Life & Health Insurance John McTighe Chandler, AZ
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John McTighe SCAM Life Insurance
I've been wanting to write about this for a while, and it is about the subject of SCAM LIFE INSURANCE sales tactics. Most anything can be considered a "scam" of some kind in business you simply add a unethical or shady person to ANY kind of business and presto, you have yourself a scam. In the case of life insurance, there are a number of state and federal laws in place to protect consumers which is nice...BUT, this has little effect in reducing or eliminating scam artists since some of the most vulnerable people are the victims and usually have no idea they have been "scammed" until it is too late. Here are some top life insurance scams to look out for... Scam #1 Bogus Company /or Horrible Ratings A common scam in the old days (and possibly happening today), was a door-to-door salesman that sold someone a life insurance policy from a bogus company, collecting premium money upfront, and never to be heard of again. One other thing to watch out for is a recommendation to a HORRIBLE life insurance company. One with a low consumer rating or very bad claim payouts. You can check objective company ratings on Weiss Ratings. How to avoid this scam: Check out the life insurance company as mentioned, and make sure it is real. Do some research about the plans being offered, to make sure it is legitimate, has value and the company has a reputation for paying out on it's life insurance claims. Scam #2 Personal Information Theft Getting personal information is part of the life insurance application process, and this information is valuable to the right scam artist. Along with this is the scam of simply going into a person's home and stealing items during the appointment. How to avoid this scam: The way to reduce or avoid these scams is to check the National Producer Number of the salesman or broker you are working with, before they call or visit your house. Also ask for references and check Google Reviews. These are your BIG traditional scams, but let me shed light on scams that happen EVERY DAY that might not be as obvious, yet just about as unethical. Scam #3 "This is a state regulated final expense program..." The purpose here is to get you to believe that you have some kind of entitlement with the government that will help pay for your final expenses (using life insurance). That is not the case. This deceptive call or letter in a plain envelope seems like it could be from a government agency, but it is not, it's from a life insurance salesman. Although not necessarily illegal, the practice is highly unethical in my opinion and as much of a scam as any. Simply, it's a deception. And if that is on the first call, watch out for the appointment and presentation!! How to avoid this scam: If you hear a telemarketer say the phrase above, or one similar to it, hang up! Scam #4 Information Drop Off Scam This involves a supposed "information courier" just stopping by to drop off information you requested. Again, it's a ploy to get to your house and sell you a life insurance policy. Some companies use this as actual field training!!! I do not understand the reasoning behind this, or who came up with it, but to me why be deceptive? If someone is interested, great, let them know exactly who you are and what your do. If they are not, there are plenty of other people to talk to that need life insurance help. How to avoid this scam: If you requested information on life insurance, be aware someone may want to either visit you in person or by phone, in order to get an accurate quote put together. If you don't want an "information courier" coming over to visit, request a phone appointment and realize they are going to put a quote together for you and the appointment is about life insurance. If you are not interested in such a thing, DON'T REQUEST INFORMATION ON LIFE INSURANCE. Scam #5 Overselling This is a way for a salesman to increase the benefits of the policy by promising more than the policy can deliver. It can also mean selling you a policy with premiums you simply cannot afford, and you were pressured into the sale. Perhaps every salesman has done this in one way or another. In my example, I am an insurance broker, I work in your best interest to provide the best rate and benefits, and am not beholden to any single company. I would rather not sell you a policy than oversell you a policy that you cancel 45 days later because you can't afford it. How to avoid this scam: Work with a professional broker such as myself that represents YOUR best interests and looks at you as a friend and client, not just another sale for the books. Another option to mention is a fee based financial professional, however some of them have little experience with the companies and carriers involved in the actual life insurance coverage. Conclusion These are just a couple of scams in the life insurance business. There are many MORE and I might touch on those in a future post. Until then have a great week! PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO SOMEONE WHO MIGHT BENEFIT FROM THIS INFORMATION.
My weekly life & health insurance business Dec 28th-Jan 3rd 2021! **Watch Video**
2021 is here! I felt a video post would be fitting this week, and I hope you enjoy it, and find some value in it. As I mention in the video, if you need to reach me by email, my address is or you can call or text me directly at 480-536-1212.
MY PREDICTIONS FOR 2021- Weekly insurance business review Dec 21th-27th
Technology, government policies, COVID-19 and marketing are driving the business of insurance forward, and I expect that not to slow down in 2021, which is going to play a big part in my own insurance business. Here are some of my predictions and actions going into 2021. Zoom/telephone and online meetings: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, I changed the format of my business from primarily in-person presentations to a current mix of 50%-50% virtual and in-person presentations.
While Zoom and online meetings are a smaller part of that total, the majority of the other business is simply done via phone, since some of the over 60 market are savvy with technology while some are not.
