A Word of Gratitude to Clients & Friends
We want to thank all our friends, clients, and business partners for helping get us up and running in 2021. We launched the business with a singular focus – help Medicare beneficiaries get the right coverage for their needs at the right price. Every person at Fortende is a Medicare beneficiary, so we understand the issues and empathize with the problems.
Today, we currently represent 7 insurance carriers and are licensed in 16 states to ensure the broadest selection for our customers. By the middle of 2022 we want to be licensed in all 50 states. We will be growing from one agent (me) to 4 agents, two speaking fluent Spanish, and all speaking fluent “Medicare”.
Buffalo Health Advisors
Critical to the success of our business is our relationship with Buffalo Health Advisors, through whom we do all our contracting. They provide the marketing muscle and technical expertise to allow us to serve your needs wherever and whenever you need them. They provide us with critical market insights and support for products for you, our clients.
This year we are delighted to announce that we are representing Medjet, the premier medical evacuation and crisis service for Americans in the US and abroad. We have Medjet policies personally, and we can recommend these folks without reservation. We all hope that we don’t need medical evacuation services – but when we need it there is simply no substitute.
Learnings from Fall 2021
Listen and learn. That was the best advice that I ever received, and it is what we did passionately this fall. I heard stories from every client, and I tried to understand the root cause of their problems. I thought that I might share some of those learnings as we kick off the New Year:
- Consider Medicare Advantage plans if you spend a lot of time outside the US. I spoke to several people who are happily spending many consecutive months outside the US (mostly Mexico) but were still relying on Medicare Supplements for emergency coverage – a big mistake. Medicare Supplements (Plans D,G,M and N) only cover emergency medical needs outside the US for trips up to 60 days. Several of the stories that I heard were from folks that had paid for supplements – great coverage in the US – but got advanced medical care in Mexico – paid for out of pocket. For most people supplements get more expensive with age – so this was a double whammy on costs. For those folks living most of the year outside the US, there are now some great Advantage plans tailored to your needs – coverage for extended stays abroad and comprehensive managed care back in the US.
- Refresh your US based physician relationships each year. I heard a few terrible stories from people who had great US coverage but elected to pursue advanced care in Mexico without consulting their US physicians. They reached a point where the care in Mexico was expensive, savings were getting depleted, and they were questioning the care that they were receiving. And they had access to very low-cost care in the US through their supplements. Whether you have a supplement or an Advantage Plan, you have access to care in the US. Whether you decide to get your care in the US or Mexico, you should establish as many contacts as possible upfront, and then make your decisions. If you decide to pursue care in Mexico, you still have access to your US-based team for consultation. Medical situations change, and you should get the benefit of the best advice possible – regardless of where you chose to receive your care.
We have a special relationship with our clients who live and travel outside the US. We travel all the time and love it – with a special affection for Mexico and points south of the Rio Grande. We will be coming to Mexico for a pleasure/business visit this year and hope to visit with as many folks as possible – stay tuned for details.
We send to one and all our best wishes for a great New Year in 2022 and a continued happy retirement!