Navigating Medicare might sound like a nightmare to some, but for Jess and Sandra Carrasquillo, it’s a labor of love. They help seniors understand the process in order to make educated decisions about their future health-care needs. The husband-and-wife duo, who own Easy Street Insurance, have been working in the health insurance industry for more than two decades. They shifted their focus to the Medicare business in 2005 when prescription plans and Medicare Advantage were introduced.
“Roughly 95% of our business is Medicare,” Sandra says. “There are annual certifications agents must complete in order to offer Medicare products. Some agents only sell for one company, or they’ll offer only Medicare supplements. We do all the Medicare products including prescription plans, Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare supplements and drugs with a wide variety of companies.”
Jess and Sandra have found that oftentimes when people turn 65 and retire, they don’t know what to do.
“Seniors will spend hours on the internet trying to compare all the plans, but if they come in here, we can boil it all down for them in under an hour,” Sandra says.
When clients walk out they understand how plans work, and also gain an advocate to answer questions and help with understanding future claims and benefits.
During Medicare open enrollment, which is October 15 to December 7, seniors are bombarded with commercials, billboards and mail.
“It’s mind boggling,” Jess says. “We call it the Medicare maze.”
During these weeks each fall, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to change plans.
Carriers change their plans to some degree each year, and Jess and Sandra have to learn all of the new benefits and offerings. However, that’s the beauty of it. They study it all and then convey any complexities in simple terms to their clients.
Seeing Jess and Sandra, or any agent on their team at Easy Street Insurance, comes at no cost and no pressure.
“Insurance agents have a bad rap like car salesmen,” Sandra says. “People think we’re aggressive and ‘sell-y,’ but we are not that way at all. We educate them on how it works because we want them to feel comfortable in making their decision. We listen to our clients and find out what’s important to them, and then match the client up with a plan that fits their needs.”
Some people think that when they pick a plan, they’re committed for life and never need review it or explore anything that would better suit their needs. That is not the case. Everyone on a Medicare drug plan, Advantage plan or supplement should go through an annual review. If you’re in relatively decent health, you might be able to switch to a different company and get identical coverage for significantly less cost per month. According to Sandra, each year plans continue to provide more benefits and perks, so it’s in the consumer’s best interest to shop around and see what is available each year.
“Many people think when they turn 65, Medicare is going to cost a fortune, but most are surprised how affordable Medicare plans are and how good the coverage is,” Sandra says. “We are always thrilled to save our clients money that can be used elsewhere.”
Jess, Sandra and their team also help people navigate underage disability. Individuals who have reached their 25th month of disability qualify for Medicare regardless of their age. They have 30- and 40-year-olds who are deemed medically disabled, and who can choose an Advantage plan with any of the companies, no questions asked.
What separates Easy Street Insurance from other companies is that, as the name implies, they can make Medicare easy for clients.
“We take pride in that,” Jess says. “A lot of people tell us that they were dreading coming to see us because they were expecting a nightmare, but then they come out smiling.”
The other noticeable difference is that they truly care about their clients.
“We love seniors,” Jess says. “It’s almost a ministry to us working with our clients. We know we have a huge responsibility. They are trusting us to help them make the right decision.”
Easy Street Insurance is located at 8000 S. Meridian St. in Indianapolis. For more information, call 317-882-9602 or visit them online at easystreetins.com.