Who are Medicare Insurance Agents? These have been questions that many users have been asking and it seems that they haven’t gotten their answers yet. That is why I am writing this content to simply explain what Medicare Insurance Agents are.
Who are Medicare Insurance Agents?
Medicare and its numerous plans can even then be quite confusing. Friends and also online guides can then be very helpful but having an expert to simply guide you in choosing the best plans for your individual needs has its advantages. This is then where Medicare agents and brokers simply come in.
What Are Medicare Agents and Brokers?
A Medicare insurance agent is simply a licensed expert that helps you to review and evaluate Medicare plans and their benefits and even guides you in choosing a suitable one.
There are also two kinds of Medicare insurance agents. The first is the independent Medicare agent. This type of Medicare agent simply works with many different insurance companies and can even enroll you in health plans from any of them.
The second kind is the captive Medicare agent. Unlike independent agents, captive agents partner with only one insurance company and also are limited to the plans from that particular insurer when assisting Medicare beneficiaries.
A Medicare insurance broker is even then quite similar to an independent Medicare agent. They are not bound to just one insurer. They can simply educate you about and also enroll you in plans from different insurance companies.
Independent vs. Captive Agent or Broker
Independent Medicare agents and brokers might then seem like the most intuitive choices to make. They even have some advantages over captive agents.
For one, because they simply represent different insurance companies, you can then get to choose from a wider variety of plans when you are simply working with them. And because they are not employed or bound to just one insurer, you are even more likely to get objective recommendations from them.
However, the downside is that there is also a chance they do not have comprehensive expertise on the plans individually simply because they represent so many.
On the other hand, working with a captive agent simply means that you get advice and even recommendations from an expert who likely has extensive knowledge of the health plans they sell. The disadvantage of captive agents is that you do not get to explore techniques from other insurance companies that might fit your needs better.
How Can a Medicare Broker or Agent Help You?
Medicare agents and brokers are very knowledgeable about Medicare plans. Every year, they must simply complete training and pass a test to demonstrate their understanding of Medicare and its health and prescription drug plans. Here are some of the main ways Medicare agents and brokers can help you:
Review of Health Plans
Buying health coverage can then be expensive. For this reason, you then want to ensure that you end up with a plan (or combination of plans) that suits your needs the most. But Medicare plans, their benefits, rules, and exceptions can be quite overwhelming to navigate on one’s own.
A Medicare agent or broker can then simply help you streamline your options and also eventually settle on one. They will speak with you and then gain a solid understanding of your finances and even health needs, and then offer you plans that fit within those established parameters. Once you simply make a decision, the agent will then enroll you in the plan.
Evaluate your current coverage.
Medicare agents and brokers can even help you review your current coverage to see if it still meets your needs. If it does not, they can then present you with options to choose from and also help you change plans.
Save You Time and Effort
An advantage of using an experienced Medicare agent or broker is that you can just maximize efficiency in your search and then still get great value. Without assistance from an agent or broker, if you want to have a variety of options to simply evaluate, you then have to interface with different insurers—a process that can be time-consuming.
Assist with Medical Underwriting
If you then try to purchase a Medigap plan outside of your open enrollment period, the insurance company does not have to offer you the same premium offered during your open enrollment period. Instead, they can even decide to go through the process of medical underwriting.
An underwriter will then assess your current state of health and even use that to determine the plan’s premium. The insurance company might then choose not to enroll you in the plan at all because of underlying health conditions (if any).
A Medicare agent or broker is then well-positioned to help you simply determine if you will meet the underwriting requirements for the particular plans you are considering.
Do You Pay Medicare Insurance Agents?
No, you do not pay any fee for the assistance of a Medicare agent or broker. Using their services is then completely free.
So then how do they get paid? Their compensation then depends on the kind of agent or broker they are. Some agents are then employed directly by the insurance companies they simply represent. In contrast, others merely have contracts based on enrolments they simply make.
Most agents then get paid by commission. When they simply enroll someone in a plan, they then receive a payment for the first year of the policy. And for every subsequent year, the person remains on the plan, and the enrolling agent or the broker gets the initial amount.
The commission they then receive for enrolling someone in a plan is simply not fixed. It’s determined by the contracts they have with the insurance company.
Considerations for Choosing One
There are a few things you should look out for when you are selecting a Medicare agent or broker to assist you.
- Experience: You should then go with an agent or even a broker with substantial experience in selling Medicare plans in your state. Plan availability, benefits rules, and exclusions differ from state to state. So, you should then go with an agent or broker with substantial experience selling Medicare plans in your state.
- Licensure: Ensure that the Medicare agent or broker you select is one that is licensed in your state. You can even check with your state insurance department to verify this. All you then need is the agent’s license number, which you can then get directly from them or find on their business card.
- Recommendations: Choose a Medicare agent or broker that simply comes highly recommended by the people they have worked with. Ask the agent to then provide you with references you can contact. Get in touch with those references and also find out their experience working with the agent or broker.
- Plan specialization: Ask about the plans the agent or broker you are simply considering specializes in (if any). For example, some Medicare agents and brokers focus only on enrolling beneficiaries in Medigap plans. And so, if a Medicare Advantage plan would instead be a better choice for you, you will not find out because the agent might not present it to you.
How Do I Find a Local Medicare Agent?
You can then find a Medicare insurance agent or broker near you by using the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Find Local Help is a search tool provided by the government. You can even find licensed agents and also brokers through your state insurance department.
What Is the Difference Between an Insurance Agent and a Broker?
While both agents and brokers act as intermediaries between insurance buyers and the insurance market and can even offer insurance quotes on different policies, there are also two key differences between the two: Agents represent insurers, while brokers represent the client.
Is United Medicare Advisors a Reputable Company?
Yes, United Medicare Advisors is also a reputable company that is simply offering legitimate services and insurance products. Its licensed agents can then provide free, reliable advice as you navigate the confusing world of Medicare supplement insurance so that you can simply choose the best plans for your needs and budget.