So you’re turning 65 in the next several months. By now you’ve probably got a stack of mail somewhere dedicated to one topic: Medicare.
In addition to your mail stack, you’re probably getting several phone calls each day about your Medicare decision. Now these aren’t the scam calls you have to be on guard against, but instead are from dozens of insurance companies, agents, and other solicitors who know you’re turning 65. You know you have to make a decision about which Medicare plan you pick, but each additional mail piece and phone call seems to make the decision that much more confusing.
Here are 4 reasons to use a professional to keep things simple, unload this burden onto someone else, and get rid of the stress of making this decision:
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They can help you find the most cost-efficient plan
If I had to distill my job description down into one statement, it’s this: I help you start with and stay with the most cost-efficient insurance plan.
That’s the difference between a captive insurance agent (who works for one specific insurance company) and an independent agent (also known as a broker). Medicare insurance rates are based on many factors: age, gender, zip code/county, health issues, etc. So, the best plan for one person may not be the best plan for another person. That’s the trouble if you can only offer one, or a few, company’s plans. You only do what’s best for the client in a limited number of cases.
Also, a good independent agent stays on top of the Medicare news. They know what changes are on the horizon for Medicare like what Medicare deductibles are changing, which Medicare plans are going away or not available to new members, and which plans are newly available in certain areas. A good agent will help you avoid plans with big increases lurking down the road and gaps in coverage that aren’t obvious to you.
They can help you stay in the most cost-efficient plan
An agent’s job shouldn’t be done once they help you pick out your initial plan. Staying in the best plan is always a moving target. Rates are constantly changing. New companies enter the Medicare market, and old ones decide to not accept any new business. Medicare changes their deductibles every year. Every so often Medicare decides to discontinue certain types of plans and offer new types.
You need an agent that reviews your case (or at least offers to review it) every year. You need an agent who gives you a call and says, “Mrs. Jones, we can change insurance companies and get you the same, exact plan you have now for $30 per month less.” If you sign up with a captive agent, do you think they’ll ever call and advise you to leave their company’s plan and sign up with their competitor because their same exact plan is $30 less? That’s not a call you’ll ever get.
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It’s more convenient to work with an agent than an insurance company
When you have a question about your coverage, if you get a bill you don’t think is right, if you are unsure whether your doctor participates in your plan, or have any number of questions or concerns who would you rather call?:
- An agent that you have a standing relationship with who helped you pick out your plan and knows your personal situation, or
- An insurance company who you’re guaranteed to talk to someone new every time you call, who may or may not speak English as their native language, and who you could easily end up on hold with for close to an hour and possibly transferred several times before they find someone who can answer your question.
I think that answer is pretty obvious. My clients that call me almost always get a call back within 24 hours if I’m not able to answer my phone. I offer to personally help resolve their issue.
It doesn’t cost anything!
Who doesn’t love free? If I help a client get enrolled in a Medicare plan, I’ll get a small percentage as a commission from the insurance company. This commission does not affect the client’s premium or coverage at all. It costs you the same in monthly premium whether you sign up for your plan with the insurance company yourself, or use me as your agent to help shop for the best fit for you.
“You’re telling me it costs the same to go thru you as my agent rather than sign up directly with the insurance company? What’s the catch? How much do you charge?” Nothing! That’s the beauty of it. I get my commission from any insurance company who’s plan I help a client get signed up for. You get the same price either way, plus get all the wonderful benefits listed throughout this article.
It’s really a no-brainer to use an independent agent to help you shop for your supplemental coverage to Medicare. It can easily save you thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars, in healthcare expenses over the course of your lifetime. I’ve even said that going it alone is the equivalent of lighting money on fire.
You can call me toll-free at 866-240-8639 any time you need help with your Medicare insurance decisions. I’d love to help you out.