United Insurance Services helping people during Medicare open enrollment

 

     While many people avoid talking about their insurance because they think it may be a dry exercise in numbers, numbers and more numbers, Patti Maly and Sara Penrod at United Insurance Services Ltd. know that a smart insurance review can change or even save a person’s life.

“This woman, oh my, she came in last year on the very last day of [Medicare] open enrollment,” recalled Penrod, a sales administrator at the firm, headquartered at 6500 W. College Drive, Palos Heights. “It was a Saturday, actually, and I came in [to the office] to meet her.”

Penrod and the elderly woman spent about two hours in the office, as the client poured out her heart, a widow of limited means telling a tearful tale of not being able to afford supplemental insurance and “not knowing what to do next. She was a mess,” Penrod recalled, a bit misty-eyed herself but sensitive and careful not to disclose the woman’s identity.

“She had been [enrolled] in a previous Medicare Advantage program, and it was just not a good experience,” she continued. “She was a wreck about her situation, she didn’t know what to do, and she cried a lot.

“We talked about her financial situation, her health situation and her medications,” Penrod recalled. “She needed to have a really, really extensive [health] procedure done [because] she had a pre-existing medical condition that’s pretty serious. She was nervous.”

To the woman’s surprise and delight, Penrod was able to match her with insurance that she was able to afford, yet covered the medical procedure she needed.

“Even though she was going to be hitting her maximum out-of-pocket expense, that’s all she was going to be paying,” she recalled. “She’d be paying zero dollars in premiums, so it’s going to be OK. We worked it out, and she enrolled in the plan.”

United Insurance Services’ actions saved the woman “tens of thousands of dollars” in money she otherwise would have had to spend out of pocket, Maly added. “Before she came to us, she had been locked into a network that didn’t cover what she needed. The specialist she was seeing, for example, would not allow her to have some of the procedures she needed,” forcing the woman to go outside her network for medical care—meaning she would have to pay for the procedure herself, which she could not afford.

Armed with a new insurance plan, the woman had the procedure done and today calls Penrod about once a month to update her and thank her again for the health-saving difference that the firm made in her life.

“She calls, she sends cards, she’s Sara’s best friend now,” Maly added. “She’s just so happy now, because she had been in so much pain before, and now she’s not.”

Penrod says that her dealings with the woman have been “wonderful. I will remember her and her situation all my career,” she beamed.

“We’re thankful to be in a position to make that kind of a difference in a person’s life,” Maly continued. “We pride ourselves on our customer service—finding cost-effective options for our customers, finding a good fit for each individual.”

Maly added that the staff at United “enjoys working with senior citizens because we know that they need to make some decisions—their life is changing when they retire. We’re here to help guide them. We can look at their Social Security situation, help them determine if they should retire or perhaps work a few more years. We assess everything we can to make sure that the insurance is a good fit.”

            While United Insurance Services can’t promise such a profound and life-changing experience for every man and woman who crosses their threshold, they are reminding everyone that Medicare’s annual enrollment period opened yesterday.

            The Medicare plans offered by United include options such as no monthly premium, no deductible for prescription drugs, dental care, a fitness program, a preferred pharmacy network that includes Walgreens, Walmart, Jewel-Osco, and CVS, and more.

            While the annual enrollment period is open through Dec. 7, Maly and Penrod urge Medicare enrollees to stop in sooner rather than later, to give themselves time to consider their options, consult with their doctor and loved ones, and even shop around.

            More details on United Insurance Services Ltd. may be obtained by calling 658-0050.

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Photo by Tim Hadac

United Insurance Services Ltd. Vice President Patti Maly (left) and sales administrator Sara Penrod discussed the options available for the new Medicare open enrollment period that started this week and ends Dec. 7 at the firm’s headquarters in Palos Heights.

           

 

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