Learn More About Diane Finnestead

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

This is Valerie VanBooven with The Senior Care Industry Netcast, where leaders with three or more years of experience in the senior care market share their advice, so let’s get to it. In a few sentences tell us who you are and what you do.

Diane Finnestead:

Hi everyone, I’m Diane Finnestead. I’ve known Val for forever it seems like. We go way back, all the way to high school. I have known her, as she’s become a nurse, as she’s become a mother, as she’s become this amazing person for you with outreach. And what she knows me to do, is my background in long term care insurance, which has led me, the last seven years, to becoming a health insurance expert, a Medicare expert, they say. But I don’t trust anyone that says they’re an expert. Neither should you.

Diane Finnestead:

But that’s what they say, not what I say. And what I do, is just help everyone find a plan that’s right for them, find something that’s going to work out for them, and something that’s going to fit into their budget. And I have about 70 companies, and I am in about 20 different states. But when I’m on the phone it is all about my clients, and I really am committed to the, after the sale customer service. You can reach me, you can reach my assistant, ask me questions, and I help you with advocacy and really understanding and implementing your plans. That’s what I do. Happy to be here.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome. Yeah, and you know what? In my life I’ve had a couple of folks like aunts, uncles, my parents hit that 64 and a half and they’re like, “What am I supposed to do now? What is that again? I keep getting all this mail and these emails.” Can you give us a rundown? I know there’s a lot more to this than what we can do in a short time, but just tell us when you turn 64 ish what should you be starting to do?

Diane Finnestead:

Well, I think the main thing is, go on and Google Diane Finnestead YouTube. I’m the only Diane Finnestead in the whole wide world, so if you put in D-I-A-N-E and then F as in Frank I-N-N-N-E-S-T-E-A-D YouTube you’re going to come up with two different videos. Now, if you’re really savvy you’re also going to come up with a video of me when I was 16, when Val and I knew each other at first and I was singing out at the Six Flags, but you don’t want to watch that video. You want to watch these two videos about the Medicare.

Diane Finnestead:

One is called navigating the Medicare maze, and it’s been approved by CMS, the Centers of Medicare Service. And the other video has also been approved, and it’s called so you have Medicare, now what? The first one, it takes the Medicare and You book, which is the only book you need. Even though, you’re going to be inundated with tons of information.

Diane Finnestead:

You will only need that Medicare book, because that’s the one on page six that talks about the two sides of Medicare. You can have a supplement side, or an advantage side. And those are the two sides that you need to know, and it takes you through that whole process and it lets you know unbiased information.

Diane Finnestead:

The information that you need to know, the good, the bad and the ugly on both sides. And then the second video can tell you where all the gaps are. No matter which side you’re on, you’re going to have some gaps. And it’s how to fill it, and how the insurance industry actually has come up with different wrap around programs to fill that for you.

Diane Finnestead:

I think those are going to be your best resources. The other is just to call me. 314-302-5743. And we’ll have a great conversation. I promise.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Diane is the best talker of all time. The woman knows how to do it, man. She is on it.

Diane Finnestead:

Thanks, Val.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. These Medicare advantage, Medicare supplement, Medicare HMO, whatever you call it, whatever you think it is and you’re getting ready to make those decisions, or you want to change plans it’s time to call Diane. Or YouTube her, or search her on YouTube. Diane Finnestead, YouTube. And watch the videos.

Diane Finnestead:

Thank you.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

We’ll make sure all of that is with your video here, so people can just click on it below the video and they’ll be able to find you. Tell me, what is the best thing about serving aging adults?

Diane Finnestead:

The best thing about serving aging adults, is the many stories that I’ve been able to collect throughout the years. Oh my goodness. The advice that I have been given on how to invest by my clients, what life advice, what to really value in life. That so many of them know, that it’s about family, it’s about those you love, it’s about protecting those you love. It’s about being independent as long as possible. It’s about taking care of yourself first, so that you can take care of others. And just that resounding message that I get from all of my senior clients, that have had such a rich life, and been able to make good decisions, because they’ve been educated on those decisions, and they’ve been able to make things happen in their lives.

Diane Finnestead:

Some of them surprise me so much with what they’ve told me. The ones who are veterans, especially. The ones who have served our country, the ones who have been nurses, and teachers, and also in business and all these wonderful, rich, fantastic lives that they’ve had.

