Independent Agent for Medicare Supplement?
Updated: May 22, 2019
Prospective clients often ask us: can I get a better deal if I purchase my Medigap policy directly from the insurance carrier? The answer is no, but let's explore the larger question of whether it makes sense to use an independent insurance agent instead of working directly with the insurance carrier.
Should You Use an Independent Insurance Agent to Purchase Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Full disclosure: Medicare Life Group is an independent insurance agency, so you can likely guess our answer to the question. Yes, it makes sense to use an independent insurance agent to purchase your Medigap policy. The key word in that sentence is "use." An agent acts on your behalf. They work for you.
Let's look at some of the benefits of having an independent agent work for you.
Save time. Sure, you could call all the Medicare Supplement insurance carriers you've heard of and see which one will offer you the best rates. But why bother when you have someone willing to do it for you? An independent insurance agent can provide you with personalized quotes from the many insurance carriers in the Medicare market. No need for you to spend your time gathering the quotes yourself.
Best rates. A captive insurance agent (ie, one that works directly for a specific insurance carrier) is incentivised to sell their company's policies. Because all Medicare Supplement plans are federally standardized, you want the carrier that will offer you the best premium rate. That's why an independent insurance agent is so vital in choosing your Medigap policy. The independent agent can provide you with the cheapest quote for each Medigap plan. Of course, if you prefer a specific insurance company, the independent agent can provide you with quotes for that company as well.
Expertise. Your Medicare options can be confusing. A qualified agent will know the nuances of Medicare, the various enrollment periods (initial, annual, special, etc.), whether you qualify for a guaranteed issue policy, and which Medigap plan makes most sense for your personal situation.
Advocate. An independent agent will advocate for you. If you're not eligible for a guaranteed issue policy, you'll have to go through underwriting. If you're working directly with a specific insurance carrier, you're at their mercy. An independent agent can contact multiple insurance companies to help you potentially find one that will approve your policy application based on your medical condition.
Relationship. Your relationship with an independent insurance agent doesn't end the day your policy is issued. A good agent will contact you annually during Fall Open Enrollment to make sure you still have the most competitive policies. Changes in your prescription drugs or potential increases in your insurance premiums mean your current policy should always be re-evaluated on an annual basis. A captive agent has no incentive to let you know that their policy is no longer best for you.
If you'd like to start your relationship with a independent insurance agent, let us get started by offering you a free comparison of Medicare Supplement quotes, personalized for you.