Dear President Obama;
My name is Margie Mack and I am writing to you because I am a health insurance agent and have to relay how I feel. I am proud of the fact that you are taking the issue of our health care here in this country seriously. I have been a health insurance agent for 7 years and what I have had to deal with would be something that could be a best seller. As an insurance agent you would think that my husband and I would be able to have coverage, right? But we don’t. Dan and I have not had health insurance coverage for approximately 9 years now.
What happened was I worked at Comcast 9 years ago and I was having trouble with the position I was in and opted to leave me job. When I got the conversion rate from the group policy I was on to the Cobra that was offered it was a staggering $832 a month and my husband was an independent furniture mover who did not carry the insurance for us. So, I figured I would find another job right away and get insurance right away so I canceled it. Big mistake for about 2 weeks after I cancelled it my husband had a heart attack.
Wow, what a wake up call. Not only did he have a heart attack but they insisted on doing heart surgery and the cardiac doctor told my husband that he was permanently retired from his line of work. That was all he knew how to do and he was a very hard worker. He would move 20,000 pounds of furniture in one day and feel great. When Dan heard this he broke, completely and well he was never the same man as he was before. He couldn’t get any disability because he was considered “re-educationable” and he never went passed the 9th grade due to a terrible injury he had at 13 years old. Life as we had known it had permanently changed for us. We had to file bankruptcy and I decided to find a job where I could make the difference and protect people from what I had been thorough.
So that is what I do. My daughter-in-law and I work as independent agents that work out of a MGA (Managing General Agency) and we help find new coverage, maintain old coverage and also manage our clients policy. We do not get a salary and we strictly on commission. It is a hard line but the return from our clients is wonderful. We have built a very good client base on trust and the fact that we will never let anything happen to them. It isn’t easy in our economy and there are many, many clients who have to restructure what they have. I have to become a parent to many of them and say “you have to trim the fat in your plan. Your insurance is only there to pay for the things that you cannot.” I have a blog that I send them to (not that they read it) Website:www.bellytobelly-margie.blogspot.com and unlike most agents, Jeannette (my daughter-in-law) and I fight to get the premium down with the most protection there is even though that doesn’t line our pockets.
We work primarily with Assurant Health because they offer their plans that actually protect our clients. What I hear is that almost all clients want doctor office visits, low deductible’s and wellness benefits as well as a low premium. That animal doesn’t exist if you are overweight, smoke, have illnesses such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol or any anxiety issues which we all seem to have now a days. So I show them how my husband and I take care of us without insurance.
They don’t always go for it and seem that they can get instant gratification elsewhere but they always seem to come back to me at one time or another. The plans that we see through Assurant health have $25 million in lifetime benefits, no premium increases for 36 months, wellness, drug card, and also a benefit that pays for the clients entire out of pocket in case of any accidents or critical illnesses that may occur (but a small $250 deductible applies to only the accident part of the plan. The premiums are competitive and most medical conditions are accepted or if not they have plans that actually help people that cannot get the “normal” plan.
I hope that I could someday have the opportunity to sit with you and actually share some of my ideas that I have. There is so much we can do to solve this issue and it won’t cost that much money if we all work together. I am not sure that you will even get this letter to read because I know that you are very busy man, but we need to be the difference that we want to see in the world, right? Please let me know if you would like to meet, I make great homemade banana bread and send it all over to my clients and friends. Thanks for listening; it feels good to tell someone that I feel that I can actually help.