Diane Finnestead:

They are extraordinary people, our seniors are. And we should relish every single conversation we have with them, and I do. I just keep thinking, “I’m talking to someones mom, I’m talking to someones dad, I’m talking to someones sister, I’m talking to someones brother.” And I want them to have as much respect and love coming from me, and as much education and experience coming from me, so that I can help them and their family, just achieve all their goals. That’s why I love it.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Absolutely. It is such a pleasure to talk to our seniors and get to know who they are. And every single one of them, you could write a book about their life. Every time you talk to them, you could write a totally different book about every single one of them, and they would all be fascinating. It’s a lot of fun.

Diane Finnestead:

Absolutely. Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Okay. Let’s talk about this for a second. There are probably other successful leaders or organizations in your life that have really made an impact on you, and have guided you down this path. I know you’ve always been very good at this, you’ve been very good at educating. Who is it or what is it, or what organizations are out there that you think have done a great job?

Diane Finnestead:

Oh my gosh. There’s so many. I’m so lucky to be able to say that. To be able to say there’s so many. Right now some organizations that I’ve worked with, that are just impactful within the St. Louis community have been Champ Dogs. And those are the dogs that are trained, they were trained at the women’s prison before the pandemic. And they’ll probably go back to that, I think at some point as we all will go back to things that we’ve done in the past.

Diane Finnestead:

And that has been an amazing organization to see the difference that a furry friend can really make in the quality of someones life. And I’ve been able to help them and a lot of the different employees have had different insurance plans, and that kind of thing.

Diane Finnestead:

I’ve been really blessed to be able to help them with that, but also become friends. The other friend that I have made has been Wayne Kaufman and Steve Rosenblum, and many of you might know them. Wayne has the Kaufman fund, and it acts a lot like the United Way. And that particular organization, excuse me. St. Louis allergies.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Oh, I know.

Diane Finnestead:

Anyway. Wayne has been wonderful in giving over a million dollars to children and veterans, and it’s 100% of what comes in goes out to the veteran and programs for free dental, free legal advice, Christmas trees. I mean, you name it. It’s just amazing. Veterans who listen to this please reach out to me, I’m happy to share with you that particular program.

Diane Finnestead:

And then for those that are in insurance, and those that are not in insurance, NAHU, the National Association of Health Underwriters, especially for those people that are in home care. These are the folks, like me, that are looking to see how they can help their clients in finding that right place, those people that can help them in their home, because they have sold them home care policies.

Diane Finnestead:

It could be a long term policy, it could be a short term policy, and those relationships have been amazing. But for me, during the pandemic it was me putting my money where my mouth is, Val. And that was getting involved politically, which I never thought I would do, but I was able to unite with The Voice of Missouri and go up at the Capitol Conference in January, and with eight other people, meet with nine out of 10 of our legislators, including our two senate offices and asking questions like, “Should we put more funding towards COVID-19? Should we put more funding towards COBRA?” What came out April 1st.

Diane Finnestead:

And it has been amazing to see that when you talk to the right people you can really move and shake the world to the direction that we all need it to go. I would say that, that’s been most impactful, recently. I could go on forever. I’m very excited about all these organizations.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Oh my gosh. You’re very involved. Wow. Cool. That’s great. It’s so nice to talk with somebody who’s gotten this involved, and has really taken the time to talk to our leaders, because people will say, “Well, one person can’t make a difference.” But you just showed us that one person or eight people can make a difference, if they talk to the right people, so that’s awesome.

Diane Finnestead:

Oh, it absolutely can. I mean, one of the funniest things that happened was, we were talking about the Medicare piece right now, that is still in legislation, and it was before the pandemic. And representative Courtway, was the one that was really pushing it. And what it is, is that inpatient stay, that status when you go to the hospital, if you have a Medicare supplement plan, and you’re under part B and they bill under part B as an observation status, when you go to rehab you have to pay for rehab.

Diane Finnestead:

And that can be up to $36,000. And someone’s going, “But, wait a minute. I was in the hospital.” But they just weren’t told, “You were under observation and we couldn’t give you a Medicare code.” It’s this weird loophole. Well, then when we were up there they said, “Well, Diane, tell your story.” And of course, I told my story about my mom. How we sat her up in the bed when she was at the hospital, we put lipstick on her, we pinched her cheeks and we said, “Just say yes to anything they ask you, that you need to do in three days. If they say are you going to walk in three days? Say of course.”

Diane Finnestead:

Well, she was just blado before the doctor came in. And so, the doctor comes in, my mom perks up and he says, “Hey, Jane Finnestead, how are you doing today?” And she goes, “Never better.” My dad and I about fell over, because five minutes before she was like, “I can’t do anything. I can’t do it.”

