Sam Bass can help

How consumers can get control of health care costs

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Sam Bass, owner of Bass Health Insurance in Yukon, with his wife Joella holding Mickey, on their back patio. (Photo by Carol Mowdy Bond)

By Carol Mowdy Bond
Contributing Writer

Sam Bass, owner of Bass Health Insurance in Yukon, wants everyone to know how to get control of health costs.

Bass has set his life goal: to help people with risk management for their lives. He said most people don’t realize they have a lot of options.

And he is all about infusing common sense into the picture, to help consumers navigate the insurance maze, and figure out how to make the industry work best for their personal lives in a way that helps them financially.

“I’ll do what I can to help. That’s my desire. I get most of my business by referral,” Bass said.

Bass, who offices in his home, sells life insurance, health insurance, and affordable Health-Medicare Supplements, including dental and vision.

He encourages using a fixed index annuity as a vehicle for consumers, where they put money in and never lose their money.

“You may not make any money,” Bass said. “But you never lose it.”

Bass said, “Someone who invests in a 401K or a mutual fund, that is tied to the stock market, loses money if the stock market goes down.”

“A lot of people don’t know a lot about annuities because investment people want to put people in things tied to the stock market,” Bass said. “When the stock market goes up, you get great gain. But when it goes down, you can lose it all.”

But in an annuity, consumers don’t ever lose their money. That’s a major part of risk management. It’s money consumers never lose.

Bass finds it’s typical for people to not have life insurance. But, “If the husband passes away, he leaves a spouse with children, a house and a mortgage, and no money,” said Bass. “Part of life insurance is so that when you die, you don’t leave your family with a house they can’t afford. But it’s common for that to happen.”

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He finds the problem happens with all ages, but especially with consumers who are young. “A married couple in their 20s could buy life insurance at a very inexpensive price. But young people think they’re not going to die, and often don’t have life insurance. A couple in their 20s has a baby. And the husband tragically dies. The wife is left in bad shape, and can’t even pay for his funeral. This is part of being aware of risk management. Life insurance will ultimately be used.”

Regarding health insurance, Bass said the majority of bankruptcies are due to medical bills that someone can’t pay because they didn’t have health insurance. But he said, consumers can get affordable health insurance for their medical needs.

“I offer affordable health insurance that costs a lot less money, and that has no deductibles,” Bass said. “The right health plan can save people lots of money.”

It’s hard to fathom that health insurance can cost less money. “The idea out there is that an unlimited health coverage plan is a one cookie cutter fits all plan,” said Bass. But he said that’s not true. If you’re of the age that you don’t need maternity coverage, why should you pay for a health insurance plan that covers maternity? “I design and help people get plans so they’re not paying for what they don’t need. I design insurance plans so they are affordable for individuals or groups,” said Bass.

Most people don’t realize they can shop around for insurance, and for services. Shop around and get a better deal. In the long run, shopping around impacts the market by creating a competitive market which is better for consumers. Consumers should shop around for insurance. But they should also shop around for doctors, surgical procedures, hospitals, and other. In so doing, with a competitive market, the consumer has power.

“I shop the companies to find Medicare supplements that give you the most for your money,” said Bass. “You can get the same thing from 10 different companies and get 10 different prices. I can also show people how to better purchase expensive drugs, and sometimes consumers may even can get a 100% discount.”

It’s hard for people to embrace the concept of mortality. So, Bass said, “I want people to understand the reality of risk management. If people bought life insurance early in life, they wouldn’t pay as much as they would if buying at an older age. No one can know their future. That’s why we have insurance.”

“It’s like you want to fly to Dallas and someone says you need a space shuttle. But you don’t need the space shuttle. The cost is exorbitant and covers everything. Only a small percentage of consumers need guaranteed insurance to cover everything,” said Bass.

Bass says, “The dumbest questions is the one you don’t ask.” He encourages consumers to ask questions and understand what they’re doing. “I try to tell people the reasons for everything.”

Born in Ada, Bass grew up in Cushing, attending a country school. He moved to Oklahoma City in 1966, and graduated from Putnam City High School in 1969.

In the late 1980s, Bass earned a two-year certificate as a biblical counselor from Vine Life Ministries. “I used to volunteer as a counselor from 1988 to 1994,” Bass said.

He worked 10 years for Hilti, a manufacturing company, covering central Oklahoma. “They wanted me to go overseas and I didn’t want to go,” Bass said. “Then I was an industrial manufacturer rep for four years. I was over the state of Oklahoma, selling industrial products to the engineering and construction fields. But I found out when you work for someone else, you can lose your job if they sell out or sell your territory.” So in 2003, Bass got his insurance license and became self-employed.

His wife Joella retired from Sand Ridge Energy Inc., where she was a project analyst. She had an executive career in the oil and gas industry.

Bass has one daughter, two sons, and two grandchildren. He and Joella like to garden, and enjoy the theater. And they love to eat good food.

“We moved to Yukon to get away from the traffic,” Bass said. “We’re always excited when Yukon brings in a new restaurant.” And he and Joella have a rescue dog named Mickey.

Mickey. (Photo by Carol Mowdy Bond)

“Mickey has a bed in each room of the house, and he follows me everywhere I go. When I say, ‘Let’s go to bed,’ Mickey goes into his bed next to mine.”

“I love being able to help the little guy, and those who don’t understand.” Contact Bass at Sam@BassAgency.com..