The sheer amount of plans available for Medicare can be confusing. Online guides and friendly advice can be helpful, but it’s better to have an expert help you compare your options. A licensed sales agent, sometimes called an independent Medicare advisor, may be able to help answer your questions and find a plan that’s right for you.
Defining Medicare Brokers and Agents
A Medicare insurance agent is a licensed professional who will help you evaluate and review the various Medicare plans and benefits before helping you pick a suitable option. There are two types of Medicare insurance agents you can use. The first is independent Medicare advisors. This person works alongside several insurance companies and can enroll you in plans from any one of the companies.
The second type is a sales agent or advisor who works with a single insurance company. This agent would only be able to sell products sold by their company.
A Medicare insurance broker works a lot like an independent advisor as they’re not bound to one specific insurer and the particular plans that the company offers. They can help you explore different plans and enroll you in the best pick from different insurance companies.
The Benefit of Working with an Independent Medicare Advisor
Independent advisors or brokers might seem like the best choice because they offer several benefits over advisors who only sell insurance for a specific company. An independent advisor can represent different insurance companies, and you get a much wider plan variety when you work with them. Since they’re not bound to or employed by a single insurer, you’re more likely to get objective recommendations. However, they may not have as much expertise on each plan.
On the other end of the spectrum, working with an advisor from a specific insurance company allows you to get recommendations and advice from someone who has extensive knowledge regarding the limited plans they sell. You won’t be able to explore options from other insurance companies if you go this route, though.
How Independent Medicare Advisors Can Help
Medicare advisors and brokers have a lot of knowledge regarding the plans they represent. However, they have to complete yearly training and pass a test to ensure an excellent grasp of Medicare and prescription drug and health plans. The following are all ways they can help you.
Assist with Underwriting
If you try to buy a Medigap plan outside of your Initial Medigap Enrollment Period, you will likely be subjected to medical underwriting. An underwriter will look at your current health and use this information to determine how much your plan’s premium will be. The insurance company can also choose to deny your enrollment in any plan they represent because of underlying health conditions. A Medicare advisor or broker is someone who can help you determine if you’ll meet any underwriting requirements for the plans you’re considering to help save time.
Evaluate Your Current Insurance Coverage
You’ll periodically use your Medicare advisor to evaluate your coverage to see if it continues to meet your needs. If it doesn’t, they can quickly pull plans that are a better fit and help guide you through the process of changing them.
Review Medicare Plans
It’s essential that you get a plan that matches your needs. A Medicare agent can help streamline the process of finding plans. They’ll talk to you to get a good understanding of your health needs and finances before offering plans that fit these parameters. Once you make a decision, they may be able to help you enroll in the plan.
It’s a personal choice whether or not you want to work with independent Medicare advisors. However, using one can make the search process faster and easier. In addition, since they’re free to use, you have nothing to lose by utilizing their services.