Diane Finnestead:

So, we have to play this game in order to get your rehab covered, and no one knows it, so that was just one of the things we talked about. But it was the way that we were able to talk about it so candidly, that they could so themselves in it, they could see their parents in it. And I think that’s really what it is, when we talk to our leaders.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That has been a problem for so long. Doctors do not want to send somebody home. I mean, this has been a problem for 30 years, because I can remember having this problem as a nurse, knowing this person shouldn’t go home, they need to go straight to rehab, but if we can’t keep them for two overnights or three overnights, if we don’t have a rational to keep them we can’t send them.

Diane Finnestead:

Yes. Right.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, if we can’t figure out a way to qualify them to stay a little bit longer, and we’re making stuff up. Not to try and screw anybody, but the doctors are empathetic, they’re in a really hard place, and they’re trying really hard to say, “Oh, well this lab was a little off, so you better keep her another day.” Because they don’t know what else to do. They know this person needs rehab, and they know they wouldn’t be safe. And the family’s saying, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa we can’t take her home like this.”

Diane Finnestead:

Right. Right.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I’m so glad you talked to somebody about that, because it is a ridiculous rule.

Diane Finnestead:

Oh, it is.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

It’s been in place for a million years, and there is often no reason to stay in the acute care setting for three nights, when you could just go over to rehab and pretty much get everything you need. And it would be much less expensive than having somebody readmit, because they went home too soon and here we go again. [crosstalk 00:14:01] or go home and have a big accident. Or whatever. I don’t know.

Diane Finnestead:

Right. The next time we go up there to Washington, and we talk about this, of course we went virtually this year, I am taking you virtually with me, Val.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah.

Diane Finnestead:

I will say, “Listen to my friend.”

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. I mean, the doctors feel terrible. They don’t want to send people home who shouldn’t be going home. The families are just screaming, “What are we going to do? I mean, you can’t just send her home.” Yeah. Absolutely. It’s a big problem.

Diane Finnestead:

Yeah. It’s amazing. Well, you’d probably enjoy the other issue that we’ve talked about in Missouri. And that is having the air ambulance come in from out of state into Missouri, and there was a law and they tabled it. They could still bring it back up, because the session in Missouri is not going to be out until middle of May.

Diane Finnestead:

But it was one where, “Do they have to show advertising? Do they have to show how they’re licensed in the state of Missouri?” And so, when they are advertising for their services, that you would know that they’re not located in Missouri. And so, that opens up another realm for our areas, that now because of COVID in Missouri, that are rural, all those areas have become less served and they go into the assimilated huge populations of Kansas City and St. Louis.

Diane Finnestead:

And so, how do you get them there, if it’s a really bad situation? Well, an air ambulance. But an air ambulance, the average cost is $36,000 to $42,000. And people don’t know that, and they don’t know to look at their policies to make sure that air ambulance is going to be covered. Especially with seniors. They don’t know, even to ask that question, but thank goodness mostly in Missouri you’ll see that it is covered on the average. But there’s some that done. There’s little loopholes like that, that I’m so glad to be an advocate for. And to tell my clients, “If you’re not happy, let me know, because I need to go see who can make you happy.”

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Right, and you know what? And when there’s a major car accident or a fire, or some kind of horrible thing happens you’re not going to think, “Oh, well, no. I’m not going to take the air, don’t put me in that air ambulance, because I don’t think I’m covered.” You’re just going to go, and you’re just going to do it. It’s either life or death at that point.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I mean, we’re not talking about for fun. This is, you have to go or you’re going to pass away right there.

Diane Finnestead:

Exactly.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. We definitely need more coverage.

Diane Finnestead:

We’re going to see that more and more in Missouri and in rural states, states that have that real diversity, where we really don’t have, we have the suburban and we have the urban, but then we have the rural. There’s really not a sub rural in there, so it’s a dichotomy of making sure that those services are equal and those services are available, and they’re not going to bankrupt people by having that. In a moment of crisis for goodness sakes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I mean, yeah. This isn’t like you could have decided to do something different. It’s not that at all. There was no choice. Oh my goodness.

Diane Finnestead:

And the other thing that was so amazing, that we were talking about was what we have learned through the vaccine process, and getting that passed and out so quickly, so that we’re looking at both telehealth as something that would be in every plan. Because the folks in Washington are hearing from their constituents back in their states, every state is, that they really want to have telehealth available, because of what we’ve seen and experienced.

Diane Finnestead:

And it can be done to a point, where it can be accurate and it can be something that’s viable, but then when there are certain situations, of course it isn’t. But it’s nice to see that everyone was very woken by the possibility with everything that happened during the pandemic. And it was also really cool to see the possibilities of passing the drug cost, and limiting that drug cost.

