4 Questions to ask your Medicare Supplement Agent
Updated: Jun 13, 2019
Enrolling in Medicare and securing a Medicare supplement insurance plan is a complicated, but important task. It's best to have a professional agent by your side to help with the process and offer advice based on their experience. Usually enrollment goes smoothly, but when a hangup with the enrollment process happens, a competent agent can make all the difference. Here are 5 questions you can ask a Medicare supplement insurance agent to help you decide if you want to work with them.
1. How long have you been doing this?
There is no substitute for experience and some of the best lessons are learned the hard way. It is best to work with a Medicare agent that has been in the business for quite a few years and has a knowledge base of how to avoid pitfalls in the enrollment process because, unfortunately, they do happen.
2. What carriers do you represent?
You'll want to work with a Medicare agent that has multiple insurance companies available. This allows them to make a recommendation based on a comparison, which can often save hundreds of dollars per year. If you are approached by an agent and they only represent one insurance company, it's unlikely they will be offering the lowest cost plan in your area. Ideally, a Medicare agent should have three or more insurance companies available in order to offer a decent cross-section of pricing in your area.
3. Will you be around after I sign up?
We have people come to us all the time saying their insurance agent from a few years ago sold them a policy and then disappeared forever. Unfortunately, this is a common practice in the Medicare industry. You want a Medicare agent who has an interest in maintaining an ongoing relationship with you. Your agent should check in on you during annual enrollment to discuss changes in your prescriptions and they should also be there for you if you have questions about your policy. In the event of a claims issue, a good agent will facilitate a conference call with you and the medical facility or insurance company in order to get things straightened out.
4. What is your recommendation?
A good Medicare agent can recommend the best plan for you, but only after learning about your specific needs. If you ask for a recommendation on a plan and they give it before they have learned about your specific needs and budget, then they might be working in their best interest instead of yours. A good agent will answer this question only after learning about your specific situation and budget and then tailoring a recommendation that fits.