If you’re about to turn 65, or if it’s time for the Annual Enrollment Period, you’ve probably been inundated with marketing materials from insurance agents. You may wonder why all these people want to talk to you, or why you need them in the first place. Simply put, Medicare is confusing. There are thousands of options to choose from depending on your location, and enlisting the help of a licensed agent can help ensure that you have the best plan to fit your needs.
Why Licensed Agents who sell Medicare Plans Aren’t Door-to-Door Salespeople
Licensed insurance agents who sell Medicare cannot legally show up at your door or contact you unexpectedly. Medicare guidelines state that you, the client, has to know everything that’s going to happen ahead of time. Agents must schedule appointments with you in advance and clarify exactly what they will talk about with you in the meeting.
Licensed agents will not ask you for money. Rather, the insurance carrier you enroll with pays the agent a commission. You get the same insurance benefits at the same price whether you use a broker or not. However, using a broker comes with a host of benefits you won’t get if you enroll on your own.
Benefits of Using a Broker for Medicare
Even if you already know what plan you want to sign up for, or even if you’ve already enrolled in a plan, it’s wise to talk to an insurance agent who knows what else may be out there for you. The world of Medicare is saturated with plans and policies, and you might be missing out! Your agent might be able to find a plan that covers a service you didn’t even consider such as fitness classes.
Not only will you see more plan options, you get a qualified professional who is an expert in Medicare. Your agent will only talk to you about plans that will work for you, so you’ll only get the coverage you need at a price you can afford. The broker will show up at your house already having vast knowledge about the plans that you can enroll in, saving you lots of time.
Should I use a Broker to get Health Insurance?
Agents legally need to be qualified to sell insurance before they can take action, which means they will have gone through months of training to know all there is to know about Medicare. Their job is to talk about several different options for you based on what kind of coverage you need, then help you select the best one.
All senior citizens must enroll in Medicare within their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which is the seven-month period surrounding their 65th birthday. If you miss that window, you may be charged a 10 percent penalty fee when you eventually do enroll. If you don’t enroll at all, you could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars more than you should on healthcare.
After your Initial Enrollment Period, you can make changes during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which is every year from October 15 through December 7. If you haven’t met with a broker yet, this is a good time to do so. If you already have a broker, this is a good time to meet and discuss whether or not there is a better plan for you for the following year.
What Can I Expect to Happen During the First Meeting?
The agent will come prepared with materials that are loaded with information on different carriers and their policies. He or she will go over that information with you, and let you make a decision. He or she may also bring an enrollment form for your convenience in case you decide on a plan that day, but you are under no obligation to enroll.
The agent is not allowed to discuss plan options that you didn’t previously agree to discuss in the meeting. For instance, if you agree to speak about Medicare Advantage plans only, the agent will not try to sell you a vision plan. You will need to sign a “scope of appointment” form prior to the meeting that outlines what the agent can speak to you about.
How can I Prepare for the Meeting?
First, compile a list of your healthcare costs and needs, like what prescriptions you take and which doctors you like to see. Do you need coverage for specific medical conditions such as heart disease or have a family history of stroke or heart attack? Write that down. Also, think about your monthly budget. How much can you afford to spend on premiums? How much do your medical bills typically cost? Your meeting will run as quickly and smoothly as possible if you go in prepared.
Why You Should Choose Medicare Plan Finder
Everything we do at Medicare Plan Finder is geared toward our mission to serve the underserved. We want you to understand your coverage, so we provide you with valuable information on our social media pages and on this website. We put our agents through extensive training so they can better serve you. We work with a wide variety of Medicare insurance carriers so our agents can give you multiple quotes to choose from. We take the guesswork out of finding Medicare coverage so you can receive the best possible care.
Contact Us Today
It can be nervewracking to have someone come into your home and talk to you about your healthcare, but it really is the right decision. A licensed agent will take you through the enrollment process step by step and help make sure you have the right plan for you. Call 833-438-3676 or fill out this form to set up a no-obligation appointment today.
This post was originally published on April 20, 2017, by Anastasia Iliou and was updated by Troy Frink on May 09, 2019, by Troy Frink.