1. Should you enroll in Medicare?
Answer: If ending your present health insurance at age 65, you will need to enroll in Medicare Parts A & B to avoid late Part B enrollment penalties. If you or your spouse are currently working and you plan to continue receiving health insurance through an employer, check with the employer to make sure they do not require Medicare Part B. If they do not require Medicare Part B, you can wait until that insurance ends to enroll in Medicare Part B without receiving a penalty.
2. What happens if you don’t sign up for Medicare when eligible?
Answer: People who have worked more than 40 quarters (10 years) paying FICA taxes from their employment will receive no penalty for late enrollment in Medicare Part A. There may be a penalty for delayed enrollment in Medicare Part B. If you plan to end your present insurance at age 65, and you do not sign up for Medicare Part B, your Medicare Part B premium may go up 10% each year delayed.
3. Can you avoid Medicare penalties?
Answer: When Medicare eligible and still have credible health insurance coverage through another source such as an employer, you may be able to avoid Medicare penalties if joining Medicare later. Make sure the employee health plan does not require you to pick up Medicare Part B. If they do not require enrollment in Medicare Part B, then you will receive a special enrollment period when the insurance ends avoiding any Medicare penalty.
4. What does Medicare cover?
Answer: Medicare Part A covers hospital stays after a deductible is paid. Part A will also cover some skilled nursing, inpatient psychiatric care, and hospice. Medicare Part B will cover medical services up to 80% after a yearly deductible has been satisfied. There is no maximum out of pocket level for Medicare Parts A & B.
5. What doesn’t Medicare cover?
Answer: Medicare Parts A & B do not cover some preventative services including preventative bloodwork or full physicals. It will not cover routine dental, vision, hearing, and foot care. Medicare does not cover long term care, alternative medicine, elective surgery, personal care, prescription drugs and non-medical expenses. Medicare will not cover healthcare expenses outside of the U.S.
6. Is Medicare Part B premium based on income?
Answer: The Medicare Part B premium is indexed to the beneficiaries’ earnings. If you file a joint tax return with your spouse, both incomes together will determine your income level. The higher the income level, the more you may pay in Medicare Part B premiums. Medicare determines your income level from tax returns two years back.
7. Are there deductibles, copays using Original Medicare?
Answer: There are deductibles and copays to be fulfilled when using Original Medicare, Parts A & B. In 2023, Medicare Part A has a $1,600 deductible when admitted onto a hospital. Medicare Part B has a $226 yearly deductible and once fulfilled, Medicare will cover approximately 80% of the co-pay cost of service received.
8. Are there annual or lifetime benefits limits on Original Medicare?
Answer: There are some preventative services Original Medicare will cover only once in a lifetime. There are other preventative services that can only be used after a specific time period has passed. For example, Medicare will pay for a colonoscopy once every 10 years.
9. What if I have pre-existing conditions when joining Medicare?
Answer: Medicare will not reject your enrollment if you have health problems or pre-existing conditions. That does not mean Medicare covers all treatments for every health condition. Check with Medicare to see if your health conditions are covered.
10. Will Medicare cover both you and your spouse?
Answer: Medicare Parts A & B are individual health plans. Once you enter Medicare, you will be covered individually. If both you and your spouse are Medicare eligible, then both are required to pay separate Medicare Part B premiums. Your individual premium may be based on your joint earned income, but both will pay the same amount in premium based on that income level.
11. Will Medicare cover you outside of the United States?
Answer: Medicare does not provide coverage outside of the United States. You may be able to get partial coverage by joining a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan. Check each plan carefully to view coverage levels when traveling outside of the United States.
12. Does Medicare pay for preventative services?
Answer: Original Medicare will pay for some preventative services. It may also limit you to how often you receive those benefits. For example, Medicare will not pay for a full physical and limits you to one colonoscopy every 10 years.
