Turning 65 – Let the Phone Calls Begin

Linda Tobias, Senior LinkAge Line Client Service Center Supervisor

Turning 65 comes with many emotions for me. I am excited about the next phase of my life. Is retirement a reality for me, or am I going to continue to do the job I love with the Senior LinkAge Line and the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging?

Recently I have been inundated with calls trying to sell me a Medicare insurance plan. Yesterday I decided to answer one of the calls. She said she was with Medicare, but after I questioned her further, and she said, “Medicare Benefits.” Then she said she wanted to tell me about my Medicare options. Since my job with the Senior LinkAge Line is to know Medicare thoroughly, I was skeptical.

I asked, “Are you selling insurance?” and she said, “No, we advocate for you, so you can get the coverage you need when you turn 65.” After transferring me to someone who could tell me about plans available in my area, the new person proceeded to tell me she was a licensed insurance agent—not selling anything, huh?

After the agent tried to make small talk (asking for my zip code and date of birth), she proceeded to try to sell me a specific type of plan without asking if I was planning to retire or keep working.

When I asked about other options, she ignored my question. She only told me about two companies and skipped all others. She told me she was unbiased and wanted what was best for me. She never asked me questions about my health, lifestyle, which medications I take, the pharmacy I use or what I could afford. These all should be considered when choosing Medicare coverage.

If you are turning 65 and getting the same type of phone calls and mailings that I am, remember “buyer beware.” Hang up; these callers are looking for your dollars, as opposed to trying to help you save money.

Before you make any decisions, please give the Senior LinkAge Line a call at 800-333-2433 to get true non-biased help. We are a free-of-charge service provided by the state of Minnesota. We don’t sell insurance and won’t steer you towards a particular company or type of policy. We believe in what we do, and we have experts across the state ready to help you.

Retirement should be an exciting time for us. Let the Senior LinkAge Line give you the information you need so you can make the best choice for your future healthcare needs.

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