Shopping for any health insurance can be frustrating to any consumer. Trying to pick the best plan for your health, and your wallet, can be overwhelming and confusing. Selecting Medicare coverage, all of those negative feelings are magnified. When a person nears age 65 or is newly eligible for Medicare, they are often inundated with mail and calls from insurance agents trying to sale them their company’s plan.
There are several ways to get adequately covered with Medicare. From Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, Part D Prescription Drug plans, and Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (Medigap plans), an independent, health insurance sales agent can help you piece together your Medicare coverage. They will make sure it is tailored to your situation, providing you with the most comprehensive coverage.
Independent agents are different than captive agents. A captive agent is working exclusively with one carrier, and therefore, are only able to show you that company’s plans. On the other hand, independent agents are essentially free agents – they are contracted with several carriers and can show you options from multiple companies, allowing you to compare plans while working with the same representative.
Independent agents will build a relationship with you. You can call and talk to the same person with any questions, and they will keep in contact. During the Annual Enrollment Period they are available to help you look at any new (or other) options that you think would be a better fit.
Agents are required to complete certification each year to retain their active broker status, and also complete certifications with any carrier that requires additional training, making them the best person to speak with regarding Medicare coverage.
Generally, your Medicare agent will gather information about you and how you use your insurance. They will take the time to look up your doctors and prescriptions, and then run an analysis that will help determine which insurance carrier and plan will provide the most coverage for you. They will also be able to tell you what to expect for your out of pocket expenses.
A good agent will help you understand how Medicare works, which will allow you to make a better informed decision. Medicare plans have their own set of rules that other health insurance you may have had prior to turning 65 did not have, and knowing exactly what those rules are and how they will apply to you in certain situations will make sure you are not surprised later on with a bigger expense than expected.