While it’s true the Annual Enrollment Period is the prime time to sell Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplements provide you and your clients a very important alternative this fall.
You should already be planning appointments to check in with your current clients to see if their plan is working for them. A lot can change in a year, so financial situations and health status have a big effect on plan selections.
How can having strong Medicare Supplements in your portfolio help you make the most of AEP? Let us explain.
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Defining the Value of Medicare Supplements
It’s advantageous for you to have Medicare Supplements in your portfolio for two reasons: it’s a good fit for certain clients and an opportunity for you to diversify your book of business.
Medicare Advantage plans aren’t the best fit for all Medicare-eligibles. They have set service areas and a plan may not be offered where your client lives. Additionally, the private health insurers who offer Medicare Advantage products often contract with certain providers to be in their network. Your client may have a doctor he’s been going to for years that isn’t in the network of the most competitive Medicare Advantage plans available in his county.
Your client may prefer going to a doctor who isn’t in the network of MA plans offered in his county.
Enrolling in Original Medicare and purchasing a Medicare Supplement to fill in the gaps may make more sense for your clients based on where they live, their hobbies, desires, and financial situation. Original Medicare and all Medicare Supplement plans, except Medicare SELECT plans, enable beneficiaries to see any Medicare provider in the country. So, if your client lives in a rural area, loves to travel, or heads down South for the winter, this combo is an attractive option.
Additionally, some people find that their prescriptions would cost them more out-of-pocket in a Medicare Advantage plan. See if your clients’ medications cost less with a stand-alone prescription drug plan and a Medicare Supplement. Your clients should never feel like they have to resort to skipping shots or rationing pills.
Further, Medicare Supplements allow you to expand your client base and increase commissions beyond the Medicare Advantage market. When you sell Medicare Supplements, you open your business to people that prefer enrolling in Original Medicare. Plus, selling Medicare Supplements can earn you extra cash through carrier incentive programs or contests like Ritter’s 2018 $100K Cash Giveaway and their $10K Cash Giveaway!
Selling Medicare Supplements can earn you extra cash through carrier incentive programs or contests!
Determining Which Medicare Supplements to Sell
Now you know why selling Medicare Supplements during AEP is still valuable, but which should you put in your portfolio? You’ll want to showcase a variety of robust products that can meet your clients’ unique needs.
As an agent, you can expect to work with clients who are healthy and clients who aren’t. Therefore, it’s important you contract with Medicare Supplements that have different underwriting requirements. If a client doesn’t have guaranteed issue into a plan, they will likely be required to pass underwriting. Be aware that some carriers may only go back two years when looking at an applicant’s medical history, and others may go back further. In addition, know that some carriers offer substandard rates for clients who normally wouldn’t pass underwriting.
As you’re considering carriers, check that the ones you’re interested in have a high financial strength rating to ensure that their rates will remain steady and the company is financially sound. Insurers with A++ A.M. Best ratings are deemed very financially stable. It’s also good to have Medicare Supplements from carriers that offer household discounts, a strong Plan G and Plan F, and competitive rates for certain age groups.
Lastly, before you finish polishing your portfolio, consider offering a strong prescription drug plan. If your clients are enrolled, or desire to enroll in, Original Medicare, they’ll need to enroll in a PDP to afford their medications and avoid paying a penalty for not having prescription drug coverage.
Ready to make adjustments to your portfolio? Message us and we’ll let you know which products are most competitive in your local market.