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To access the listing – simply ENTER YOUR ZIP CODE in the box to the right (Enter Zip Code Here) and click FIND AGENTS.
Get the information you need to make your best decision regarding your Medicare insurance plan choices.
Most Americans get their health insurance through their employer or some other organization. You got to choose from a few options that were selected by the company, or someone else.
Now, you have to do the research yourself. The burden of finding the right plan coverage falls entirely on you. This makes many people uncomfortable.
But you should know that there are thousands of professionals who stand ready to help you. Well, at least they stand ready to offer you a plan option. The problem is, what they are offering might not be the best choice for you.
For that reason, we’d like to share a few questions to ask EVERY Medicare insurance agent you speak with. Hopefully, these questions will enable you to do two things. They will help you find out whether the person really knows their stuff and has your best interest in mind.
By the way, you should ask these questions to all the agents and brokers you speak with (including all who are listed on the Association’s local Medicare insurance agent directory).
Amazon allows you to exchange or return (most) things you buy. But Medicare insurance doesn’t work like that. And some recent studies report that a significant percentage of people were not happy with the plan they selected. Switching may be possible … but generally not immediately.
No single plan is best for everyone. That’s why there are so many choices. The best way to figure out which is best for you is to ask lots of questions. That includes asking the agent or broker whether he or she offers BOTH Medicare Advantage as well as Medicare Supplement plans. Many will offer only one. That’s not a bad thing. It just means you are not getting a full picture.
When an agent can talk to you about BOTH, you want to move to the next question.
What is this ‘appointed’ thing? Did we create a new word just to add to the confusion? No. Appointed is insurance industry jargon. Simply it means that the insurance agent or broker is appointed with the particular insurance company. Once appointed, he or she can sell that company’s product.
Here’s why it matters to you. An agent appointed with only one Medicare insurance company is going to sell you only that company’s plan. It may be your best choice. But it’s the only plan they can offer.
An insurance agent who is appointed with multiple insurance companies can sell you any of those plans. Again, that doesn’t mean one of those plans is your best option. But at least they can compare multiple options. Typically these insurance professionals refer to themselves as ‘brokers’.
This is a valuable piece of information most consumers are not aware of. So, now you know.
You aren’t trying to find out how much the agent earns. No. You are looking to see if the individual is what we call an ‘incidental’ or occasional Medicare agent or someone who really specializes in the field.
Medicare is complex. Must you work with a specialist. Of course not. The option is yours. But with a decision as important as which Medicare plan option is best for you, we believe working with a specialist is advantageous.
Carole King asked the right question. And, so should you.
The Medicare plan you buy today will need to serve you for (hopefully) many years to come. Most of your questions will be answered by the plan provider. But not all of them will.
Is there an advantage to working with a local independent Medicare insurance agent? There can be. Of course, they retire or stop working so nothing is ever guaranteed. But it’s a final thing to think about.
You don’t really want to start this whole process again every year … now do you?