1. How will you pay for healthcare once you retire?
Answer: Becoming Medicare eligible gives you several healthcare avenues to consider. You can join Original Medicare Parts A & B. You can add a Medicare Supplement to help cover some of the costs Original Medicare does not pay. You can add a Medicare Part D plan to help pay prescription drug costs. Or you can join a Medicare Advantage plan which works in place of Medicare to cover your healthcare and prescription drug needs.
2. Should you stay on group insurance or move to Medicare when turning 65?
Answer: Deciding to continue to stay on group or retirement insurance or move into Medicare should be carefully examined. Look at the coverage vs costs. If staying on group insurance, do you have to pick up Medicare Part B? If so, it will add costs. What are the deductibles and network restrictions? Medicare is forever. Once you move to Medicare you typically cannot go back to your previous insurance.
3. How do you purchase a Medicare plan?
Answer: Approaching age 65 and being Medicare eligible brings a time in your life when you need to make new decisions concerning your healthcare. You can purchase a plan through the internet, over the phone, or by building a relationship face to face with an Agent. Meeting an Agent face to face will give you both the opportunity to learn about each other and build a relationship built on trust.
4. Is there a difference between a Medicare Supplement and Advantage plan?
Answer: Retiring or turning 65 and entering Medicare will include learning the difference between a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement plan. A Medicare Supplement works with Medicare Parts A & B paying for costs Medicare does not pay. A Medicare Advantage plan is purchased in place of Medicare and will provide benefits as good as Medicare using a co-pay system up to a maximum out of pocket cost.
5. Who regulates Medicare plans?
Answer: Medicare Advantage plans are federally regulated. They are not required to cover Wisconsin mandated benefits. Medicare Supplements are regulated by the state of Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. All Medicare Supplements
offered in the state must contain Wisconsin mandated benefits.
6. What does guarantee renewable mean when looking at Medicare plans?
Answer: Medicare Advantage plans are not guaranteed renewable. Plans can change yearly including premiums, copays, benefits, and even networks. Medicare Supplement plans are guaranteed renewable for life. This means the plan can never reduce your benefits or cancel the plan unless you default on premium payment. Supplement plans can raise the monthly premium on a yearly basis.
7. When can you enroll in a Medicare plan?
Answer: The initial enrollment for a Medicare Advantage plan and Medicare Part D plan starts 3-months before your eligibility month, the month of your eligibility, and three months after the month of your eligibility. The initial enrollment for a Medicare Supplement plan starts 3-months before your eligibility month, the month of your eligibility, and five months after the month of your eligibility.
8. What is the Medicare annual enrollment period?
Answer: Medicare Advantage and Part D plans have an annual enrollment period. From October 15th to December 7th each year you can join or change your Medicare Advantage or Part D plan without underwriting restrictions. The new plan will begin on the first of January the next year. You can change Medicare Supplements at any time during the year, but underwriting may be involved.
9. What is the Medicare special enrollment period?
Answer: When joining Medicare there are special enrollment periods you can use to join if you do not enroll during your initial enrollment period. If you continue to work beyond age 65 and are covered by health insurance through an employer, you can use a special enrollment period once that insurance ends. You will receive a special enrollment period of 63 days after the employer health plan ends and will not receive a late Part B penalty for late enrollment.
10. What if my Medicare plan goes away?
Answer: Once you are eligible for Medicare and are enrolled in a Medicare plan, you are always guaranteed coverage. If your Medicare plan is discontinued because a company goes out of business or loses its Medicare contract, you will get a special enrollment period to enroll in a new plan. This special enrollment guarantees you a new Medicare Advantage, Part D, or Medicare Supplement without health qualifying underwriting.
11. What is risk tolerance when choosing a Medicare plan?
Answer: Choosing a Medicare Advantage or Supplement plan is a big decision. It really comes down to risk tolerance for both benefits and cost. What processes and benefits are you willing to accept and how are you willing to pay for them? Each type of plan comes with its own set of risks. Please be careful. There may be ramifications with your decision today that may dictate how you pay and receive health benefits in the future.
