Thursday, January 16, 2014

Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago today, I sat by my mother's side holding her hand as she let go.   Two years ago today, my family sat with her for a few more hours after her death before leaving the hospital.    Two years ago today, I walked out of the hospital with red swollen eyes and a tear stained face holding my husband's hand knowing we wouldn't see her again here on earth.     

We always hear that time flies the older you get and these last two years have proven that to be true.     In these last two years, so much has happened;   The death of my mother, an engagement, three weddings, a new relationship, three births, the death of Sally Ann's mother, the death of John's father, Uncle Rodney's death, and the death of Courtney's mother.   It reminds me of this saying: 

Our family is a circle of strength and love,
With every birth and every union, the circle will grow,
Every joy shared adds more love,
Every crisis shared together, makes the circle stronger.   

There isn't a day that goes by that our family doesn't miss the ones that are no longer with us.    I can only take comfort in knowing this:  

Two years ago today, my Mother was no longer in pain.     
Two years ago today, she no longer needed oxygen to breath.  
Two years ago today, she let go of my hand and had the arms of Jesus wrapped around her.  
Two years ago today, she was able to see her siblings, Butch and Jean as they welcomed her home.
Two years ago today, her parents held their oldest daughter once again.   
Two years ago today, she was at peace.      

Two years later, I am still holding my husband's hand.     We have walked hand in hand every day since then with a much clearer understanding of how precious and fragile life is.     We have helped one another get through each crisis and felt the joy that each happy occasion brought us.   

Two years later, I sit here with memories of my sweet Mother and smile.     She was an amazing and beautiful woman who cherished life and fought as hard and as long as she could.      I'm so honored that God blessed me with the privilege of having her as long as I did.  

                     In loving memory - Joyce M. Savory   June 10, 1939 - January 16, 2012     

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Changes and Answered Prayers

It has been much too long since my last blog post and with the New Year already here, I thought it would be a good time to catch you up on news in my business.      

So many changes happened within the healthcare industry in these last few months.    Every August, I complete Medicare certifications for each insurance carrier that I work with.     In total, that equals about three hours for each carrier and this year, I chose to work with five insurance carriers.     Next, came certifications and classes regarding all the changes in the healthcare industry.     Between classes and certifications, the total time spent was about fifteen hours.      Learning is always something that is challenging and interesting to me so I am not complaining at all.     It is actually enjoyable to me.    

Once my certifications were completed, I was told that I would receive an e-mail with a special number for the healthcare website.     When the e-mail never came, I made a call to my insurance contact and she shared with me how behind they were and not to worry.      Everything was done as according to what they needed and there was plenty of time before October 1st.   

October 1st came and all heck broke loose.     Clients were calling interested in insurance, my clients were calling because there current policies were being cancelled, the hospital in my home town would not be a part of the new network for the healthcare exchange, and if you haven't heard of this by now, the new website was experiencing delays, glitches, and just frustrating everyone.     

During this time frame (between October 1st - December 7th), I was asked to stand at a booth by an insurance carrier in a local store in our town to answer questions regarding not only Medicare, but help people with their options on the new website.     Each year, I do this for Medicare and because the enrollment period for healthcare was at the same time, the insurance carrier asked me to do both.     The first two weeks doing this went pretty well.     Then, I walked in one day to find another agent sitting at the booth.     There was a mix up in the scheduling and now there were two agents working at the same booth.    We worked out the details to make sure that both of us had the opportunity to work there on different days and everything seemed to be going well.     Then, my insurance carrier called and told me that agents across the country were getting threatened because they were so angry about the new healthcare website not working.      They decided to pull out of the store.     I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and with clients calling continually with questions, I felt that this was for the best.     And it was.   

Late in October, agents received notification that the healthcare website should be up and running more smoothly by the end of November.     I was able to do everything such as get quotes on my own directly from the insurance carrier and calculate what subsidies would be available for clients.    This helped clients take a look at plans, figure out what their premiums would be, and ask questions while they waited for things at to work smoothly.    

November 30th came and the website did work.     It was a sigh of relief as clients were anxious and so was I.     Clients were getting covered, however, there was another hiccup.     There was no way for clients to pay at the end of signing up.    When I would call to help clients out, the insurance agency had no way for them to see if I had actually helped the client or if they had put my agent code in even though I would do this right in front of clients.    As a broker, there has to be proof that you are the broker of record in order for the insurance carrier to give you any information on effective dates, payment information, etc.    

With one frustration after the next, I was wondering if I would be able to make it in this business.     I can't even begin to tell you how many times I would pray about this.     I was worried all the time about clients not being covered, anxious, and overwhelmed.    

Then, my prayers were answered.     I met with a client that needed help with Medicare plans.     With Medicare, an agent must give a presentation so that clients can have a better understanding of what they are getting.     In the middle of the presentation, the client stopped me and said, " I have been praying to find someone to explain this to me in a way that I can understand.   You are my answered prayer."    It was such a blessing to me.     Just shortly after that, I was working with a client that needed help with his health insurance.    He did qualify for a subsidy so we worked together on the application for his insurance.     It took awhile, but he needed the coverage and together, we got it done.      When I was getting ready to leave, he thanked me for having the patience of a saint and shared how relieved he was that he had me to help him through the process.     He stated that he couldn't have done it without me and he would always be grateful.      Another blessing.    

In closing, I will continue on.     I know that there are challenges ahead, but we will prevail.      This business has been a blessing to my family and I pray that it will be a continued blessing to my clients.    They can tell my they are grateful and it certainly is appreciated.      The real blessing is the people that I have the opportunity to help each day and I am grateful for everyone of them.    It is my prayer that they always know it.