If you’re thinking about selling Medicare but find yourself on the fence, you’ve come to the right place! There are many misconceptions about selling Medicare that deter agents from expanding their primary focus. We’re here to clear up those myths and give you the facts. Adding Medicare plans to your repertoire could be the boost your business needs.
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Myth #1: The Medicare market is too small.
Fact check! Many agents focus solely on the over-65 population because there are more than 10,000 people turning 65 every day! That’s more than 10,000 potential sales opportunities every morning.
While it’s true that Medicare is marketed mainly to people who are 65 and older, there are other populations who are eligible as well. Those who are under 65 and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) also qualify for Medicare. Additionally, those under 65 who have been diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease, more commonly known as kidney failure, are eligible.
The Medicare business is anything but small — you just have to know your market.
Myth #2: CMS’ Medicare Marketing Guidelines (MMG) make it impossible to find clients.
Here’s the truth. While there are rules to follow in this industry, there’s no reason they should stress you out! These rules are in place to help you. An agent who is educated in the MMG knows that there are plenty of ethical ways to market to clients.
When following these rules, you can be confident that you’re going about your career in the correct manner. In fact, we believe these rules keep the less motivated agents from encroaching on your turf, helping you gain more clients — the right way!
Myth #3: There’s no money in selling Medicare.
Far from it! Maximum commission rates for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans are on the rise for the third year in a row and Medicare Supplement commissions are as lucrative as ever.
The real value of Medicare sales comes in the renewal income. Typically, after you help your client enroll in a plan, you will receive an initial payment for the first year of the policy. For every year after that your client remains enrolled, or makes a switch to a “like plan type,” you’ll receive a renewal commission. Some carriers pay lifetime renewals while others cap commissions after five to six years.
Either way, renewal commissions truly add up! The longer you work with clients and put forth the effort to find their best options, the more money you will make in this industry.
Myth #4: Certification isn’t worth it.
Take a closer look. Once you have your certification, you’ll be able to sell many more plans, and having a vast portfolio will make it easier for you to find the right plans for your clients. There are even some plans that you can sell without being certified! These include some Medicare Supplement plans and, depending on the carrier, dental, vision, and hearing plans.
It’s true, in order to sell Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans, most carriers will require you to complete your AHIP training. This certification is split into two parts: Medicare and Fraud, Waste, & Abuse (FWA). During these courses, you’ll learn about the different types of plans, as well as how to remain compliant through all facets of selling these products. There is a cost to AHIP, though in many cases you can complete the course at a discounted rate through a carrier. Finally, some carriers also require their own product certifications to prove you have an understanding of each product you sell.
This may sound like a lot, but the payoff is quite great once you come out on the other side! There are also tons of great resources available through FMOs like Ritter Insurance Marketing that make passing certification a breeze.
Since you have to learn about the plans you’re selling regardless, getting certified is the best way to make sure the information you’re receiving (and sharing with your clients!) is accurate and up to date. It will greatly benefit you now, and in the long-run of your career, to complete these certifications.
Myth #5: It’s too hard to compare all my clients’ options.
Think again! We consider it a blessing for clients to have a wide selection to pick from! The great thing about the sheer number of plans offered by carriers is that your clients are even more likely to find a plan that fits their unique needs.
That said, we understand that an agent may find it overwhelming to sort through all the Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and even prescription drug plans from a variety of carriers. Fear not! If you’re an agent partnered with an FMO like Ritter, there are many tools that you can utilize to manage it all.
You can use Ritter’s Medicare Quote Engine to find and compare plans based on your clients’ age, gender, and location. Plus, not only can you narrow your search down to the kind of Medicare plans that your clients want (Med Supp, MA, etc.), but within those categories, you can narrow your search even further to find the ultimate plans for your clients.
You and your future clients can also use Medicareful to search and compare plans in their area. By promoting your own personal (and free!) Medicareful page, clients are directed right to you when they find a plan that interests them.
Selling someone a Medicare plan is more than just a transaction — it’s about creating relationships with and helping your clients. We recognize Medicare agents as members of a helping profession. You can make a positive impact on the lives of others by helping to insure their health and well-being. The goal is not only to make your clients’ lives easier by saving them money and lessening their bills, but also to create a sense of safety and security.
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Furthering your career can be a big step and may leave you with a bit of uncertainty. But one thing that’s for sure is people will always need Medicare. Expanding your business to become a well-rounded, respected agent will put you on the path to success.