12. Are there long-term ramifications when choosing a Medicare plan?
Answer: Please be careful. There may be ramifications with your decision today that may dictate how you pay and receive health benefits in the future. Medicare Supplement plans will require health qualifying underwriting if you want to change plans. Underwriting is not required to change Medicare Advantage plans but leaving an Advantage plan and moving to a Supplement will require health qualifying underwriting. If you do not health qualify, you may be stuck in the Medicare Advantage system for the rest of your life.
13. Are there deductibles, copays with Medicare plans?
Answer: Depending on the level of Medicare Supplement you choose; your deductibles and copays will defer. A comprehensive plan will pay the deductibles and copays not paid by Medicare except for Part B deductible. Medicare Advantage plans typically do not have deductibles but work as a copay system to a maximum out of pocket cost. Higher level services will bring higher copays.
14. What are maximum out of pocket costs on Medicare plans?
Answer: Maximum out of pocket costs are the maximum amount you can spend each year for services received. Medicare High Deductible Supplement plans will have a maximum out of pocket cost determined by the State. Medicare Advantage plans will have a maximum out of pocket cost determined by the Advantage plan.
15. Are there annual or lifetime benefits limits on Medicare plans?
Answer: Medicare Supplements work directly with Medicare so if Medicare offers the benefit, the Supplement will pay its part of the benefit received. Medicare Advantage plans do not work directly with Medicare so the plan will determine what services you will receive and how often.
16. Do Medicare Plans cover emergency medical situations?
Answer: Medicare Supplement plans do not have a network associated with the plan so emergency medical care is covered no matter where you are within the United States. Medicare Advantage plan may have a network, but all services coded as emergency situations will be covered as in network.
17. Do Medicare plans cover you when I travel?
Answer: Medicare Supplement plans do not have network restrictions so as you travel, you can see any doctor on your route who accepts Medicare. Traveling with a Medicare Advantage plan is a bit more difficult. Because Advantage plans typically have network restrictions, contact the plan to locate in-network providers along your route before leaving for your trip to assure payment.
18. Do Medicare plans require prior authorizations?
Answer: Medicare Supplement plans do not have network restrictions so there are no medical prior authorizations required when obtaining service. Medical prior authorizations are common with Medicare Advantage plans. You must follow the procedures authorized by the plan explicitly to assure payment.
19. Can you get a referral to see a specialist on a Medicare plan?
Answer: Medicare Supplement plans do not have network restrictions. Because there are no network restrictions, you do not need a referral to see a specialist. Advantage plans are typically network based so the flexibility to see any specialist is limited. If the plan has a specialist within the network, it is unlikely you will get a referral outside of the network.
1. How does a Medicare Advantage plan work?
Answer: When you join a Medicare Advantage plan, the Medicare Advantage plan will be your health insurer. You technically no longer use your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits but still are still required to pay your Part B premium. The plan is typically network based and prior authorizations are common. Referrals outside of the plans network are unlikely.
2. How will you pay for a Medicare Advantage plan?
Answer: Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) are marketed on the premise of low monthly premiums. Monthly premiums may be as low as $0. The plan uses a copay system. You will pay a copay according to the services performed up to a maximum out of pocket limit.
3. Are Medicare Advantage plans less costly?
Answer: Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) may have low monthly premiums. Be careful, low premiums do not necessarily mean low costs. Copays for minor services such as doctor visits may be small, but copays for more extensive services such as chemotherapy may be large as you will pay 20% of the cost. You will pay copays to a maximum out of pocket limit.
4. What is the financial risk of joining a Medicare Advantage plan?
Answer: Low premiums do not necessarily mean low costs. It may be difficult to budget your monthly or yearly healthcare costs as those costs directly relate to your health. As we get older our health does not improve. Hospitalization, treatments, skilled nursing, extensive doctoring could quickly add costs making your $0 premium plan expensive.