Diane Finnestead:

We’ve seen the growth of scripts and things like GoodRx and HelpRx, and all those coupon programs and manufacturers discounts, where people are now very aware that they could use that in addition to their regular drug plan, and save them money. It’s wonderful that our leaders are now being educated to know that too, so that they can start passing laws to promote it. It’s really cool. You can tell I’m passionate about it.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Absolutely. Keep going. Keep doing this. I mean, yes, telehealth is a huge, huge benefit to, especially, again, our underserved rural seniors who don’t just go down the street to go to the doctor. They have to go really far or to get to a big hospital, it’s not that easy. Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

My parents live in, not too much of a rural area, but rural enough that they have to travel an hour one way to a cardiologist.

Diane Finnestead:

Oh wow.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I know. And that’s one of those visits where you really do have to go, but I mean just to have a quick meeting where nothing’s wrong, or something like that, I mean there’s no reason why they couldn’t do it via Zoom or whatever, or a system they have set up, as opposed to driving an hour to see a cardiologist.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And they’re near Asheville North Carolina, but unfortunately the mission health system there is not very good, and they have a lack of physicians that want to work for that. And so, there’s nobody out there. Anyways.

Diane Finnestead:

Right, right. Well, which led to another situation that we had during this whole pandemic, and that was the areas that were having a surge. There would be more of the medical field brought into that area, and they wouldn’t necessarily be in network.

Diane Finnestead:

So, never before was it more important to have a PPO for our seniors, the ones that had an advantage plan, than to have an HMO, because that’s only in network. And those out of network costs could be extreme, so it was one, this year during open enrollment my goodness was that a huge change, to be able to make sure that they would have access to care no matter where they were, and no matter who would be coming into their area.

Diane Finnestead:

Holy cow was that a different conversation, but a good conversation.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Very. Yeah. Absolutely. All right, well let me keep going with my questions here. Let’s talk about online marketing a little bit. I know you have a website, and I know you have Diane Finnestead YouTube. What has been your experience with online marketing? I know you’re a people person. The pandemic has cut us off from being people, people. At least in person. What is the best way for you to obtain more clients and referrals? Is it in person networking or online?

Diane Finnestead:

You know what? I think that both work for me, because what has happened, is my under 65 business that I’ve had, I still have that portion of the business, and then I’m able to transition people into the over 65 business. The under 65 has always been virtual, always been that way, because I guess it’s just the way that we are as generation Xers and boomers, and millennials. We like that.

Diane Finnestead:

This was a total switch to take the senior population completely virtually. Over the course of September 15th through December 18th I conducted 408 appointments, just like we are doing right now. And had to give classes on Zoom, and I had to give classes on Face time, how these things worked for seniors.

Diane Finnestead:

I’d put all my clients in there and show them what to do. And so, that was really amazing to use the education background that I have. Oh my goodness, as my parents say, “Three degrees in education and you do insurance.” I’m like, “I do tutorials all day long. I’m using that degree.” You know? All those degrees.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s true. Right.

Diane Finnestead:

It was so much fun to guide them and instruct them how to use their phones. They would have smart phones, but they didn’t know how to use them, so I was loving giving classes like that, just for free for everyone to attend. And I would say what I enjoyed has been the networking that I would do through spheres of influence with people that are in the senior market.

Diane Finnestead:

I was able to still do all of that on Zoom, and I was able to go into several different states and do that, where usually you have to get on a plane and go see people, I was able to just be like, “I’ll see you at 5:00, Arizona.” And then, “My friends in Florida, I’ll see you at 3:00.” You know? And so, that was fun for me. I made it a game of doing that.

Diane Finnestead:

And I’ll probably miss that, I would imagine, as we go forward.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I think we have come to a new place where I think our seniors are super resilient and they’re very smart. And you give them a little bit of instruction and they’re okay. They’re okay with it.

Diane Finnestead:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I think people will go to Zoom more often than they used to. I believe that. And it seems to work, so you don’t have to get on that plane every time. That’s all right.

Diane Finnestead:

Zoom has been my friend, most definitely. And definitely has been the leads to groups that I’m in, the networking, the BNI, the EPR, the Elite Professional Referrals group that I do out of St. Louis. Another group that I do out of Tampa Florida, and they’re just people that are entrepreneurs and they have the same heart that I do. They love helping others, they love making their lives better. I sought them out, they sought me out, and I think that those are groups that are going to stay in my life.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Very nice. Very good. I’m glad to hear that you were able to take that on, and gosh, 400 meetings. Oh my. That’s a lot.

Diane Finnestead:

I know. I think about my assistant Edith, and I’m like, “Poor Edith.” But she walks on water anyway.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. What piece of advice would you give to senior care providers out there, whether they’re in insurance or they’re in home care. What do you think would be a great piece of advice to give them?

