Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Person of the Week

Helping the Community is a Priority for Frank Landino


Frank Landino enjoys giving back to the community and helping his clients navigate the Medicare system. Photo courtesy of Frank Landino

Frank Landino enjoys giving back to the community and helping his clients navigate the Medicare system. (Photo courtesy of Frank Landino )

Though Frank Landino grew up in New Haven, he has worked in North Haven for more than 20 years, including the last 10 as a partner at Health Insurance Associates, LLP. Frank and his family moved to North Haven, his wife’s hometown, five years ago.

“I’ve been working in town for more than 20 years so even though I didn’t sleep in North Haven, I always kind of lived here,” says Frank. “It’s a wonderful community. We’re very fortunate to live in this town, especially during COVID as, even during quarantine, we had options to get outside and ride bikes through our neighborhood. We thoroughly enjoy this community and the people here.”

Frank’s partner at his company is his wife’s cousin, Nick Casella, who has had the business since 1998. Frank had previously worked in financial planning, having earned his degree from Quinnipiac University, but when Casella’s first partner retired, Frank decided to shift his focus.

“My background is financial planning, but once Nick introduced me to Medicare side, I fell in love with it,” says Nick. “It’s just really a niche that people need guidance in. We don’t charge fees—it doesn’t cost the Medicare beneficiaries to use us. We’re an independent agency, so we represent all the major carriers and we’re able to be objective. We are loyal to our customers and our goal is to be there for every senior, family caretaker, and community. We can help them and it doesn’t cost them anything.”

The company’s family ties don’t stop with Frank and Casella—Casella’s daughter, Cristina Casella, is the receptionist; Frank’s sister, Michele Denya, is the office manager; and lifelong family friend Scott Thomas also works in the office.

In 2007, Casella’s son Marc Anthony Casella created the website www.medicarect.com for the company before he died in a car accident in 2008. The family has since created the Marc Anthony Casella Education Fund and Frank is a board member of the foundation. Through the foundation, he helps with fundraising events, such as golf tournaments and memorial events.

Since being founded in 2008, the foundation has raised more than $200,000 and has awarded more than $100,000 toward scholarships, helping families experiencing challenges with disabled children and supporting charities that help children with severe medical issues.

Giving back to the community has always been a part of the company’s mission. In addition to serving on the board of the Marc Anthony Casella Education Fund, Frank has volunteered with a number of other organizations, including the Ronald MacDonald House of Connecticut, Kids of America’s Heroes, the North Haven Rotary Club, local food banks, the Valley Angels for Families, and St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

“We’re really family run,” says Frank, who has a nine-year-old and a three-year-old. “The company has always been giving back to community. We enjoy doing it and try to teach the kids that, too.”

Throughout his volunteer work, Frank has had several opportunities to involve his children, particularly his nine-year-old. When his son started at Clintonville Elementary School, he became involved in fundraising for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a childhood cancer research foundation.

“Raising money for childhood cancer is an important one,” says Frank. “The kids raise money and in exchange, a lot of the kids shave their heads. Unfortunately the event had to be canceled this year because it was in March, but the money was still raised and went to the right place.”

Frank, Casella, and their team teamed up with the Valley Angels for Families this past spring. The Valley Angels reached out to several local businesses (including Durante Pasta, Liuzzi Cheese, Boar’s Head, Napoli Foods, and Liuzzi Gourmet North Haven) to donate items for care packages. The Valley Angels for Families, which was formed in 2011, is a local charity that is designed to help local families through difficult times.

“We packed up the care packages and the kids in the care one day and took a trip from Durham to Milford,” says Frank. “We dropped the packages to people to put a smile on their face. We just want to try to make a difference in people’s lives.”

The company has also teamed up with Jill DeChello of North Haven Magazine to sponsor and volunteer with several events and fundraisers, including the Magical Elf House and Easter basket deliveries. MedicareCT.com is also a presenting sponsor of the upcoming Night at the Pumpkin Patch: A Drive Through Event, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23 and 24 at the Landing of North Haven.

“I had to jump on that opportunity because, with COVID, what are kids going to do for Halloween? And this is going to be a safe, socially distant event and something fun for them to do,” says Frank. “The Rotary is the beneficiary of the Pumpkin Patch. Nick is a Rotarian. It’s a great organization to support because they spread the funds throughout town and use it far and well.”

At the office, Frank and his team are getting ready for their busiest season as Medicare enrollment season is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. This year, all of the appointments will be done via phone.

“It’s been an interesting transition because we’re really a face-to-face agency walking people through the Medicare enrollment process,” says Frank. “We’ve adjusted, but it’s more of a challenge.”

He noted that anyone 65 or older or those with certain disabilities should explore Medicare regardless of their employment status. Frank also says that with the onset of COVID 19, he has seen more people exploring their options for healthcare.

“We help people navigate the maze. Medicare is not one-size-fits-all; it’s personalized to people’s medical and prescription needs,” says Frank. “For those over 65 who have Medicare as an option, COVID is making them lean toward retirement. A lot of people don’t know there’s help out there. Medicare is not a set it and forget it. You should manage your Medicare on annual basis, the same way your manage finances and your household.”

Jenn McCulloch is the Correspondent for Zip06. Email Jenn at .

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