. The agent helped her to obtain good insurance with a good company at a rate which she could afford. But, the insurance company was not a famous company and did not advertise on television (which is expensive).
This insurance agency is an independent insurance agency. The agency and/or the agents here contract with various insurance companies that want independent insurance agents to sell their insurance policies. So, the insurance companies have to impress independent agents that they will treat the agents’ clients well or independent insurance agents won’t sell for the insurance companies.
We do our best to screen insurance companies so that our clients will be served well. When we get an impression that an insurance company fails to meet our standards, this agency stops representing that insurance company.
The owners, agents, and staff of this insurance agency care about the clients because the clients are our relatives, friends, neighbors, and people referred by our relatives, friends, neighbors, and clients. It is in the interests of this insurance agency to earn and keep a reputation for helping clients to get the best insurance possible under each client’s circumstances.
That is what an agent with our firm did for one elderly lady. He learned about her health, her insurance needs, and what she could afford. Then, he matched her with a good insurance company that does not spend big bucks on advertising.
Unfortunately, the woman’s adult children pressured her into canceling the insurance with a good insurance company. The children pressured the woman into relying on Medicare only – without a Medicare supplement insurance policy to cover the other 20% of bills that Medicare does not cover.
But, canceling her insurance as of the start date and getting a refund caused the woman a major problem. After she cancelled the insurance policy, she was diagnosed with leukemia. Because she canceled the first insurance to get a refund, none of the bills she got were covered. Now, she has thousands of dollars of bills that won’t be paid by any insurance company. Medicare will pay its 80% of covered charges, but the last 20% will be the elderly woman’s responsibility.
Here is the point that I want to make. Adult children should look out for the interests of their parents. But, don’t give uninformed advice to the parent. Participate in the meeting of advisors and learn with the parent what the options are. Don’t dismiss the advice or effort of a professional in insurance or any other field. Don’t pressure the parent to do something that is wrong for the parent.
Note: Woodrow Wilcox is the senior medical bill problem solver at Senior Care Insurance Services in Merrillville, Indiana. That is one of the largest senior citizen oriented insurance agencies in the Midwest
© 2009 Woodrow Wilcox