3 Reasons You Need A Personal Agent If You Are Eligible for Medicare
I can’t count how many times I’ve spoken with a person needing help with Medicare, who were leery because they thought they must pay for my expertise. They say, “How much do I owe you?” When I reply, “Nothing,” they look at me dumbfounded. “So, how do you get paid for your services?” When I explain that if they agree with my recommendation and choose it, I am paid by the carrier for helping them, they are relieved. It’s this inerrant belief that prevents them from speaking with an agent to begin with.
And seniors turning 65 are NOT the only people who are eligible for Medicare. There’s also disabled individuals on SSD/SSDI after 24 months, or immediately if they have ESRD (end-stage renal disease – kidney disease) or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Often, these individuals do not get Medicare Part A cost free, for lack of working 40 quarters paying FICA taxes. An agent can help you qualify for cost-free Medicare, so you get the care you need.
Also, veterans on VA benefits and TriCARE, dependents on VA Champs and government employees on TriCARE. Often these individuals do not have dental, among other benefits. With Medicare you can get dental and more, and often lower your Part-B premium greatly. If you have penalties, this can minimize or erase them. An agent knowledgeable in veteran needs and the intricate workings of Medicare can help here as well.
Therefore, you need not fear it will cost you anything for having your personal expert caring for you. The system was designed this way to ensure you can navigate the complexity of Medicare safely and confidently at no cost to you. This is why you need your own personal agent if you are eligible for Medicare. But there are still three more reasons. Let’s discuss those.
Having a personal agent provides a form of protection not available when you call Medicare or a call center directly. Your agent is connected to the industry and knows if there are changes coming that may affect your benefits and coverage. With this knowledge, he or she will notify you with enough time to address any changes to prevent them from affecting you.
Moreover, as I like to tell my clients, if life happens, other than dialing 911, I should be the next call they make. You see, beneficiaries often overlook how a life change may affect insurance coverage. In other words, if you require a specialized form of care, due to a sudden chronic condition, your current plan may have limitations. By informing your agent, he or she can verify if there are any and find the appropriate plan with your doctors in network, to ensure your needs are met.
If your financial situation changes, your agent can help you apply for programs that will help you afford your insurance and the services it provides. Also, often they can find additional benefits you may have not qualified for previously and ensure you receive them.
Your agent will become a trusted advisor, and often a friend – a friend so close you can almost consider him or her family. They will know you, your physical, financial and lifestyle needs; in other words, what’s important to you. With that in mind, they will make sure any changes take all those needs into consideration. When life happens, your new circumstances are added to what is already important to you in any recommendations made. After all, agents do not tell you what to do, we only make recommendations for you to make educated decisions with.
Calling Medicare or some call center will not get you that level of personalized service and often leads to an hour on hold, being traumatized by bad elevator music you can’t get out of your head for 48 hours…I’m just saying!
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By having your own personal agent, you need not worry your plan will be changed without your approval. You see, when you have a personal agent, you don’t need to take all those annoying phone calls during AEP (annual enrollment period, October 15th through December 7th) nor during OEP (open enrollment period during January 1st through March 31st…that’s right, it ain’t over yet!). If someone calls, simply say “I have an agent. Remove me from your list and do not call me again!” Then block their number.
If you don’t speak with them, you won’t be manipulated into changing your plan. And if you see something on TV or receive something in the mail that piques your interest, you can call your agent and ask him or her about it. Chances are, if it’s valid, he or she can get it for you also.
It seems, according to several agents, that Medicare has been trying to convince beneficiaries (that’s you) that you don’t need an agent. You can have them enroll you in a plan of your choice and remove the middleman (as they say). It’s believed the reason they are doing this is the same reason they jacked up your premiums and deductibles – Aduhelm (the Alzheimer’s drug that costs $56,000 a year per person). They need lots of money to pay for it, and if they don’t have to pay commissions, well, you can do the math.
What this leads to is being back where you started, a non-personalized service that doesn’t take the time to get to know you, because they are too big to assign personal representatives. You are on your own. So, if they suggest you don’t need your agent or that they can take care of it for you right now, say, “NO THANK YOU! I have an agent and I will have them do it for me.”
There are two types of agents: captured and fiduciary agents. While both have your best interest in mind, only one can provide solutions from multiple carriers, without playing favorites. A captured agent can only provide the products of the company they work for. A fiduciary agent answers only to you and can provide a more specific solution from a broader portfolio of insurance plans. It’s like having Progressive® for Medicare. Compare plans across 5, 6 or more carriers to make sure you got the best solution for you.
So, as we get ready to close this AEP season and prepare for OEP three weeks later, if you have an agent and you’re happy with him or her, hold on to them at all costs. Don’t let someone try and trick you out of your plan and your agent. If you don’t have your own personal agent – get one! Give us a try. Reach out to YourCareRep.com, in particular Eddie Velez, and see if you like what you hear. If you do, we’d love to have you as part of our family. If not, it’s okay, keep looking.