Travel agents are fast becoming obsolete. There are comparison sites making it easier for people to search and find the affordable hotels, flights, and rental cars. You can easily create full itineraries on your own very fast. The internet has changed shopping for a wide range of products, but are there areas that needs assistance of a professional in that field?
When it comes to the issue of finding the right health insurance, should you or can you buy it without getting help from a sales professional? You can be able to benefit in some situations from the expertise of a sales agent, and working with a Medicare broker might be a good idea because he/she will provide you with the invaluable guidance when researching and comparing insurance. The healthcare coverage decisions you make will have serious consequences on your health and your financial well-being. A licensed insurance agent has the knowledge and resources to help you and your family find a quality Medicare insurance plan that is best for you, at a price you are comfortable with.
If it is your first tie enrolling in Medicare, you may be asking yourself how you should receive the Medicare benefits. There are two ways you can get the benefits; Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare.
1. Original Medicare
This is a federal program that administers the Part A (hospital insurance) and/or Part B (medical insurance) benefits. Most of the people are usually enrolled in Part A automatically when they reach 65 years and can decide whether they want to be enrolled in Part B, which has a yearly deductible and monthly premium.
2. Supplementing the Original Medicare Coverage
People who have Original Medicare tend to supplement their coverage using a separate Medigap (for Medicare Supplement) policy so that they can be able to cover their out-of-pocket costs which are not available with Original Medicare. There is an initial enrollment of Medigap where you will be eligible and this gives you the right to buy any Medigap policy that is being sold in your state and this is not subjected to medical underwriting. A broker will be able to help you with choosing the right Medigap plan that will best fit your budget and needs. The costs of Medigap policies can vary, although they are standardized.
Prescription Drug Plans
Prescription coverage is not provided in Medigap policies, Part A or Part B, and the best way to go is choosing a Part D prescription coverage. This is commonly known as PDP and it is a stand-alone that is offered by insurance companies and will help in covering drugs. (Part A, Part B, and Medigap does not cover Prescription drugs). A licensed insurance agent will be able to help you in deciding whether you need to get a PDF and help you in reviewing and comparing plans based on the medications you need and budget. Each PDP comes with its own formulary, or list of the drugs covered, so you will need to do a review of your current prescriptions so you can ensure that the brands and dosage you need are covered. The costs will vary based on the pricing tiers (mail order, brand name vs. generic). This makes it a good idea to get an expert who will help you in finding the plan that is best for you.
Medicare Advantage Plans (MA)
These are plans being offered by private insurance companies contracting Medicare to provide benefits to both Part A and Part B. They must provide the same benefits as Part A and Part B, but many MA plans tend to offer more benefits for the same price, including dental service, vision care, prescription drug coverage, and hearing exams. When you get the MA plan, you will need to see a physician, supplies, hospital, pharmacies that are within the network of the plan or paying more if you go out of network. A licensed agent will be able to help you in making the best choice.
Advantages of Working with a Broker
There are a number of advantages you will get when you decide to work with a licensed sales broker who will be able to help you through the process of enrolling for the coverage.
Here are some of the benefits you can expect to get from working a Medicare insurance sales agent:
- Medicare expertise. If you are looking to get Medicare for the first time, you might end up feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of information that you will need to go through. While you and your family might have previously had a group insurance through individual or family plans or an employer, you will find that Medicare is way different. It is an individual insurance, but the decision you will be making can affect the family in one way or another. Working with an expert is a good idea because they will guide you through the plans, structure, costs, and benefits of Medicare, and this will be of big impact during the process of exploring the options you have.
Medicare will also come in handy when your lifestyle is going through some changes. Whether you are still working or retiring, you might be having different priorities for your future.
2. Many Carrier Options. Independent brokers are able to provide you with greater options because they have a wide range of carriers they are working with. They contract with different insurance companies, and agents will be able to compare thousands of plans from hundreds of carriers. Working with a broker who has been able to be contracted by different carriers will help in getting rid of bias as your research and compare. The wealth of information they have will come in handy when it comes to searching for the Medicare insurance plan that will meet your needs and will help you in narrowing down the many options so you can make the right choice.
3. There’s no charge to you. You don’t have to pay for anything when working with the broker. You don’t pay any fees for using their services. The rates you will be offered for the insurance plan has already accounted for the commission paid to the insurance brokers, so the costs of enrolling on your own will be the same as using a broker. That being said, why go it alone? Take advantage of using an agency like Senior Services Inc., who is able to help you through the process and make it easier for you without paying anything?
4. Agents must be licensed and qualified. Licensed sales agents in the world of Medicare need to go through hours and hours of training and education every year in order to sell Medicare insurance plans. They have a clear understanding of the parameter of options, they have access to important information that will help you make the right choice. Many beneficiaries of Medicare are given just one chance to change their Medicare insurance coverage per year, and this is during the Annual Enrollment Period which starts on October 15 and ends on December 7, meaning you will have to remain with the same insurance from twelve months, unless you have eligibility for a Special Enrollment Period.
5. Custom Advice and Counsel. The agent will be able to help you in tailoring your Medicare insurance options so it can fit your preferences and needs. Each Medicare beneficiary is not the same and you need to have a plan that will be able to fit your lifestyle and budget so you can have the quality healthcare you deserve. Many agents will take the responsibility of a personal adviser as you work together to compare and review Medicare insurance plans. The broker will get to know your healthcare coverage needs and fine-tune the process of searching and help you choose a Medicare plan that will provide protection for you and your family.
6. Saves you time. Your time is valuable and chances are, your busy right? Working with an experienced broker will help you in saving time on plan comparison and research, especially if you are new to Medicare coverage. A licensed agent will help in efficiently narrowing down the options, and guide you in finding a coverage that will fit your circumstances and doesn’t end up wasting your time with options that do not fit you.
7. Experience. As an expert in the industry, the sales agent may have a couple years of experience dealing with Medicare. It is important for the agent to be experienced because they will be able to help you avoid some common pitfall as you look for the right cover. With experience in the world of Medicare, an agent will guide you through the process, policies, and terminology. Even a junior agent within a larger agency can draw on the wisdom of the more senior advisors, if need be.
8. Specialized Area’s. Area specialty brokers have a detailed knowledge of plans that are available in your area. There is a good chance they are familiar with the network of providers and suppliers and can help in advising your when it comes to Medicare plans available.
9. A One Stop Shop. A medicare insurance agent is in a position to provide you with a one-stop shopping experience. Brokers can use a software that gives them access to information they need on different plans, at any time and this will prove beneficial to you. Many provide a 24/7 assistance, and answers to commonly asked questions. There are some that provide webinars that will address issues important to you. You will have the chance to compare and research Medicare coverage options without having to leave the site. You can also ask for a proposal an sometimes enroll for a Medicare Advantage plan. Senior Services also offers help with Senior Life Insurance, as well as Long Term Care.
10. Provide ongoing service after buying the coverage. The relationship between you and the broker will not end when you buy the coverage. The insurance sales agent might become your advocate in the future, and will help in addressing any concerns you might have with the insurance coverage. A broker can help in reviewing your coverage every year so as the time goes by, you will continue having a plan that fits your changing needs.