BUSINESS PROFILE: Danner, Brekke and Everts (DBE) Insurance
DBE works to find the best Medicare plan for each of their clients
By SCOTT THOMA
A majority of the people on a Medicare plan are unaware of the ever-changing premiums and/or benefits available to them.
Jean W., who has been a client of Danner, Brekke and Everts (DBE) Insurance of Litchfield and New London for 11 years, recently stopped in for her annual review with Brent Brekke. As Brekke went over her current plan, he recognized that she could be switched to a more suitable plan that could save her money in the process.
“They are so helpful at DBE,” said Jean. “Brent went over everything with me and tried to find the best deal for my situation. I wouldn’t know what to do without their help. You can tell they really do want what’s best for their clients.”
Brekke and his staff at DBE are eager to explain the various premium plans and options to assist you in selecting the plan that best fits your needs.
There is no cost for anyone to have a one-on-one meeting with them.
Since Medicare plan premiums and/or benefits are subject to change from year to year, clients often get frustrated not knowing what the best plan available to them would be.
“If you feel lost, you are not alone,” Brekke said. “That’s why we want to help. We care about our clients and want what’s best for them. We have products to customize plans for people in the entire state of Minnesota.”
For some clients, having a discussion with Brekke, a partner/agent with DBE, or Peyton Aller, a DBE agent, is a simple and no-cost way to understand these ever-changing coverages. For others, it’s a chance to get out of a current plan they might have been duped to enroll in.
“A client showed me a letter that she had received in the mail detailing their Medicare insurance policy with a phone number to call,” explained Brekke. “The out-of-state company turned out to be scammers attempting to deceive people by telling them that they need to switch to their company’s policy.”
If seniors get caught up in this type of trap, they could end up paying much more money than they need to and/or not receiving the coverage they need.
“The easiest thing for people to do is call us or come in and ask us questions,” said Brekke. “It costs them nothing to set up an appointment and go over what we feel is the best policy for them. If they are signed up with the wrong plan from a scammer, we can’t do anything to help them get out of it until the Medicare Open Enrollment period.”
Jaime Liestman is the office manager, and Cher Becker is an office assistant at DBE in Litchfield. Chad Thompson is an office agent/personal lines agent at the New London office.
Services offered by DBE Insurance of Litchfield and New London include numerous insurances: Life, Auto, Home, Vision, Health, Dental, Liability, Business, Disability, Animal, Recreational Vehicles, Annuities, Long Term Care, 401(k) Rollovers, Debt Free Program, Retirement Planning, Medicare, Employer Group Benefits, and Group Benefits Administration.
DBE Insurance serves the counties of Meeker, Stearns, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Wright, and Renville.
“Our main focus is on four things: Shop local, good customer service, good follow-thru, and finding the right providers. Since we are an independent agency, we can search plans from a variety of carriers/insurance companies to find the optional policy for you,” Brekke said.
Anyone who is 65 years of age in America is eligible for Medicare regardless of whether or not you are receiving Social Security benefits. People who have qualified for 24 months of Social Security Disability also are eligible.
If you are currently eligible for Medicare or are near the age of Medicare eligibility, it is important that you fully understand the Medicare enrollment dates. Signing up as soon as you are eligible can avoid a costly late enrollment penalty.
Medicare’s Annual Election Period falls between October 15 and December 7 each year. Only during that time period can current Medicare enrollees make changes to their existing coverage, with the exception of a qualifying event. Often, however, there are changes to Medicare coverages.
“Depending on your circumstances, this may be the only time during the year that you can enroll or switch to another Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare cost plan, or prescription plan,” Brekke said. “Or you can drop your plan and return to Original Medicare.”
Individuals should receive notices from Medicare or Social Security in the mail. If you are currently in a Medicare plan, you should receive an Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) informing you of any changes in coverage, costs, or service area.
Be aware of Medicare fraud and check with DBE Insurance before changing or agreeing to anything.
Review your current Medicare coverage and note any upcoming changes to your costs or benefits. Ask yourself, does your current Medicare coverage meet your specific needs for the upcoming year? Many plans have added benefits such as dental, vision, hearing, gym memberships, and over-the-counter medication options.
“I had surgery and was in the hospital for several days,” said Jean W. “I was getting bills from my insurance company, so I called DBE and Peyton told me not to worry because he would get everything straightened out for me. And he did. It was such a relief.”
Aller said helping others is what he enjoys most about working for DBE Insurance.
“Being able to help individuals find the most suitable plan for their specific needs, and at the end of the day, it’s about doing the right thing. That makes a person feel good and is rewarding,” he said.
DBE Insurance has an office in Litchfield, as well as New London, MN in the United MN Bank.
Medicare itself has parts, not plans. These parts are:
PART A - Hospital Coverage: This pays for your room and board in the hospital or in a skilled nursing facility.
PART B - Outpatient Coverage: This includes things such as doctor visits, equipment, lab work, surgeries, durable medical equipment, diagnostic tests, and more.
PART D - Drug Coverage: This is a pharmacy card which will allow you to purchase at a lower cost than retail. It is insurance you purchase for present and future medication needs.
You are eligible for these three parts of Medicare on the first day of the month in which you turn 65 years old, or sooner if you have qualified for Medicare due to a disability.
“I had called Brent to ask him if I could get money back for a prescription that I was getting at a store, and he explained to me how to go online and order it to save money,” said Sharon G., who has been a DBE client for three years. “He explained things so well that when I went online it was so easy and only took me a few minutes to order. It also saved me $75 each quarter and I don’t have to drive to the store anymore to get my prescriptions.”
After that, Sharon’s husband followed her lead and is also getting the same savings.
“We would never have known about this and saved all this money if I hadn’t called to ask him about my prescriptions,” Sharon said. “The people at DBE are all so nice. I really appreciate their help. I would never even consider going somewhere else.”
Over 20 years ago, Jim Danner and Bob Everts initially started the current insurance company in Litchfield, calling it Danner & Everts Financial. With a strong desire to succeed and knowing the importance of having a client’s best interest in mind, the business soon began to prosper.
Brekke joined the team in 2008 to form DBE Financial and Insurance Solutions. Brekke’s experience in corporate benefits helped the business continue to grow with added insurance offerings. Everts passed away 10 years ago.
Through the years, DBE Insurance has built a positive name for itself. Clients echo each other on how well they are treated when they need help. That’s one reason why they now have over 2,000 clients and over 100 groups involving retirement and insurance plans.
Aller will represent DBE Insurance when it hosts Medicare informative meetings beginning at 10:30 a.m. on the following dates and locations (RSVP is recommended as space is limited. Call 320-593-4968). These meetings are put on by Medica for those just turning 65 years of age.
Nov. 1 at Rocori Community Education in Cold Spring
Nov. 8 at Dassel History Center
Nov. 16 at United MN Bank Community Room in New London
Nov. 29 at Litchfield Public Library
DBE Insurance in Litchfield is located at 32 East Second Street. For information or to make an appointment, call 320-593-4968.
DBE Insurance in New London is located at 105 Central Avenue East in New London. The phone number there is 320-354-2900.
Also visit their website at www.dbeinsurance.com or on Facebook at DBE Financial & Insurance Solutions.
This is a paid business profile. If you would like to learn more about promoting your business in the Sr. Perspective with a business profile, call Jim at 320-334-3344.