Medicare Made Easy
By Deborah Daley
The landscape of health insurance, especially for older Americans who qualify for Medicare, can be complex, confusing, and even overwhelming. The dedicated professionals at Insurance Advisors help clients navigate the landscape and wade through all the options. In fact, the company’s external slogan is Medicare Made Easy. Through personalized conversations, ongoing information sharing, advocacy, and dialogue, the Insurance Advisors educate clients about insurance.
Kristin Ehlers is an Independent Insurance Advisor who considers herself an educator. “The amount of information that comes to individuals, especially during Medicare health enrollment, is overwhelming,” she says. “I walk clients through the stacks of information, using my knowledge to spotlight their options, to help them make informed decisions and avoid pitfalls, and to make sure they are not blindsided by hidden fees or other issues.”
After earning her Business Management and Marketing degree from Northwest Missouri State in 2004, Kristin began her career in marketing. She moved to Chicago for four years but came back to Omaha to be closer to family. “I was a stay-at-home mom when I first got back to Omaha,” she recalls. When a former classmate named Michelle Scianna Panowicz opened Insurance Advisors in 2019, “Michelle convinced me this job was made for me. It is! I have been working here for four years and continue to grow my member list.”
The advisors are paid not by their individual clients but by a wide array of health insurance carriers. That makes for a level playing field, so advisors have no incentive to push one product over another—advice is based on the clients’ needs.
Insurance Advisors are licensed by state, and each insurance carrier also requires certification on their products. The Omaha firm is licensed in Nebraska and several other states around the United States. Kristin is certified in health insurance, including Medicare and group insurance options. Her colleagues work on life insurance and Affordable Care Act benefits. There are about 20 on-site staff at Insurance Advisors, with several also working remotely.
Kristin prides herself on always being there for her clients, no matter when they need her. Recently, a client was taken to the hospital and a language barrier meant the family was having trouble understanding hospital procedures. Kristin speaks fluent Spanish and was able to work with the family to figure out what was covered and not covered.
“I like to sit down with customers and plan,” Kristin says. “I care about their individual needs. We work together on the process, jointly outlining what needs to be done.” Everyone can benefit from this advice, she says: Don’t wait until the last minute to make insurance decisions. “During open enrollment, for instance, waiting time is increased substantially,” she adds.
Working through the information, especially within the federal government, can be daunting for some people. There never seems to be enough time! “The process is harder than some people think, so I stay with them and focus on their goals,” Kristin shares. “I advise them to do the best they can and to be honest, and we work through it. It’s important to worry about yourself and not focus on the things you can’t control.”
Marc Cohn, an Omaha realtor, has worked with Kristin and couldn’t be more pleased with how Kristin made him feel at ease. “She takes the role of advisor very seriously, and she doesn’t push one product over another,” Marc says. “Her knowledge is outstanding! If my wife and I had a question and Kristin did not have the answer immediately, she followed up and found the information we needed.” Marc and his wife sell real estate, so they have a hectic schedule. They appreciate that Kristin made the process convenient by coming to their office. Once they made their decision, he says, “she was there after the fact and became a middle person for us if we had additional questions.”
Client Steve Roberts echoes Marc’s comments. “Kristin helped me navigate the entire Medicare process and was super easy to work with on the paperwork,” Steve says. “She was thorough, returned calls in a timely manner, and checked up on me on a regular basis. I am forever grateful for her expertise and assistance.”
Independent insurance advising brings challenges, but—according to Kristin—the rewards are worth the effort. “I meet people and hear their life stories,” she says. “I am often part of their milestone journeys, and I am honored to play some small role in their life. I am privileged to provide them counsel; in return, they give back to me their wisdom and life insights.”
To reach Kristin Ehlers and her colleagues at Insurance Advisors, call 402-630-0033 or visit insuranceadvisorsne.com. The office is at 10868 West Dodge Road, Suite A.
Independent Insurance Advisor