Growing up, we didn’t think much about insurance. Health insurance was taken care of by our parents or our job. Automobile insurance was required, so we shopped around to find the lowest rates. When we purchased a home, mortgage insurance was tacked on as a matter of fact if we didn’t have a large enough down payment.
Up until this point, choosing an insurance company, deciding which insurance products we needed, or thoughtfully researching coverage options didn’t occur to most of us. However, as we close in on retirement age, we really need to start thinking about Medicare and which plans are best suited for our situation.
This means finding an insurance agent that truly understands the different plans, enrollment periods, and changes that happen throughout the year. Are established, nationwide insurance companies as personable as independent insurance agencies? Can an independent agency offer the types of insurance of larger agencies? Do you have the financial strength to buy the Medicare insurance coverage you need?
When researching and rating agencies, make sure they can answer all of the following questions. Their answers will give you a better understanding of what agencies can – and can’t – offer you. This is your life, and you want to make the right choices for you and your family.
Five Important Questions to ask your Insurance Agent about Medicare Insurance
Does your agent specialize in Medicare?
Medicare and Medicare insurance plans are complex and always changing. It is important that your agency specializes in Medicare Insurance and helps keep you up to date on changes. This includes new legislation as well as enrollment dates year after year.
Is your agent independent?
It is important to find an insurance agency that offers most, if not all, the plans in your area. This includes Supplements/Medigap, Prescription Drug, and Medicare Advantage plans. If your agency is only allowed to deal with certain insurance carriers, you may be missing out on options that are a better fit for you and your family.
But that doesn’t mean working with an independent agency is the best decision, either. Some independent agencies might only offer a few Medicare options which can make it difficult to find a plan that best fits your needs at the best price. If you do decide to use an independent agency, make sure they are able to offer the widest range of choices and carriers.
Additionally, most agents are paid on commission. You should make sure your agent puts you first, ahead of a commission, or even a sale.
Is your agent able to help you with customer service issues that could arise with Medicare insurance?
Who do you call when you have questions about your Medicare coverage, which doctors are in-network, which medication is covered by your plan, customer service issues, etc.? It is important that you are able to call your local agent for assistance and that they take the time to answer your questions in a way that makes sense to you.
Does your agent know who your doctors and specialists contract with?
Doctors and specialists don’t always contract with every Medicare insurance plan available in your area. It is important that your agency is aware of which insurance plans your doctors and specialists accept.
Does your agent make sure your medications are covered by your plan?
Medications can be the biggest out of pocket expense for some seniors when it comes to Medicare insurance. It is important that your agent helps you find a plan that covers your medications at the lowest out of pocket cost to you.
VibrantUSA is an independent insurance agency that has been specializing in Medicare insurance plans since 2003. During that time, we have seen the Medicare marketplace change over and over such as plans changing, doctors leaving, and premiums becoming more expensive.
The one thing that has remained constant is our determination to help clients understand their Medicare insurance options. By understanding what our clients need, and what’s available to them, VibrantUSA is able to help them make the selection best suited for them. If you are approaching eligibility, please contact VibrantUSA – we look forward to hearing from you.