From online reviews to vehicle alignments to Vets in Jeeps, the gang covers it all this weeks, with John Balcer returning to talk Medicare. John shares why it’s important to use a Medicare agent — because there are changes to Medicare every year and an agent can help work through those changes.
We had another great show. Watch it. Listen to it. Read more about it.
Tomorrow Steven Felicia celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary! Something super exciting happening this weekend involving Jeeps and Jets. More about that later.
Steve had a bone to pick about online reviews. When you have a bad experience at a local business, don’t run out and do a bad review. Contact the owner of the establishment. Steve tried that. He ended up with free drinks, and felt better about the whole thing. So, last week Steve did a service at his shop for a new customer with a free oil change coupon. The guy brought his car in and Steve’s mechanic smelled gas. Sure enough, there was a gas leak. Steve goes into the waiting room to find the guy — and this guy had shut off the lights in the waiting room, even though there are other people there! Steve explained the leak and offered service, but no, the guy was just there for the free oil change. So, they finished the work, and sent him on his way.
The next day, there was a Yelp review accusing Friendly of stealing this guys’ air filter and putting in a NAPA filter! Now, of course they didn’t steal the air filter. The funny thing is, they don’t use even use NAPA parts. Then, he accused them of pouring gas on the top of his gas tank in order to create the gas smell. He had no idea how much work and time it would have taken to do that…impossible to do in 5 minutes.
The bottom line is, if you have a problem with Friendly, just bring it up and talk to Steve. Friendly Auto Centers has over 3,000 positive reviews online (check out their Google Reviews), and they’re grateful for their amazing customers. They will survive one bad review. The point is, as a community, let’s talk to each other and have a conversation rather than complaining on the internet — ”I Will Survive” starts playing — and Felecia sees Steve starting to rock out and points out that the song is an anthem for women who have had an unfortunate relationship with a man. It’s a bonding song for women and their sisters. Steve disagreed and well…they might just call PK Jordan the divorce mediator! All in good fun! Remember, tomorrow is 26 years, the Marathon Anniversary!
John Balcer is back (listen to our 9/11 Never Forget episode with John). He works with Medicare, which is very complicated and makes a lot of people anxious. John points out that there are two primary ways to become eligible for Medicare. First, turn 65 years old. Then, you can get part A and par B for Medicare. The other way, it to become diagnosed with something like Alzheimer’s and become immediately eligible through disability. That is regardless of age.
So what is Medicare Part A and Part B? Part A is inpatient/hospitalization. Part B is outpatient/medical coverage, e.g. therapy. However, you need a separate policy for your medications. Medicare alone does not cover those. John can take care of that insurance, also. He will guide people in the right direction.
Something that most people don’t know about Medicare agents like John. John can’t call people directly, unless they’re already doing business with him. Medicare tightly regulates what he’s allowed to do in terms of cold calls and marketing. But what about those commercials we see on TV? in that case, there is an 800 number where we must reach out to them. So, some marketing is okay, but there’s a lot of gray area in advertising. Felicia wondered if he could stand on the corner and spin a sign, and John says, probably not. The good thing is, the government is trying to protect our senior population. We hear so many horror stories about senior scams, so Medicare really want to make sure they are protected. It’s important people understand Medicare pros will not be calling.
When you turn 65, and want to keep your employer plan, you can actually opt out of Medicare. More and more people are working longer, later in life. They have the option to keep their health care.
We have a lot of people moving to Arizona to retire. What happens when you move here from another state? There is an annual election period. On January 1st, a new policy can be put into place. if you move here outside of that window, there is a special election period.
Why do the Medicare rules keep changing? John said the main reason is that the older population is expanding. So we need to provide different benefits. Medicare also has to regulate and protect itself and that population. The group that oversees Medicare is the Center for Medicare Medicaid Services. That’s who you can report violations to. But a guy like John can help you cut through a bunch of the wishy-washy stuff. John goes through a 20 to 30 hour certification every year to get smart on this stuff.
John does not charge for his services. If somebody decides to enroll in a policy with him, he will sit and go through the entire policy and make sure they understand everything. It cost them nothing.
If you have more questions about Medicare give John a call.
Remember, send us an email if you have questions you want addressed during the show. Today we have three emails.