5. Do Medicare Advantage plans work hand in hand with Medicare?
Answer: Once you join a Medicare Advantage plan you are technically no longer using your Original Medicare Parts A & B benefits. You are still required to pay the Part B premium each month. Medicare Advantage plans are run by private insurance companies approved by and under contract with Medicare. Advantage plans are monitored by the Federal Government.
6. Do Medicare Advantage plans have network restrictions?
Answer: Medicare Advantage plans are typically network based. If network based, you must receive your services within the plans network to assure benefit payment. There are Medicare Advantage plans which allow services outside of the network, but the costs may be higher. You may experience restrictions when traveling outside of the plans service area.
7. Do Medicare Advantage plans require prior authorizations?
Answer: Prior authorizations are common when using a Medicare Advantage plan. You will need to follow the rules set forth by the plan to assure payment. If a doctor or specialist is within the network to cover your needs, it is unlikely you will get a referral outside of the network.
8. What if you have pre-existing conditions when joining a Medicare Advantage plan?
Answer: If enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan there are typically no obstacles in the plan covering your pre-existing conditions. In the past, Medicare Advantage plans did not enroll people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or kidney failure but now plans may cover those beneficiaries.
9. Do Medicare Advantage plans offer extra’s not covered by Medicare?
Answer: Medicare Advantage plans may come with a Part D prescription drug plan. Advantage plans could offer additional benefits such as dental, vision and hearing coverage and pay for limited over the counter items. Be sure to check each plan individually to discover how the extra add-on services are administered, including network restrictions.
10. What coverage risks are involved with Medicare Advantage plans?
Answer: It is always wise to stay within a Medicare Advantage plans network. Guidelines and procedures must be followed explicitly, or claims may be denied. Plans can change yearly including premiums, copays, benefits, and even networks. Prior authorizations may become restrictive in receiving the services you feel you require.
11. Do Medicare Advantage plans include a Part D plan?
Answer: You can join Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D prescription drug coverage or a plan that does not include Part D coverage. A Medicare Advantage plan coded as a MAPD includes Part D coverage, a plan coded MA does not include Part D coverage.
12. Do Medicare Advantage plans offer flexibility to see any doctor?
Answer: Medicare Advantage plans are typically network based so the flexibility to see any doctor is limited. There are plans available that allow you to use doctors outside of the network, but the costs may be higher. Referrals are limited. It is typically necessary to stay in the plans network to assure payment.
1. How does a Medicare Supplement plan work?
Answer: When you join a Medicare Supplement plan, both Medicare Parts A & B and the Supplement together will be your health insurers. Depending on the level of coverage you receive, the Supplement will pay various deductibles and copays not paid by Medicare. The plan is not network based and prior authorizations and referrals are not required.
2. How will you pay for a Medicare Supplement plan?
Answer: A Medicare Supplement (Medigap) monthly premium will be considerably higher than a Medicare Advantage plan. Monthly premiums will be determined by the benefit coverage level you select. Higher level Medicare Supplements do not have any copays for doctoring and services performed except for the yearly Part B deductible.
3. Are there different levels of Medicare Supplement plans?
Answer: Copays and deductibles correspond to the level of Medicare Supplement you choose. A high deductible plan will offer a low monthly premium but will include deductibles and copays to a set max out of pocket cost. A comprehensive plan will pay the deductibles and copays not paid by Medicare except for Part B deductible.
4. What is the financial risk of joining a Medicare Supplement plan?
Answer: It may be easier to budget your healthcare costs using a Medicare Supplement plan as costs are not tied to your health. The premium and Part B deductible are set dollar amounts and the frequency of doctoring and services you require do not add to your costs.
Medicare Supplement policies will continue to go up in price each year and may become expensive as you grow older.
5. Do Medicare Supplement plans work hand in hand with Medicare?
Answer: Medicare Supplement plans are private health plans that work directly with Medicare. They are called Medigap plans as they are purchased to help fill the deductible and copay gaps not paid by Medicare. Supplement plans are monitored by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) in each state offered.