I expect more people to embrace this way of doing business, as we go into 2021, even if the virus declines, simply because it is getting easier and less time consuming. Insurance carriers for life and health insurance are making it more consumer friendly to enroll in their plans online or by phone. By the end of 2021 I predict I will no longer have to use a paper application at all, for any carrier. As far as meetings and presentations, I will continue to opt for whatever is most convenient for my clients, which as I mentioned is about a 50%-50% split, however, all of my in-person meetings are usually outside, or using masks while I sit across the room. Life insurance carrier changes in underwriting: I have already reviewed these changes with some life insurance carriers, as they catch up to the current events, underwriting questions regarding COVID-19 are, and will begin appearing for life and some health insurance (mainly underwritten Medicare policies).
It may become more difficult or impossible, for some people who have had COVID-19 to get life insurance, since the future of how it affects the lifespan of people who have had the virus is in question.
My prediction is those who have had COVID-19 may be a "knock-out" question for some life insurance companies, in other words, you may be rejected simply for having COVID-19.
You can see some of the most common questions about COVID-19 and life insurance at this AARP article recently written. Health insurance/Medicare changes: At the time of this writing, the best evidence of what will happen in regards to healthcare in 2021 and beyond for the next four years, is from the Joe Biden campaign web page as follows: Joe Biden's plan for healthcare.
The lengthy list of plans can be summarized in a few areas including expanding on the ACA (Affordable Care Act or Obamacare), re-instating the individual mandate, expanding Medicare coverage to people who do not have affordable healthcare options, and a list of ideas to reduce drug prices, tax breaks to big drug companies and ideas to stop surprise medical billing.
The Joe Biden plan also includes a number of proposed changes and funding to planned parenthood, offering health insurance to the undocumented, and expanding federal funding to community health centers.
My prediction is while these are some aggressive and lofty plans, proposed by the Joe Biden campaign, I believe in reality, there will be only a few changes that actually take place for healthcare in 2021, mostly centered around COVID-19 and stimulus proposals. Some of these ideas could have merit, however the implementation of the actual plan is likely in question due.
For myself, I intend to continue keeping on top of the actual changes that get implemented that will cause an impact with my clients, and how those changes create new benefits or better policy options. Marketing and reaching people: The most time consuming part of my job is simply reaching people. Either by email, phone, mail, referral, flyers, etc.
Simply, it is getting ATTENTION. Getting a message to people in the clutter of every other company looking for attention as well. Social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and others will continue to influence the people I serve, so I need a voice there just like the others.
Getting my message to the people that could use my help is at the center of my to-do list in 2021. You cannot have a one-dimensional business. Being able to share my message on multiple platforms is important, since there are people everywhere on all different forms of media, and getting attention is a difficult job. These are my top predictions going into 2021, with some of my opinions, and what I will be doing in my business to keep helping more people. Take it for what it is worth, and share this with someone you think might find it useful. See you next week in the NEW Year 2021!
The photo above, is actually not a stock photo, it is outside of Florence, AZ. I had a client meeting out that direction and took the photo just before sundown. As I mentioned in my post last week, I am looking for a location for my health insurance booth, I have a few locations narrowed down, and going into the new year hope to have something put in place by the beginning of January. Even with Christmas just around the corner, I had a busy week getting follow up meetings with clients and some end of the year preparations for all of the "paper" that accumulated. There have been a few changes to the way I do things over the past year, and one of the tools I am most proud of is my own "Client Helper Worksheet". This is a one page form I use during every introductory meeting to gather details about client health, finances, goals etc. Before this, I was using several different forms, and combining them into one file. As you can imagine, this creates quite a mess of papers to keep track of. So I honed it down to just a single one page (front and back) that contains everything I need to know to find the best company, rates and policy benefits for anyone, for any type of insurance. All of my client papers are housed in a locked file cabinet by the way. So going into 2021, this will help a lot, to manage and reduce client papers to just a single sheet. Everything else is entered into a secure portal at the time of the application process, housing any private or confidential client information. Question of the week I have some health issues, what is the most affordable option for life insurance? This is a great question. Because most of the marketing and advertising you see is targeted to the most healthy people in the market looking for life insurance. But what if you have diabetes, or had some health issues in the past? Does that mean you will not be able to get life insurance, and will it be expensive? The answer is you can likely find life insurance, and the rate will depend on some factors such as: How long have you had the health issue(s)? What kind of medications are you taking? What is your age? Most likely, term policies will be difficult to get, unless your health issue is very minor. So, most of the policies available will be whole life. A good conversation to have at this point is what amount of coverage do you need in (dollar amount), and how much can you BUDGET. With a clear picture of your current and past health, we can match your individual situation with the right life insurance carrier and submit an application. This doesn't mean you are accepted for a policy, but with our expertise we can find the carrier that is MOST likely to accept your application for coverage. After that, it is up to you to determine if it is something that is going to be a fit, and if you want to proceed with the policy. I will be back next week with the LAST post for 2020! Have a great rest of your week until then!!
