Healthcare Educators


How to Choose a Medicare Agent

by | Jul 10, 2020

Medicare’s fall open enrollment period begins on October 15 and ends on December 7. This is your opportunity to make changes to your plan enrollment for the following year.

Medicare can be confusing, but the right agent can help you make a good choice during open enrollment.

Don’t Miss Your Chance

Even if you’re happy with your current plan, you should take advantage of the open enrollment period to make sure you’re in the plan you want. For one thing, your current plan may be changing. Additionally, there may be new plans, or new benefits, that better suit your financial and medical needs.

Medicare enrollees often have access to multiple Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans. These plans may offer different benefits. For example, some Medicare Advantage plans offer dental, vision or hearing benefits not normally covered under Original Medicare.

The costs will also vary. When comparing plans, it’s important to look at the expected out-of-pocket costs, not just the monthly premium. Doing this requires anticipating your needs and comparing the total expected costs.

Medicare’s Plan Finder tool, which has recently gone through some updates, can help with this. However, many people need additional assistance.

Selecting a Medicare Agent

When selecting a Medicare agent, consider the following questions:

  • Is the agent licensed and certified? The agent should have any required state licensing. Most agents also need certification though the American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). Make sure your agent has the right credentials and is an expert in Medicare.
  • Will you be charged a fee? Independent agents generally work on commissions paid by the insurance company, meaning you don’t have to pay anything for the service. However, some advisors may charge a fee. Make sure you know what costs, if any, you’ll have to pay.
  • Does the agent have access to a wide range of plans in your area? While captive agents might only work for one insurance company – and therefore only offer those plans – independent agents can contract with multiple insurance providers, giving your access to lots of plan options.
  • How will the agent make health and safety a priority this year? Given the ongoing pandemic, some meetings may need to take place virtually. Make sure you’re comfortable with the tools and methods that your agent will be using.
  • Does the agent listen to you? Whether you’re communicating online or in-person, you want an agent who will take time to understand your needs. Before agreeing to work with an agent, talk to the agent and make sure you’re in good hands.

If you’re looking for a Medicare agent, contact us.  We’d love to help you make an informed health care decision.