New To Medicare? Find An Insurance Agent You Can Trust
If you are newly eligible for Medicare or if Medicare and your employer’s group health insurance are ending, you may be looking forward to purchasing a Medicare supplement or enrolling in the Medicare Advantage Plan. But before you do that, consider finding a reliable agent who knows all kinds of Medicare plans.
An agent who can assess your situation and educate you about your various plan options is better than an agent who is simply looking to get into a plan to earn a commission. And do not discard the service after the sale. Agents receive Medicare plans renewal fees that can last several years and are required to stay in touch and be present when you have questions or need service.
Follow these tips to find an agent.
- Know when an agent is breaking the rules. There are strict marketing guidelines for some Medicare plans. Agents cannot call you without your permission, show up at your home without notice, or approach you in public areas, asking you to sign up for a Medicare Benefit Plan.
Also, be wary of telemarketers who pretend to be researchers interested in the type of Medicare plan you have. This is usually nothing more than a cold, secret call.
- Know the difference between a captive or independent broker or agent. Some agents represent only one insurance company; These are captive agents. Independent agents and brokers may represent multiple companies and, in some cases, may represent dozens.
While a captive agent does a needs analysis, you won’t have as many products to display and can only show what you consider best in your limited portfolio. If you want the widest range of plan options, talk to an independent broker or agent.
- Where to look for an agent. If you do not have an agent or your current health insurance agent does not handle Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare supplemental insurance, you should start on your own to find a reliable agent.
There are actually two ways to proceed: You can search for an agent locally or you can search online. To find a local agent, start by asking for a reference to your current agents (health, life, car, owners). If they do not deal with Medicare plans, there is a good chance of meeting someone who does. You can also visit https://www.medicareadvantageplans2020.org to get help with your local Area Council office about aging. They are a good resource when you are new to Medicare and have questions or are looking for an agent.