cactus dryAs an insurance broker in the Medicare market, I work with Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage, and Part D drug plans.  I have been an  independent broker since 2007. As an independent broker, I don’t work for the insurance company – I work for my clients.

I represent all the Medicare Advantage plans in Tucson, several Part D plans, and several Medicare supplement companies.  I do not push Medicare Advantage over Medicare supplements and I do not push one company over another.

As an independent broker I present my clients with their Medicare choices, covering the pros and cons of each. Then my clients make an informed decision about which coverage best suits their needs and preferences.

You can reach me at 520-820-8639.

Denise Early
Tucson, AZ

  7 comments for “About

  1. Jim Perry
    November 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks for having such a good website about Medicare, Denise.

    Since I spend a good deal of time on the road, some of it in Canada, my choice comes down to a Medigap plan or Humana’s Advantage PPO. But the Medigap plans only offer a skimpy $50,000 emergency coverage outside the U.S. I’ve looked at a bunch of travel insurance plans to supplement a Medigap plan, but all seem to either require more than $50,000 primary insurance, or not cover preexisting conditions. So I’m reluctantly about to go with the Advantage plan.

    Do you know of a travel plan that would fill the gap with a Medigap plan?



  2. Editor
    November 23, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks for the compliment, Jim. I’m not familiar with any particular travel insurance plans, but I thought lots of older people get them when they take trips to Europe. So I’m surprised to hear about pre-existing condition exclusions – though that sounds like typical insurance rules.

    Medicare Advantage plans all say they cover you overseas, but you’d want to get an answer (perhaps in writing) from Humana about how they would cover an emergency in Canada. But I’m not sure you can get standard care in Canada for the $40 co-pay in their PPO plan.

    I think I’ll pose this question to the manager of the Humana office here in Tucson. Let’s see if he can get me a definitive answer on how they handle international emergencies. I’ll send him an email right now and I’ll report back to you if/when I get an answer.

  3. Editor
    November 26, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Here’s what the Humana manager in Tucson wrote to me:

    Well…. when travel outside of the US is a concern it is always advisable to have the member purchase some ancillary/travel coverage. Reason is, although they’re covered with Humana for emergencies, we (Humana) have no control over how a member is billed. In some cases, the member will pay the hospital and get reimbursed, in others the facility bills us direct.

    The coverage is for emergency only and stabilization. Basically, the member is covered wherever they are but it’s important they get back to the network for follow up care, unless otherwise indicated by the doctors and/or Humana.

    After receiving this response I asked him if a person could go to Canadian doctors as “out-of-network” in the PPO plan. His answer was “no”. So, you can only use doctors in the US and territories (Puerto Rico, Guam..) for standard care. Emergency care is covered worldwide – but the question of when the emergency is over (and you’re still laying in the hospital bed) is a tricky one. So, perhaps the important travel insurance might be a policy that covers the cost of special travel arrangements to get you home to your network (or to the US if you have a Medicare Supplement). I have a feeling that none of these insurance companies want to let you stay in a foreign hospital for very long.

    I hope this helps.

  4. Joel
    April 15, 2010 at 10:51 am

    How does a medicare recipient go about getting a gym membership paid for?

  5. Editor
    April 15, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Medicare doesn’t cover gym memberships, dental, or vision. If you want these additional benefits you can join a Medicare Advantage plan. These are private Medicare plans that are usually HMO’s and often include the Part D drug plan. Most of these plans in Tucson have a $0 premium, which makes them very attractive. Secure Horizons and Health Net use the Silver Sneakers network of gyms while Humana and Universal use a newer network of gyms called Silver & Fit.

    Medicare Supplements don’t usually offer additional benefits, but AARP’s Medicare Supplement does include Silver Sneakers gym memberships. If you have any further questions, email me at medicareblog@gmail.com

  6. Grapenut
    January 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Medigap premium increases by age, and with Medicare B, and drug plans included, will cost you Premium $6000 per year. Buying low premium Medigap, you might be surprised with out of pocket costs.
    If you are not lucky to die at age 70, be prepared to pay $60000 cash out of pocket every ten years. Less then half of retiree can afford this.
    Getting a Medicare advantage plan is like climbing a rock without rope. You can be surprised anywhere and anytime, with very bad, news. Your coverage might be terminated, your service might be denied, your prescription drug from your doctor can be denied, replaced with a simple cheap less effective drug, and after they experiment with you and conclude that it is not effective, before they change to another drug you are dead for good.
    It is a good idea to start with a good Medigap plan, make all screening that medicare provide to you. Make some special screening not included by Medicare, at Private MD Labs:
    You will pay by your pocket, but this is worth it. If there is a problem, then go for treatment under Medigap.
    If you are healthy and can’t pay $6000 a year at age 68 switch at one Medicare complete
    AARP, or Humana, you have $0 premium, but you must open a Medical Savings Account, and pay a premium at least $100 per month to your account, to deal with the Bad News you have to deal with, till you die.

  7. Editor
    January 16, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    The comment/sales pitch above is a bit rambling and I’m not sure what the person is promoting.

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