Mike from Howard Beach New York does his own work and can’t get the car to stop pulling to the left. He’s had it aligned twice. What is wrong with it? John interjected, is the tires! And he was right! Usually the alignment setting is done in the caster. But Mike has a Honda, and it doesn’t have a caster. Steve advised him to check the struts. Mike checked it, made adjustments, and it started pulling in the other direction. So, Steve thought maybe it was the tires. Turns out, he has a tire with a radial pull. Over time, the belt in a tire can shift or start to separate. If it breaks it can pull to one side. So, Steve recommended replacing both rear tires. So, if you have an alignment problem, and you work on your own car, and you’ve done what you can, don’t throw more parts at it. Take a look at the tires. This was a 2013 Honda Odyssey.
Our next email question is from Harris in San Tan, here in the Valley. He has a Honda Accord, and the power steering is whining. He worked on the rack and the pump, but Steve advised he do both of the same time. A lot of people don’t realize that on some of the Japanese cars, the reservoir is remote and at the bottom of it is a fine mesh screen. What happens is, it gets clogged. So the pump is sucking the fluid down, but it’s not really going, it’s not enough. So, we keep filling it with fluid, and it shuts off. Steve said to use a screwdriver and punch a hole in the screen. He did, and suddenly everything flowed. So, flush it all out and clean out the remote reservoir. Now, you might lose the warranty if you don’t replace the pump and the reservoir at the same time as the rack. Felicia pointed out, that a lot of bulletins go out on these things but the do-it-yourselfers don’t get those. That’s why you want to get to know a good shop, like Friendly Auto Center. Shop owners share information with each other across the world. Good shops will have a great network of other shop owners. Steve gets 40 to 60 emails a day on different problems. He actually built a library of sources for all of these things. The thing is, dealer guys usually only get the car for the first 4 to 5 years. Shops like Friendly get to see the car for years after that, so they really get to know what happens on these cars.
In Arizona, there’s a common problem with some of the snowbirds’ vehicles. They take great care of their cars, and they don’t drive them many miles. So, they think they can get an oil change every 5,000 miles, but it’s actually the time that matters more on these cars. Change the oil every six months. One guy, with a 2001 vehicle with only 45,000 miles on it, broke a ball joint because he wasn’t getting the oil changed frequently enough. You still got a maintain it even if you’re not using it.
Last email. Jim from Glendale. he wants to change his gas filter, but the parts store says that he doesn’t have a gas filter. After the break.
Cars don’t have gas filters anymore. It’s actually part of the fuel pump.
Matt Watson from State Farm is sponsoring a great Jeep event. The Mesa Veterans Resource Center Jeep Run is this weekend. It takes veterans for Jeep rides, and they’ve grown to over 25 vehicles. it’s a 4 and 1/2 hour ride out to Butcher Jones recreation area near Saguaro Lake. There will be lunch afterwards. The gathering starts at 165 North Centennial Way in downtown Mesa. More info on Facebook.
This is a fundraiser and all proceeds go back to the Mesa Veterans Resource Center. it helps Veterans with the VA, closing costs on VA loans, any struggles they’re having. They also help with veterans who are struggling with suicidal ideation.
There may still be room for vet reach out and sign up! Contact the Mesa veterans resource center.
Steven Felicia will be there giving away free Halloween bags.
Both Ryan and Felicia also work with vets. Ryan will offer a free loan consultation and share all the options. Ryan will also pay for the appraisal for a vet (about a $600 value!), if they qualify for a loan. Ryan’s cousin just got out of the Navy, and he had no idea that he could get 100% financing and no mortgage insurance. So, a lot of vets just don’t know the benefits they have available to them. Felicia offers a home warranty to her Vets. There are other benefits that Felecia’s whole group can offer, from title companies, to warranties, to closing costs. The whole real estate team here does what they can to help veterans.
There will be veterans of all backgrounds, all services, all arrows at this event.
If you like Jeeps, there are going to be a lot of Jeeps. Come on out, see the Jeeps, and support the vets.
They will go up the trail that they call “Top of the world.” From up there, they will be able to see Saguaro Lake, Fountain Hills, and more. There’s going to be some real off-roading for these guys.
Don’t forget, friendly auto gives military discounts! Ask about it when you bring your vehicle in.
Tune in next week! KFNX 1100AM, Wednesday at 4pm Arizona time.