6. Do Medicare Supplement plans have network restrictions?
Answer: Medicare Supplement plans are not network based. Any doctor or provider can be used if they accept and bill Medicare. Coverage will work the same no matter where you are within the country. Medicare Supplements will not work outside of the United States unless you have a foreign travel rider attached to the plan.
7. Do Medicare Supplement plans require prior authorizations?
Answer: When using a Medicare Supplement there are no networks so prior authorizations and referrals are not required. Except for various preventative services, if Medicare pays, the Supplement will pay.
8. What if you have pre-existing conditions when joining a Medicare Supplement plan?
Answer: If enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan during your initial enrollment period there are typically no obstacles in the plan covering your pre-existing conditions. If you choose to change the Medicare Supplement plan after your initial enrollment period ends, you may not health qualify for the new plan.
9. Do Medicare Supplement plans offer extra’s not covered by Medicare?
Answer: Medicare Supplement plans do not cover add-ons for dental, vision and hearing. These additional coverages including Part D prescription drug plans will need to a be separate individual plan. Medicare Supplements will cover some preventative services not covered by Medicare.
10. What coverage risks are involved with Medicare Supplement plans?
Answer: Coverage is excellent but once you join a Medicare Supplement it may be difficult to change plans. If you want to change plans and have certain medical conditions, you may not health qualify. Supplements do not cover extra add-on services such as dental and vision. If you require such coverage you will need to apply for additional insurance coverage which comes with added premiums.
11. Do Medicare Supplement plans include a Part D plan?
Answer: In the State of Wisconsin, you cannot have a Part D prescription drug plan attached to a Medicare Supplement plan. It must be a separate plan. When joining a Medicare Supplement make sure you obtain some form of credible drug coverage to avoid possible penalties incurred by Medicare.
12. Do Medicare Supplement plans offer flexibility to see any doctor?
Answer: Medicare Supplement plans do not have network restrictions so you can see any doctor that accepts Medicare. Because there are no network restrictions, you do not need a referral to see a specialist. Make sure the doctor you wish to see accepts Medicare to assure payment.
1. What is Medicare Part D?
Answer: A Medicare Part D plan is a prescription drug plan run by private insurance companies approved by and under contract with Medicare. Plans help cover the cost of prescription drugs only. Medicare Part D plans may help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future.
2. Do you need Medicare Part D?
Answer: Prescription drug coverage is another requirement of Medicare. If you enter Medicare parts A & B, you are required to have some form of credible drug coverage, or you will be penalized by Medicare. In the State of Wisconsin credible coverage can be achieved by a prescription drug plan from an employer, joining a Medicare Part D plan, Senior Care, having VA or Tri Care coverage, or participation in Tribal insurance.
3. Does a Medicare Part D plan cover all medications?
Answer: Each Medicare Part D plan will have its own formulary of medications it will cover. Check carefully to ensure your medications are covered by the plan you select. Medicare Part D plans will not cover non-prescription drugs, weight gain/ loss drugs, fertility medications, hair growth or cosmetics, and most vitamins, supplements, and minerals.
4. How will you pay for a Medicare Part D plan?
Answer: A Medicare Part D plan will have a monthly premium determined by the private insurance company offering the plan. You may pay a yearly deductible which is set by Medicare. Depending on the tier level of medications you receive, you will first pay copays for each medication. If the medication costs are high, you may move into the coverage gap level which may cause a dramatic increase in your overall costs.
5. Can you change Part D plans when on A Medicare Advantage plan?
Answer: If you join a Medicare Advantage plan with a Part D prescription drug plan attached, you must use the plan Part D plan provided. You cannot pick up a separate Part D plan as it will automatically cancel your Advantage plan health coverage. The health plan coverage cancellation will also occur if you add a separate Part D plan to an Advantage plan not offering Part D coverage.
6. Can you change Part D plans when on A Medicare Supplement plan?
Answer: In the State of Wisconsin, you cannot have a Part D prescription drug plan attached to a Medicare Supplement plan. It must be a separate plan. Because it is a separate plan, you can change your Part D coverage each year during the Annual Enrollment period which runs from October 15th to December 7th.
