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Navigating the health insurance maze

On-site resource helps Seabrook residents stay savvy, save money

Created date

August 21st, 2012

Trying to navigate the health insurance maze can be confusing at any age. But for retirees who have had coverage all their lives and now face changes with Medicare and supplemental plans, that maze can take more twists and turns than ever. Seabrook, an Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J., has taken a proactive approach to helping its residents understand their options and make good decisions. Kerri Marra, health insurance resource manager and member services manager, is available to meet with Seabrook community members to discuss their current plan and educate them about co-pays, deductibles, premiums, and current benefits.

Financial savings

Health insurance can get confusing because there are so many options out there. It s ever-changing and can be overwhelming, Marra says. We can often find ways to save people up to $1,500 a year by reviewing their current plan, doing a cost comparison, and discussing what they re looking for in a plan. For example, some plans may offer a $0 premium, but the co-pay for big ticket items like rehab or hospitalization cost significantly more than plans with a higher premium. Until an event happens, you don t really know what your out-of-pocket costs could be, Marra says. Most people don t pay attention to their plan, she adds. They ve had it for several years and feel comfortable, but so much changes in this industry so quickly that people most likely don t really know what their plan entails. As a health insurance resource manager, Marra is the on-site expert in health insurance. It s my job to really know the information and help people navigate through what could be best for them, she says. By reviewing their current plan, including benefits, premiums, and prescription drug coverage, Marra and the community member can discuss and explore other options. We look at utilization of their current health insurance and help them choose the best plan for both current and future needs, she says.

Health insurance checkup

When she s not meeting with individual community members, she s educating the community at large through free health fairs, informative interviews on Seabrook s in-house TV station, and collaborative seminars with the on-site medical center. Everyone should have a health insurance checkup once in a while, Marra says. Everything changes so frequently that it s good to review your plan to make sure you re meeting your needs and getting the best plan for you.

Additional resources

Marra also wears the hat of member services manager, helping people with bills, claims, and other questions. Aside from health insurance help, Seabrook has a full spectrum of health care resources, from an on-site medical center to rehab to a continuing care neighborhood. So whether community members need preventive care, a sick visit, or if their needs change dramatically, Seabrook s proactive approach to health care supports them at any stage.