Diane Finnestead:

This is the most important advice out there. Right now there are programs where someone who is age 40 to age 85, they can have an in home recovery care plan, and it will pay, one plan will pay $112,000 and it will restore. And if you’re taking three medications it is a zero net cost to have that plan in your back pocket.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Wow.

Diane Finnestead:

And most people don’t know about these plans, because they don’t spend the money on advertising. And it’s a word of mouth, through a broker telling you, “This is something that exists.” Someone that has traditional long term care insurance, they might have a 90 day wait before their plan starts, even would begin, but you could have a short term medical plan start immediately. No waiting period.

Diane Finnestead:

And if you are young enough to get it and take three medications, like I said, it’s no net cost. And with these plans you can actually stagger them and you can put them on top of on another. You can have more than one plan. I have a client right now who has $300,000 of restorable benefits for in home care, for recovery care, and it’s only costing her, after her medications it only cost her about $22.00 a month.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Wow.

Diane Finnestead:

This is true. It’s crazy. People that are in this industry as professionals in insurance, they definitely, definitely need to check out the short term medical plans that are out there. Now, a lot of people would say, “I don’t want to do that, because I’m not going to make a huge commission on that.”

Diane Finnestead:

For me, it’s never been about that. It is about helping other people. And, you and I both know that when you break the leg or you break the hip, and you have family members that live in all four corners of the United States of America, the last thing you want to do is coordinate your own care.

Diane Finnestead:

You want to know the plan’s paid and you’re getting the help you need. And so, that’s what I’m able to do, and that’s why I do it. And it’s one, that of all the plans that I’ve ever sold, those are the plans that people appreciate the most. It’s more than a commission to me. It is a family, and they’re going through a crisis, and I am so happy to be the one that helps them not to cry during the crisis.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That is awesome. Oh my gosh. And layer that on top of a good long term care insurance policy. That 90 day waiting period can seem like an eternity, and it can cost you eternity, too.

Diane Finnestead:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Well, that is perfect. All right, we’re going to have to learn more about this.

Diane Finnestead:

Oh, I’m happy to share.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Okay. All right. We’re going to hit you up about that one. Okay. All right. When you have a win in life or business, how do you celebrate?

Diane Finnestead:

Oh my goodness. I think I call everybody I know and I ask them what’s happening with them first to check the barometric pressure, because you don’t want to unload someone and say, “I just did this. Blah, blah, blah. I’m so excited.” It’s like, for example, this summer I decided that I was going to write a chapter in a book. And you, who have written books, and I was like, “I know people in my life that have done this. I can do it.” You know? So, I did and it was called Bright Spots. And Cathy Davis wrote, it was the anthology, and put it all together. There was about 32 authors.

Diane Finnestead:

And I decided to write about the divide in our literacy in America, but I really feel that’s what’s dividing everyone. Because a child, by the time they get to kindergarten there’s a division of three million to 30 million words difference between a low socioeconomic and a high socioeconomic. I decided, “I’m going to write this article and this chapter called imagine the possibilities.”

Diane Finnestead:

Well, I was really excited about it, right? Because, we went International Bestseller in two days, and I was so elated. But I thought to myself, “I can’t call someone without checking their barometric pressure and tell them how excited I am, without knowing if something in their day was really happy too, so we could both celebrate.”

Diane Finnestead:

I always, my rule is, I always celebrate when someone else wants to celebrate too, because it makes it more fun.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s great. Absolutely. Yes. Yeah, “Oh, well my dog died. Well, guess what happened today? [inaudible 00:30:42] best seller internationally. Woo hoo. Let’s celebrate.”

Diane Finnestead:

“Yeah, the book just went International Bestseller. Sorry about your dog.” No, we’re not doing that.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

No, no. That wouldn’t be a good conversation. And that’s a great way to celebrate. Make sure everybody’s on the same playing field before you let loose with your big celebration. That’s a good one.

Diane Finnestead:

Exactly.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. Well, thank you. It has been great catching up with you. I’m sure we’re going to do this again, because you have so much to share, and we need to learn more.

Diane Finnestead:

So much.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I will get this out to everybody, and I know they’ll appreciate all your wisdom and your support, so thank you.

Diane Finnestead:

Thanks, Val. Well, I appreciate you. I tune into you all the time.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Oh, really?

Diane Finnestead:

Yes. So, you might say, “Oh, we just caught up.” I feel like we’ve caught up for a while. I’m a fan. You know I am.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Oh, thank you.

Diane Finnestead:

You bet.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right, well thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Diane Finnestead:

You bet.