Insure Taos helps navigate health insurance complexities.
Navigating the shoals of health care benefits can be daunting. With so many things including the political and economic landscape in flux, it may overwhelm the average consumer with the fine print, and be a challenge to know where to turn for help.
There is an insurance agency in town that specializes in the task. Monica and David Wilson, owners of Insure Taos, at 1027 Salazar Road, are local independent brokers who represent all the main insurance companies offering health policies in New Mexico. David said, “We are local, serving Taos County but have many clients in the surrounding counties around the Enchanted Circle and beyond. We don’t compete with the other agents in town for auto, home or commercial insurance, but instead focus on helping consumers and employers navigate the complex and ever-changing health care system and assist them in selecting the best plans for themselves or their employees.
“It is not unusual for each year to bring many changes to the health insurance carriers, plans, networks and rules operating in the market,” he continued. “With the upcoming elections and the ongoing pandemic, the only certainty is that more changes will be on the way. Having a specialized focus ensures we are up to date with the ever-changing industry.”
The Wilsons moved to Taos in 2004 from Philadelphia. Monica said, “After 9/11 we wanted to be somewhere more aligned with our love for the outdoors. Our first winter we spent skiing and snowboarding.” Monica has a background in the financial world and started up as an independent insurance agent in New Mexico. David was a software engineer so could work remotely, but eventually joined the local Taos company Brownrice Internet.
Fast forward to 2015, Monica had been working as an insurance agent at Brown & Brown and saw the need for an insurance agency in Taos that focused on health benefits as the U.S. health care system is difficult to navigate for the average consumer. Monica started Insure Taos in 2015 and David joined in 2018.
The last three months of the year are typically the busy season for the insurance industry. It’s the time when individuals and many employers select coverage for the next year. David said individuals under the age of 65 are governed by the ACA rules (aka Obamacare). This means you have from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 to select a plan for the following year. Depending on income, you may also qualify for a government subsidy to bring the premium cost down.
For individuals receiving Medicare, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 is the period when you can elect to add a Medicare Advantage or Drug Plan or change existing coverage for Jan. 1 of the following calendar year. Medicare supplement plans can be written at any time but may be subject to medical underwriting if outside of initial enrollment periods (such as when turning 65).
Many employers provide employee benefits such as medical, dental, vision and life plans and most employer-sponsored plans run on a calendar year basis, too.
The pandemic has changed the way Insure Taos does its daily business. “In the interests of safety for our clients, many of whom are vulnerable because of age and health conditions, we are currently running appointments via telephone. We can screen-share or videoconference, but mostly details can be shared before the appointment by email (or mail). Most carriers now offer electronic enrollment, so physical presence and signatures are becoming a thing of the past.”
The Wilsons place a high value on giving great service. Monica said word-of-mouth is a powerful business builder, and they get plenty of referrals. “Success is when clients experience great service and follow up by referring their friends, relatives and neighbors. This has been the pattern behind the growth of our business over the last five years. It’s always great to bump into clients around town, although we may not recognize you in your mask.”
Monica emphasized that during the last three months of the year, frequently they are booked solid. “Don’t wait until the last minute to call us – we want to give you the best service possible and provide you all the options.”
To book an appointment, call (575) 737-9000 or visit their website at insuretaos.com.