7. Are there different cost levels in a Medicare Part D Plan?
Answer: There are four levels connected to a Medicare Part D plan. There is the Deductible level which you may have to pay a set deductible, the Initial Coverage Limit level that will involve copays, the Coverage Gap where you will pay 25% of the adjusted retail cost of the medication, and the Catastrophic Coverage level which will lower you medication costs but will only be reached by spending $7,400.00.
8. Why do you need to review your Medicare Part D Plan every year?
Answer: In January each year Medicare Part D plans can change their formulary, tier levels of medications, premium, and deductible. Also, your medications may have changed throughout the year. If you remain on the same plan each year, the change in plan benefits, costs, and your changing medication list may leave you with a plan that doesn’t provide the coverage you need. Reviewing and changing plans may save you money.
9. Do you need a Part D plan if not taking medications?
Answer: Even if you do not take any medications, entering Medicare requires you to have some form of credible prescription drug coverage. If you don’t, Medicare will penalize you for each month of non-coverage. This form of credible coverage can be achieved by a prescription drug plan from an employer, joining a Medicare Part D plan, Senior Care, having VA or Tri Care coverage, or participation in Tribal insurance.
10. Can you use any pharmacy when on a Part D plan?
Answer: Each Medicare Part D plan will come with a list of preferred pharmacies and standard pharmacies. To save costs on the copays of your medications, you should always use the plans preferred pharmacy or mail order option. You can use a standard pharmacy, but your copay costs will be higher.
11. Are there limits on the number of medications a Part D plan will cover?
Answer: Medicare Part D plans do not have a limit on the quantity of medications covered by the plan. You will need to check each plan individually to make sure your medications are on the plan’s formulary, on what tier, whether a deductible is involved, and at what copay cost. Also check to see if the medication has prior authorizations and monthly pill quantity limits.
12. Do Part D plans cover the cost of medical equipment?
Answer: Medicare Part D plans typically do not cover the costs of medical equipment such as insulin pumps or blood glucose meters. Those items will be listed as durable medical equipment and covered under your Medicare Part B coverage.
13. If your Medication is not on a Part D formulary, how will the plan cover it?
Answer: At times you may be prescribed a medication that is not on your Part D plan formulary. When this occurs, you will need to go through a formulary exception process. This involves your physician contacting the plan to add the medication to your formulary. It is at the plans discretion to add the medication.
14. Do Medicare Part D plans cover over-the-counter medications?
Answer: No, Medicare Part D plans do not cover over-the-counter medications such as nasal spray and vitamins. Part D plans also do not cover most supplement products. Check your plans formulary to determine if such products are covered.
15. Are there drug discount programs available to save money on medications?
Answer: There are drug discount programs available to help save costs with your medications. Programs such as GoodRx and Singlecare are available free of charge. You can check the copay cost of your medication using your Medicare Part D plan against the cost of using one of these programs. If the cost is less using one of the free programs, it is legal to use them.
1. Besides Medicare, what other insurance do I need?
Answer: As we age, our health does not improve. There are other types of insurance you may need to research as you grow older. Two widely used add-on plans include dental insurance and cancer insurance. Cancer insurance is highly recommended due to the high costs of treatments and prescriptions used to treat the condition.
2. Why do I need help in finding the right Part D Plan?
Answer: Just determining the best prescription drug plan for your specific medication list, using the best pharmacy, at the lowest cost to you is a nightmare. Choosing the wrong Part D plan may not give you the coverage you need and add extra costs. Find an experienced Medicare Insurance Agent to assist you. They will have the tools to pinpoint the exact plan for your individual medication list.
3. Is Medicare health insurance more complex than pre-65 health insurance?
Answer: Medicare insurance is a bit more involved than other forms of insurance. The complexity of having to work with several different entities including Medicare, Medicare health plans, and Medicare prescription drug plans at the same time makes the process extremely confusing. Finding the right combination of plans to satisfy your unique benefit and pricing needs may require expert advice to ensure the system covers you fully.
