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Find a Medicare broker in your area. Here’s how you’ll benefit:
The American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI) makes available the only national directory exclusively listing local Medicare insurance brokers. Access is free and 100% private. You see their information WITHOUT entering any of your personal information. Click here to find a Medicare broker in your area.
When it comes to insurance, the terms agent and broker are NOT interchangeable. An agent usually works for or represents a single insurance company. That’s the one they want to sell you.
A broker typically represents multiple insurance companies. They may represent just a few, say three or four. Those with more experience often will represent 10 or more. While they can conceivably represent all available insurers, that is admittedly rare. There can be 20 or more different insurance companies offering Medicare plans in your area.
Many do. But not all. We’ll suggest a few questions below that will help you find a Medicare broker who’ll be best for your needs.
A lot depends on where you live, the broker’s personal experience and what plans they favor. For example, if you live in an urban area where Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are attractive, a broker may offer both MA and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans.
Medicare Advantage plans have more requirements placed on agents and brokers. For example, starting in 2022, they must record phone conversations. But, as these plans continue to grow in popularity, more brokers are offering them.
Medicare is a national program. But Medicare plan options are local. A plan available where you live may NOT be available in the County next door.
A local Medicare agent or broker should be focused on what is available specifically to you – where you live.
He or she will know what plans people in your area like. Are they having good experiences; or bad ones. Have the plans raised rates for existing clients?
A final but potentially important benefit. Once you’ve selected your plan, you will generally deal directly with the insurer or provider. But, when you have problems or issues, a local agent should be willing to help you get them resolved. They want you to be a happy customer. After all, you can refer new business to them.
Here are a few questions to help you find a local Medicare broker.
We highlighted the word ‘appointed’ because it is an important differentiator. The word appointed means that the agent or broker can sell you a policy for a specific insurance company AND earn a commission when they do.
Agents and brokers have access to all types of systems where they can find rates and information for available plans. But they won’t recommend or sell a plan unless they are able to earn something for doing so. That is understandable.
So, asking this question is important. So, is asking for the names. For example, some agents will be appointed with Aetna (CVS Aetna) but not Cigna. Some will be appointed with UnitedHealthcare (AARP) but not Mutual of Omaha. It could be important to compare plans from these leading carriers before signing on the dotted line.
Here’s the good news (we believe). Medicare brokers work for you for free. Only when you select or sign-up for a plan will they earn something.
What they earn (a commission) is built into the policy pricing. They can’t negotiate a better price for you by cutting their commission (it is illegal). The commission is usually higher for their first year. That’s to recognize that more time and work is involved. In subsequent years, they do get something. That’s why you should never hesitate to ask them questions or seek their advice.
Medicare agents or brokers who work in call centers generally don’t get paid the same way. Yes, they must be licensed. But they often are paid differently.
They might. And that is why is it so important to compare. Insurance companies can offer ‘perks’ to get agents and brokers to sell their plans.
A perk does not mean it’s a bad or overpriced plan. It could indeed be your best option. But comparing is always advised.
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