Helping People with her Insurance Business in Hallowell
When Crystal Whittier used to care for the elderly as a home healthcare worker, she saw firsthand that they often did not receive all the Medicare benefits that were available to them. Oftentimes it was because her former clients didn’t know these benefits existed.
This observation was the genesis of Crystal’s current business, Whittier Insurance in Hallowell, which opened more than three years ago. Her company offers life insurance and prescription drug plans, but she specializes in Medicare supplemental insurance plans and Medicare Advantage coverage.
On her office wall hangs a motto: “Think, do, be positive.” It serves as an inspiration that reminds Crystal that you have to think positive to get through tough times.
She grew up in Readfield, just a few miles away, and she lives in Vienna, near Mt. Vernon. She and her husband, Dan, have a four-acre farm where they raise seven alpacas along with goats, chickens, and turkeys, and they have a beautiful garden.
The couple also has two children, Jasmine, 25, and Jared, 23, and four grandchildren.
Crystal has always wanted to help people in need, and the years she spent working closely with the Medicare population in rural Maine showed her a group of elderly and disabled people who are underserved.
Before 2017, Crystal sold mostly life insurance policies, but when she realized people needed help navigating the often complex and bureaucratic framework of Medicare Part A and Part B, she realized what she needed to do.
During the annual Medicare open enrollment period that goes from October 15 through December 7, Whittier works long days and nights traveling all over the state to meet with Medicare recipients in need of her services.
“I pretty much go anywhere in the state of Maine. A lot of my clients are in Androscoggin County, Somerset County, and Penobscot County,” Crystal said. “Fort Fairfield is the furthest I have traveled.”
She meets with people all the time who don’t realize that their Medicare coverage will allow them to get, for example, a pair of eyeglasses, hearing aids, walkers, and other things they may need. There are also a lot of benefits for people with physical and developmental disabilities, she said.
“I just love my job,” Crystal said. “We can also help people who are low income, and they don’t even realize there are specific plans for people who are low income.” Often, she sees people who have a basic Medicare plan, but they are not aware they can access dental, vision, hearing, over the counter medicine, and even gym memberships. “People are extremely ecstatic when you help them,” she said, which gives her a great sense of satisfaction, that she can make a positive difference in so many people’s lives.
Crystal also does annual trainings to keep up with all of the latest Medicare rules and regulations so she can stay on top of the system and better serve her clients.
She works with hundreds of people through the Senior Planning Center in Farmington, Skowhegan, Presque Isle, and Rumford to help serve some of their clients if they are in need. She began working with them in 2018.
Crystal plans to grow her business by making it a full family affair. Her son, Jared, will soon be working with her to help her serve more clients. Her daughter plans on working as a receptionist to take incoming calls and provide administrative support.
She also wants to add more staff at her Hallowell office.
“The more people we can help, the better.”