My weekly insurance business review Dec 7th- Dec 13th
T'was The Night Before Christmas...Not an insurance prospect was stirring... I had a full week of getting some cases wrapped up for Medicare AEP, followed by a LOT of phone calls to get in touch with people before Christmas. That is where the week got challenging. It was very difficult getting someone on the phone to talk to them, let alone set up an appointment. Out of 100 phone calls over 3 days, I bet I actually talked to 4 people. ZERO appointments. So I switched tactics and started sending out follow-up email messages, with some minor luck, and by that I mean nobody reported me for spamming. 😀 However, I still managed to get a couple of follow-up phone calls for Medicare, from a prior client I worked with earlier this year. This resulted in a Medicare Advantage policy that will start in January. I chalk it up to holiday's. At least that is the excuse I am going with. 😁 Health Insurance On another subject, I completed more training on the ACA (Affordable Care Act) this week and am back to scouting locations here in the East Valley for my "Health Insurance Helper" kiosk. My idea is to tie into the Healthcare.gov website, and allow my clients the ability to enroll in the ACA with my assistance. Along with that, I will be able to guide them to choices not available on the ACA. I envision a kiosk in a high traffic location, with easy access for customers and clients to information on health insurance, Medicare and life insurance. Client Newsletter You can see a copy of my snail mailed, Christmas client newsletter, at the link below. I hope you enjoy it and we will see you next week!
Medicare costs going up in 2021 & the cost of living increase plummets
Medicare costs will be going up in 2021. According to CMS, seniors can expect the following increases: The standard Medicare Part B premium will increase from $144.60 in 2020 to $148.50 in 2021. The Medicare Part B annual deductible will increase from $198 in 2020 to $203 in 2021. The Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductible will increase from $1,408 in 2020 to $1,484 in 2021. The Medicare Part A daily coinsurance for days 61 to 90 will increase from $352 in 2020 to $371 in 2021. The daily coinsurance for lifetime reserve days will increase from $704 in 2020 to $742 in 2021. The skilled nursing facility coinsurance will increase from $176 in 2020 to $185.50 in 2021. Most people qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A. According to CMS, about 99% of enrollees pay no premium for Medicare Part A coverage because they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment. Medicare Part B, on the other hand, is not free. In addition to the standard Medicare Part B premium, there are five higher rates based on income bracket. In 2021, the highest premium rate will be $504.90, and this is what individuals who earn $500,000 or more and couples filing joint tax returns who earn $750,000 or more will pay. Individuals who enroll in Medicare Advantage have to pay the Medicare Part B premium as well as the Medicare Advantage plan premium. However, while Medicare Part B premiums have been increasing, Medicare Advantage plan premiums have been decreasing. CMS says Medicare Advantage premiums will be the lowest they’ve been since 2007. The Impact on Seniors While these increases might seem small, they can be significant for retirees living on a fixed income. Additionally, although seniors will be getting a Social Security retirement benefit raise in 2021, it won’t be much. The Social Security Administration announced that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2021 will be 1.3%. The average monthly benefit for all retired workers is $1,523 before the COLA and $1,543 after the COLA, an increase of $20. The COLA is based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). The COLA has gone down in recent years, giving seniors smaller increases to keep up with rising costs. The COLA for 2020 was 1.6%, the COLA for 2019 was 2.8%, and the COLA for 2018 was 2.0%. Social Security Also, check out the new Social Security changes for 2021.
My weekly insurance business review Nov 30th-Dec 6th 2020
This week marks the end of the Medicare AEP season. I decided to put a video together about some of the things that happened, and my plans for the future going into 2021. Next week I hope to resume final year plans and get some cases completed in the area of life insurance. Stay tuned!
My weekly insurance business review Nov 23rd-Nov 29th 2020
Thanksgiving week. What are you grateful for in 2020? In my opinion, if you are still alive, healthy and have some basic necessities of life, you are doing pretty good considering the events that have transpired in 2020. It was a short week for me, I was able to finish up some case work before the holiday, and spent the rest of the week preparing for a Thanksgiving out of town. I feel blessed to be in this kind of business, and for the good things I have been able to accomplish this year by helping out other people in a positive way, in spite of challenges coming from all angles. Our fledgling business has grown and changed, but at the end of the day it is the relationships I have been able to form that mean the most. And for that I am thankful!!! See you next week.
