Lyndon Thomas Insurance February 2018

LYN’S LEDGER

Lyndon Thomas Insurance

Feb 2018

We Help You With Medicare.

The Journey to Independence

W e’ve just wrapped up another Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, and I’d like to take a moment to reflect on my journey as a Medicare insurance agent. Three rapidly growing, very hungry boys led me to get my insurance license in 2003, and a lot has happened since then. It’s been quite a ride, and I’m delighted you’ve become a part of it. When I was a newly minted agent, I was eager to gain experience and knowledge. Along with life and other health insurances, I sold a few Medicare Supplement policies. Then, in 2008, my friend Steve Lehman, who worked for the Medicare Advantage Plan, SCAN Healthplan, introduced me to the Sales Management Team there. They hired me to open up the Ojai Valley for them. It was fantastic! There was only one competitor. I was a consistent top producer during the first four years. That’s when I met many of you for the first time. SCAN was and continues as a great company for their members, but by 2013, instead of just one other competitor in the Ojai Valley, there were four! As the market saturated, instead of gaining 6–10 enrollments by driving 50 miles a day in the Ojai Valley and West Ventura County, my route included the San Fernando Valley, with a good day getting two or three enrollments. Some days I made more money on mileage reimbursement than on commission! Two salary checks each month were really attractive, but the idea of going independent started growing in the back of my mind. While SCAN had a great program, with only that one tool in my toolbox, I was now regularly walking away from clients who needed a different program. During the Annual Enrollment Period of 2014, events conspired to “kick me out of the nest.” So, in the middle of AEP on Nov. 11, I became an independent agent,

representing all types of Medicare insurance coverage through contracting with over 15 companies.

Anytime you leave the safety of the familiar and venture into the opportunity of the unknown, the risks are real and the mistakes are painful, if not costly. I have zero regrets. I delight in the relationships I’m able to have with my clients now. You see, company-employed sales representatives have no incentive to keep in touch with their members. They are paid for new enrollments, not customer service! We mean it when we post our motto: “We help you with Medicare.” Not just for the enrollment, but all along the way. You will likely have questions about your health care coverage from time to time. I’m pretty sure you’d rather talk to your own agent than a telephone representative in another state. Many friends become clients and many clients become friends. My experience is that the commissions take care of themselves if I take care of my friends and clients. Since 2014, my agency has grown a good deal. My wife, Kathy, has thought better of trying to work here, so we’ve hired staff and are proud to serve clients in five California counties and multiple states. It’s been a whirlwind, but after the fires and mudslides, this particular whirlwind is more cause for celebration than concern. The people at SCAN gave me the foundational knowledge and experience that my agency is built on today. I’m forever grateful as well for the support of my beautiful wife through each of the risks we took. Above all, I’m grateful for God’s call that led us to the Ojai Valley. And to each of my clients, thank you for trusting me to help you with Medicare and with this ever-so-important part of your life: your health care. If you ever need anything, even if it doesn’t have to do with Medicare, my phone is always on.

– Lyn Thomas

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