Medicare Agency – If you are searching for the best Medicare agency to help you with your insurance options, it’s helpful to know what things to look for in an agent or agency. If you already have a Medicare insurance agent and they don’t check off one or more of the things on this list, it might be time to search for a new Medicare advisor.
There are five things you should look for when choosing a Medicare agency.
1. Do they specialize in Medicare plans?
Any person with their life and health insurance license can sell Medicare plans. But should they? “Life and health” covers quite a lot of material. There are hundreds of thousands of life insurance and health insurance plans – accident policies, disability insurance, individual and group plans, private and government options, annuities, term life, whole life, the list goes on and on.
How well do you think they’ll understand Medicare if your insurance agent does all of that? Probably just enough to be dangerous with the information. You should work with an agent that is an expert in Medicare. It doesn’t mean they can’t offer more than that, but finding an agent who really knows the Medicare program will put you at an advantage.
Now, you might find an agency that offers all kinds of insurance, and that can be OK, too. Many insurance and financial brokers have departments dedicated to a specific type of insurance. Find the one that specializes in Medicare.
2. Are they independent or captive agents?
How many different insurance companies does your agent work with? Just one? If so, they are considered a “captive” agent and can only offer you plans from one insurance company. The company they work with might have great ratings and offer excellent plans, but you won’t know if you’re getting the best option unless you can compare it to other companies.
Independent agents work with multiple private insurance companies. Bobby Brock Insurance is contracted with more than 20 carriers. This allows us to compare Medicare plans and premiums across a wide range of companies. We don’t have any loyalties, so we won’t try to sell one plan over another – we’ll just let you know what your best options are.
In addition, we get to pick and choose which companies we want to work with. If a company has below-average plans, bad customer service, and poor ratings, we’re not going to allow them to work with our clients.
3. Do they educate you on all your Medicare options?
An insurance agent’s primary role is to educate you about the Medicare program and how each type of Medicare plan works. In addition, your agent should take the time to explain the differences between plans and how they all work together to provide you with comprehensive coverage.
If your agent tries to sell you a policy without first explaining it, that’s a big red flag.
4. What customer service do they provide?
An agent should provide more service than just your initial enrollment. They should be available if you have questions about your plan or if you’re having problems with your coverage. Sometimes you’ll have to call the carrier directly, but in many cases, your Medicare agent should be able to resolve problems for you.
The best Medicare agents will also stay in touch throughout the year. If they come across something that could save you money, or if a new plan comes along that might be better for you, they’ll call you to let you know. They’ll also help you during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), when you should have your Medicare Advantage and/or Part D prescription drug plan reviewed.
5. Do they ask about your doctors and prescription medications?
To find the best plan for you, your agent needs to know who your doctors are and what prescription medications you’re taking. If they don’t ask for this information, there is no way they’re going to be able to find the right plan.
Now, if you’re signing up for a Medicare supplement, doctors are not as much of a concern. Most doctors accept these plans, and you can use them just about anywhere. However, doctors should be a big part of the conversation if you’re looking at Medicare Advantage plans. Advantage plans operate on provider networks, so if your doctor does not participate with the plan you enroll in, you might not have any coverage when you visit them.
Your agent should always discuss prescriptions whether you sign up for a Medicare supplement insurance or Medicare Advantage plan. First, if you don’t have a Part D plan, either as a stand-alone plan or as part of your Advantage plan – you’ll be penalized when you enroll later. Second, each Part D plan uses a drug formulary. If your prescriptions aren’t on that formulary, you won’t have coverage for them.
It’s crucial that you work with an agent that checks all these boxes. The Medicare insurance you choose plays a critical role in your healthcare costs, so you’ll be placing a lot of trust in the agent you work with. If you’ve read this far, you might as well contact one of our independent agents at Bobby Brock Insurance. You’ll be in great hands.