Baby Boomers are creating major changes in the way insurance companies are offering Medicare, and HealthMarkets' Roni Bell can help you benefit

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You don’t have to go it alone. Scheduling a free review of your Medicare status with Roni Bell (pictured here with Cooper), of HealthMarkets, can take the stress out of choosing the right plan. She has access to hundreds of different options from all the major carriers. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Beth Newcomb

According to Forbes magazine, baby boomers are permanently clocking out of the workforce at a rate of 10,000 each day. That’s a huge number of fresh retirees lining up for Medicare.

And with Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) representing nearly 20 percent of the population in America, more people than ever before will be considering their options during Medicare’s annual enrollment period—Tuesday, October 15, until Saturday, December 7.

“This is a very exciting time for new and existing Medicare participants,” says Roni Bell, a licensed insurance agent with HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. “Because of the large number of people who will be or have been taking advantage of Medicare benefits this year, insurance companies have stepped up their game. What this means to people on Medicare is the influx of Baby Boomers into the system has created a competitive insurance arena the likes of which we haven’t seen before.”

This competitive environment means insurance companies have revamped their programs, or created new ones with more enhancements.

“If you haven’t had a review of your Medicare plan in the last year or two, this is absolutely the time to do it,” Roni stresses.

Roni says a review could not only net you the opportunity to participate in a better plan, it could also mean your options include plans that cost less while giving you more. And if you turned 65 prior to the annual enrollment period, this is a good time to make a change if you don’t like the plan you’re in, or you’d like to find out if something better is being introduced.

Customize Your Medicare Coverage
Medicare isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Everyone is different, and what’s important to one person may not be important to another. Because HealthMarkets represents major carriers, Roni has reviewed and can provide her clients with access to hundreds of different options, all with varying degrees of coverage and different nuances to meet the different needs of participants.

“Medicare is very individualized,” explains Roni. “That’s why a free review with me is key. I’m going to take the time to sit down with you and go over what’s important to you, find out about your medication needs and doctor needs, discuss the things you want to have included in your coverage, then put together a plan that not only provides you with options, but also one that suits your budget and requirements.”

Part A, Part B, and Then Some
“Because they’ve accumulated enough credits during their working years, most people get Medicare Part A at no cost to them,” explains Roni. “Medicare Part B has a standard premium cost of $135.50 or higher depending on your income. Some plans include the cost of prescriptions, dental and vision, while others do not.”

“This is an area where the influx of Baby Boomers into the Medicare system means there are new advantages to all participants,” she continues. “Insurance carriers are creating hybrid supplemental plans that include key components like dental, vision and hearing. The beauty of Medicare is you can choose the items that matter to you most, and pay for those separately as your budget allows.”

Her Guidance is Free
Because HealthMarkets agents aren’t captive, meaning they don’t work for a particular insurance carrier, Roni directs her efforts toward clients, helping them to navigate the sometimes-baffling waters of Medicare. And the cost for her one-on-one review and guidance? Nothing. All time spent with Roni is absolutely free.

HealthMarkets Insurance Agency is located at 1039 Pearl Road, in Brunswick. Call Roni at 330-225-2550. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. during enrollment season, Sunday and evening hours by appointment. Visit the website at