Danielle Kunkle Roberts is a founding partner of Boomer Benefits, a national insurance agency specializing in Medicare since 2005. She is the author of the best-selling book, “10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make.”
Danielle helps educate Medicare recipients about their supplemental insurance options so that they can confidently choose the plan that best fits them. Policyholders have access to a customer client service team that helps them with Medicare appeals, claim denials, drug exceptions, annual Part D analysis, and much more.
Boomer Benefits specializes in Medicare insurance-related products with more than 50,000 policyholders across the nation. They rank among the top national Medicare supplement producers.
Listen in for some great takeaways about Danielle’s journey as an entrepreneur and her mission to educate and help the public make better Medicare decisions that will help them today and onward.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- Learn more about Danielle and why she founded Boomer Benefits [3:18]
- Why Danielle wrote 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make [7:50]
- Why is Medicare so confusing for the millions of Medicare beneficiaries? [10:12]
- The biggest challenge that new Medicare beneficiaries face [13:10]
- How to prepare for enrolling in Medicare and choose suitable insurance [16:57]
- The tools that exist to help people learn about Medicare [21:39]
- The Medicare enrollment process and the “annual election period” [22:40]
- How much does Medicare cost and what does it cover? [29:13]
- How Danielle grew such a large Baby Boomer following online [34:41]
- Why you need to focus on your people and your processes [39:37]
- What Danielle did today that put her in the right mindset for success [44:00]
Why is Medicare so confusing for the millions of Medicare beneficiaries?
America doesn’t offer national health insurance. Once a year, you meet with your employer, and you sign up for an HMO or a PPO. You don’t make your own insurance decisions. You work for someone else who does that for you.
But when you start Medicare, you’re faced with a national health insurance program that has four different parts, 10 Medigap options, and thousands of Medicare Advantage and Part D options. You can likely choose between 20-30 drug plans. This leaves pre-retirees frazzled and afraid to make a decision.
How much does Medicare cost and what does it cover?
Medicare isn’t free. When you enroll in Medicare, you pay premiums for part B and part D. In 2023, the Medicare Premium is $164.90 per month—for most people. If you’re in a higher income bracket, you will pay a higher premium.
Most injuries and illnesses will be covered by Medicare. Doctor visits, hospital stays, skilled nursing, surgeries, imaging, and much more are covered. But Medicare only covers 80% of the expenses and you have to pay the remaining 20%. Medicare also has deductibles and copays that you pay to access services. That’s why you’d want to consider a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care and routine dental, vision, and hearing expenses. It will cover skilled nursing if you are sent there after a hospital stay to recover (up to 100 days). The average couple spends $300,000 on healthcare after the age of 65. That’s why you need to have a plan to cover the expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover
The Medicare enrollment process and the “annual election period”
You can enroll in Social Security as early as 62. If you enroll before you become eligible for Medicare (at 65), they will automatically enroll you in Medicare Parts A & B and your card will show up in the mail before you turn 65. Then you have to choose a Medicare supplement, Medicare Advantage Plan, drug coverage, etc.
If you delay your Social Security benefits, you have a seven-month initial enrollment period during which you have to enroll in Medicare yourself. This period starts three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after your birthday month. If you don’t enroll, you’ll be hit with a late penalty.
Over a million people a year make this mistake. For every 12 months you wait and don’t have other credible insurance coverage, you’ll pay 10% per year for every year you could’ve enrolled and didn’t. The penalty cumulates and follows you forever.
Once you’re enrolled, there is an annual election period in the fall during which you can change your Part D drug plan or Medicare Advantage Plan. Every year, Medicare changes the deductibles, copays, and coinsurance that you spend on parts A, B, & D. So the plans surrounding those benefits change every year.
In September, you need to review your annual notice of change. If you don’t review and choose a different plan, you may be shocked. Signing up for Medicare isn’t a one-time process. You will have to make decisions annually.
How Danielle grew such a large Baby Boomer following online
Danielle Kunkle Roberts knew their business needed to be differentiated from other insurance agencies. When Danielle ran a small agency, she noticed that people ran into problems with their coverage.
So they decided to help people by offering client support. They started conferencing in clients to handle insurance problems for them. They became familiar with billing codes so they can help clients troubleshoot their medical bills.
Danielle also identified the top 10 mistakes they help people solve and wrote “10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make” to help save people time, hassle, money, and penalties.
Boomer Benefits built an unrivaled customer service program for their clients and became the one-stop shop for whatever problem was happening. Learn more about Medicare and how Boomer Benefits is helping retirees around the United States in this episode of Mitlin Money Mindset™.
Resources & People Mentioned
- Medicare: https://medicare.gov/
- Social Security: https://www.ssa.gov/
- Set up a Medicare account
- The Medicare Q&A with Boomer Benefits Facebook Group
- 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make
Connect with Danielle Kunkle Roberts
Danielle Kunkle Roberts is a founding partner at Boomer Benefits, a national insurance agency specializing in Medicare since 2005. She is the author of the best-selling book 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make and is a frequent source for major news outlets such as CNBC, FOX, Yahoo Finance, Kiplinger, and MarketWatch. She has appeared on more than 200 podcasts, radio shows, and TV segments to educate the public about Medicare. Danielle serves on the NAHU Medicare Advisory Group where she advocates for Medicare beneficiaries at a national level to government organizations including CMS.
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