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Published on October 09, 2017

supplemental insurance

Rapid City Couple Finds Solution in Search for Medicare Supplement

A few years ago, Ronald and Judy O’Connell of Rapid City found themselves looking around for better Medicare Supplement Insurance coverage.

“We had ours for years, but they came up with a big increase and we couldn’t reach our agent. It just was not working for us anymore,” Judy said.

Soon after their decision to look for other coverage, Judy saw a small ad in the Rapid City newspaper about Avera Health Plans. “Avera is not as familiar a name in this area,” Judy said.

But that wasn’t a concern to her, especially after hearing back from Avera Health Plans agent Kory Feltman.

“They had a good price and are a good company. Kory was a perfect salesman. He was not high pressure and was willing to answer all our questions,” Judy said. “We needed someone we could communicate with, and we sure found him.”

Service Regardless of Location

Avera has locations in 300 communities across portions of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota. Yet its most western location is Pierre, S.D. – too far for Rapid City residents like the O’Connells to travel for health care.

Yet Avera’s Medicare Supplement Insurance plans have network locations across the wider region, including Regional Health Rapid City Hospital. “We’ve been able to see our same doctors – that’s never been an issue,” Judy said.

Medicare Supplement Insurance is important in protecting financial assets from future medical expenses. These policies pick up where Medicare leaves off. Medicare has no cap on out-of-pocket costs. So if you have a major health event, you could owe thousands of dollars. Medicare Supplement Insurance covers the gaps that can put your assets at risk.

While the O’Connells have only had to use their Avera Medicare Supplement Insurance plan twice, their claims paperwork moved through quickly, and the plan covered everything they expected it to, with no surprises.

Timing Is Important

It’s important to shop for Medicare Supplement Insurance at the right time. Six months before or after your Medicare Part B becomes effective is your own personal open enrollment period for these policies, when you can’t be turned down for a pre-existing condition.

From Oct. 1, 2017–Jan. 1, 2018, Avera Health Plans also offers a guarantee issue/open enrollment for Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. This is not a government-mandated period, Avera Health Plans is one of two carriers to offer this in South Dakota.

“Older people are sometimes reluctant to make changes, even if their insurance premiums are going through the roof,” Judy says, but she has encouraged her sister and friends to look into Avera Health Plans based on her own good experience. “I would recommend to any senior citizen that they look into Avera Health Plans.”

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