When I'm talking to people about Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans, I am often asked: "Why do I need an agent to enroll in a plan? I see television commercials all the time where I am told that all I need to do is pick up the telephone, call this number and they will enroll me in a plan." Or, "I have a friend who attended a Medicare seminar, and they enrolled her right there."
Here are some of the important reasons why I tell anyone I meet with that the best way to enroll in a senior health plan is to work directly with an agent:
As certified agents (we have to re-certify every year, and pass a test. If we don't pass, we have to wait until the following plan year and try again to pass the exam.) when we meet with an individual we are required to through every page of the enrollment kit before the individual can make a decision to enroll or not. If you are not working with an agent, the same rule applies, but many times things get missed in the presentation.
When I meet with someone who is considering enrolling in a plan, I carefully explain the network of doctors, hospitals, clinics and others who honor the plan we are discussing IN-NETWORK. This is huge for the client. The client has to know for sure that their doctor honors the plan(s) we are discussing in-network. This is easily missed if you aren't working with an agent, and it is criticl to the client.
There are a number of different enrollment periods throughout a plan year, and I carefully explain all of them to my client. I also keep my clients informed on when different enrollment periods begin and end, so they can make intelligent decisions on whether they want to make changes, or stay in their current plan. Without an agent, this just does not happen.
I only work with two carriers in my practice and people will ask: "Why just two? It seems like you're limiting options for me?" Actually, I protect my clients by working with just two. Why? First, I want my clients to have the most extensive network of coverage (hospitals, doctors, clinics, etc.) so they will always have access to the in-network providers they need, no matter what type of care they receive. Second, the two carriers I work with have remained in the senior healthcare market since plans were first offered starting in 2003. Too many carriers get into the business for awhile, then get out of it, then get back in, etc. etc. My clients could never have consistent care over time if they have to change plans one or more times, with completely different schedules of benefits for each of those plans!
The last thing I will mention is just the simple fact that I'm there for my clients over time, whenever they need me, and for whatever reason.
If you have reached a point where it is time to think about a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement Senior Health Plan, give us a call or send an email to schedule a meeting. I can meet wherever you like, and at whatever time of day, including weekends, works best for you.
Thank you for your time!