My weekly insurance business review Nov 16th-Nov 22nd 2020
This week began with continued enrolling of people into Medicare plans, and casework involved in finding the right prescription drug plans for clients. These are called "part D plans" in Medicare. In the video below, I highlight a client I was able to help save $600 per year on just one prescription. Finally, I want to share another video below. Love or hate president Trump and/or the current state of government, there have been some major changes to help diabetics get lower priced insulin this year. Further, more changes are coming to reduce issues with high drug prices in general. There appears to be some dispute as to how this is going to happen, but the general plan seems to be to eliminate some of the "middlemen" involved in prescription drugs, which will lower the overall costs.
My weekly insurance business review Nov 2nd-Nov 15th 2020
The results are in!!! It was a good week, actually (2) weeks since my last post. I skipped a week since I had a bunch of case work to catch up on, and even though the election had many people captivated, I had to continue onward helping people with Medicare and life insurance plans. I am formulating an idea to continue operating a booth, or kiosk at a complimentary retail location after AEP is over. The idea will be to offer a help desk in regards to health insurance, Medicare, state Medicaid help, and life insurance. I have not yet secured a location however I have some prospects in mind. My current booth at the San Tan Valley Wal-Mart Super Center has been a success. Election thoughts At the time of this writing (November 15th) the media has declared Joe Biden the president, while Donald Trump continues to fight for votes in several swing states. No matter the outcome, here are my thoughts, in regard to the insurance business and how it might affect things in the future. This is MY opinion only. I believe that it is more than a 75% chance Biden is going to be our next president. In terms of the insurance industry, the issue of health insurance and healthcare will be a bigger issue. How the Affordable Care Act will continue and move forward is anyone's guess. With Joe Biden as president, we can assume he is going to carry on and expand or improve the ACA in some way, perhaps finding a way to expand choices beyond the existing carriers. How aggressive will Joe Biden be, in terms of implementing anything new? Probably not much is going to happen quickly, in terms of action, and I have not really heard of any action steps at this early stage. The argument for "Medicare For All" was discussed, however not much beyond that idea has been talked about, we will have to stay tuned. COVID-19 is going to radically change life insurance and some health insurance policy underwriting, and this has already started happening with some carriers asking more specific questions about COVID-19 on their applications. Another national lockdown could throw all of these opinions out the window, if that were to take place between now and the new year (2021). Those are my thoughts for the week, have a great week and we will see you next time!
My weekly insurance business review Oct 26th-Nov 1st 2020
A whirlwind week, a lot going on. The beginning of the week I spent a lot of time taking a look at the new Medicare Advantage plans, to help find the right fit for several clients. One of the plans offered a free gym membership, which was very appealing to a client. For another, the low total out of pocket cost per year was an attractive feature. Medicare has developed into many, many choices. My job is to help find the right fit. Everyone has different needs, and for those that match with the benefits of the Medicare Advantage plans, they offer some excellent perks that can't be found in original Medicare or Medicare supplements. Later in the week, I was able to help people in a couple of instances with prescription drug plans or "PDP's". There are many factors to consider when selecting a plan D, and they involve the following: What kind of medications you take, the dosage, and the frequency. How you like to get your medications. Either from a pharmacy, mail order etc. Future possible need. Such as the possibility of new medications from a new health condition. From these factors, I can find a plan that will be the lowest cost. It will determine based on your information, which plans will result in the lowest out of pocket cost to you. As a broker, I can find the best plan, given your current situation. Right now as of this writing there are about 35 different plans in the Arizona market, give or take, and depending on the county you live in. Finally, as I wrapped up for the week, we had Halloween, and a pretty good turnout of kids at our house. We put a tray of candies out in front of our house by the sidewalk, and by the end of the night the trick-or-treaters had taken all of the candy. That is all for this week, see you POST election!!! Get out and vote!!
My weekly insurance business review Oct 19th-25th 2020
Rejection is hard. One of the ways I use to get in touch with people is to simply call leads (which are people) that have expressed some interest in insurance of some kind. You would think this would be EASY to do, but it isn't always the case. People forget that they sent in a lead card, or put a request in the system to have someone get in touch. In today's age, people don't answer the phone as much as in the past. So just getting in touch with someone to deliver your message is more difficult. The same for email. People get all kinds of spam and the message gets ignored. Once I do get in touch with someone, the reactions vary WIDELY. From mild happiness to downright nasty. And that's okay. My approach is non-threatening, if someone is not interested, I don't ask "why" or press for details, I simply thank them for their time and go on to the next person. That is how this week has gone. I worked 3 days calling people and 3 days meeting and presenting plan options. In between this time I spent learning about a few new life insurance plans, and updates in Medicare for 2021. I was happy to help several clients with Medicare, and one person in particular that has quite a few health issues, but no supplement or Advantage plan. He was paying out of pocket for many items that we found could be covered in a Medicare Advantage plan. It was simple to get him enrolled and he was very grateful. I will be in touch next week, have a great day!