Don’t Get Sucker Punched by Dishonest Agents this OEP Season
As we enter the final month of the Open Enrollment Period (OEP), it seems that unscrupulous agents are feeling desperate with their time running out, since it ends on March 31st. If you think now that you have three months since the end of AEP (annual enrollment period), which ended on December 7th, that the calls would end…think again. Not only are they still calling, but they are also becoming more shrewd. So, as I’ve written previously, if anyone calls you that isn’t your agent (for my clients receiving this, that’s me), and the word Medicare crosses their lips — hang up and block their number.
One of my future clients and dear friend is scheduled to speak with me in April, when his Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) starts. In the meantime, an untrustworthy agent called him. He accidentally answered, as he avoids calls from people he doesn’t know, and they told him they were calling to help him with his Medicare, since he’s starting his IEP in April. So far, standard call; nothing wrong.
My friend, let’s call him Doogie for the sake of having a name, tells them, “Thank you for calling, but I already have an agent I’m working with.” Now, it’s at this point that an ethical agent would say what I tell people who I speak with when they notify me they are working with an agent.
“You’re working with an agent? I don’t want to step on that relationship. However, please allow me to send you my eBusiness card, in the event your agent moves on or if you’re ever unhappy, you can reach out to me. Have a blessed day!”
That’s not what happened. It went more like this:
Unethical agent: “Well, do you know that your agent is a captured agent?”
Doogie: “What do you mean by a captured agent?”
Dirty agent: “It means he works for an insurance company and is paid to push only their products.”
Doogie: “I don’t think so. He told me he was a fiduciary agent.”
Dirtbag agent: “I’m sorry to say he lied to you. Of course he’s going to say that, how else would he get your trust?”
Doogie: “He doesn’t need to gain my trust; he already has it. We are longtime friends.”
Lying agent: “That’s sad that a friend would do that. We can help you by looking at all the companies available to make sure you get the best plan.”
SIDE NOTE: No agent has ALL available plans. There a so many and each one requires training and certification annually because there are changes every year. Therefore, we cherry pick which ones we believe are the best in the areas we serve. By the way, I contract with eight (8). They are:
Okay, back to the conversation…
Doogie: “Well, I am certain he is a fiduciary like you. He told me he represents multiple carriers.”
Swindler Agent: “Many people will tell you that so you use them, but when it comes time to enroll, you will see he will only show you one plan.”
Doogie: “How do I know you’re not doing that right now.”
Conniving agent: “We would NEVER do that; it’s misleading and unethical, which is why I am shocked you want to stay with your friend.”
Doogie: “No, he showed me multiple carriers he works with, so I think I will stick with him.”
Stinker agent: “Well, good luck then…you will need it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”
So, make sure you avoid calls from anyone who is not your agent or actual insurance company. Remember, if they utter the words Medicare, health insurance or benefits, hang up and block their number. If you engage with them, you can have your plan changed without your consent, or be convinced to change it only to learn it wasn’t in your best interest. After all, anyone who would be willing to use these kinds of tactics can’t be trusted.
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