4. As we age, do we need more help managing our Medicare health plan?
Answer: As we get older, we do not get healthier and our need for healthcare increases. What also increases is the need for help navigating the healthcare system. In the Medicare world, there are penalties, underwriting, prior authorizations, network restrictions, and the list goes on. With the complexities facing you, the necessity to find a Medicare ally to assist you grows as we age.
5. Why do I get so much Medicare marketing?
Answer: Soon to be Medicare eligibles are bombarded from all sides through TV, mail, internet, and phone calls. The vast amount of marketing available only adds to the confusion of finding the right plan for you. Cut through the mass marketing by locating an experienced Medicare Insurance Broker. Doing so could save time and stress today and into the future.
6. Has on-line shopping hurt Medicare eligible recipients?
Answer: With the onset of the COVID pandemic, companies including the Insurance industry adapted by doing more advertising and selling on-line. This shift worked well for some facets of industry but not for those in need of Medicare insurance. The complexities of Medicare may require expert assistance to navigate the system today and into the future.
7. Do you need a Medicare Insurance Agent?
Answer: Even with the convenience of internet shopping, there are still things the internet cannot provide. The true value of having a personal Medicare Insurance Agent in your corner is the vast wealth of knowledge and experience they bring to your policy. Their willingness to be available, listen and be prepared as things change in your life is essential to navigating the complex Medicare system.
8. What is the difference between a Captive Insurance Agent and Independent Insurance Broker?
Answer: Captive Insurance Agents represent one specific insurer. A captive Agent will be knowledgeable about their specific company products but cannot give you a comparative view of other products. An independent Insurance Broker is not bound to a single company. With the responsibility to represent the best interests of the client, independent Insurance Brokers play more of an advisory role to match your specific needs to coverage from different companies.
9. How do you find the right Medicare Insurance Agent?
Answer: The bottom line in finding the right Agent is taking the time to do so. Find an Agent who will take the time to meet with you face to face, listen to your needs, and be an ally for you after the sale. Finding the right Agent gives you the opportunity to reduce some of the burden of not knowing the future by having a calming voice to turn to when there are issues.
10. Do Medicare Agents need to care?
Answer: Medicare is much more involved than other types of insurance. As we age, we need an advocate who is focused on our individual needs. Medicare Agents are a different breed who live, think, and breathe insurance. They want to build a trusted relationship and be a human voice you are comfortable reaching out to. Caring is the cornerstone of working in the Medicare business.
11. Why have I never met my Medicare Insurance Agent?
Answer: In recent years, there has been a shift to stay-at-home, not leaving the office selling. Many Insurance Agents have followed this trend. More than ever, Medicare eligibles need a Medicare Agent who is willing to meet, get to know, and learn their individual needs. We still need a trusted advocate and comforting voice to guide us as our healthcare needs increase.
12. Why should you meet with a Medicare Agent?
Answer: If the Insurance Agent has no interest in meeting you, question whether that Agent has your best interests in mind. Meeting an Agent face-to-face gives you the opportunity to get a feel for who the person is and how they present themselves. It also shows the Agent has a true interest in discovering who you are. Developing this relationship will help the Agent find and maintain coverage that will satisfy your unique needs.
13. Is your Medicare Agent truly listening to you?
Answer: When you talk to an Agent for the first time, the Agent knows nothing about you. Even the most experienced Agent cannot know what insurance plan will work best for you. The only way an Agent can discover your specific needs is to ask questions and really listen to your answers. If they only ask a few questions and quickly show you plans, it is a sure bet they are just interested in selling you a policy, not your policy.
14. Will the Medicare Agent be there for you after the sale?
Answer: An Agent’s job does not end with a sale of a policy; it is just the beginning. Your Agent needs to be a caring voice and your advocate for the life of that contract. A good Agent will continue to be proactive as things change and be available to give expert advice on how to proceed. Let your potential Agent know what service you expect.