Independent insurance agents can grow their business tremendously by selling Medicare plans. However, Medicare can be quite complicated to understand at times, making it challenging to navigate the waters on your own. By working with a trusted Medicare IMO, independent agents can get the support that they need to sell Medicare, while still maintaining the freedom to run their business on their own. If you’re considering selling these plans, it’s important to understand the basics and main plans you can offer clients. Read on for your complete guide.
And, if you’d like to learn more about selling Medicare supplements with Good Life Insurance Associates (GLIA), contact us today!
Medicare 101: What You Need to Know
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is provided to certain people. People who qualify for Medicare plans include those who are at least 65 years old, certain people younger than that who have disabilities, and people with ESRD, or End-Stage Renal Disease. Medicare has three main parts, known as Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance), and Part D (prescription drug coverage). How each plan works and the cost of premiums depends on several different factors.
Research tip: You can find more information on the basics of Medicare on the official government website. Keep in mind that many sales agents are bidding on the search term, “Medicare” in Google. That means that when you search for “Medicare”, the first results that you see at the top of the page are ads created by sales agents. Avoid the unwanted sales calls and remember to ensure that the Medicare website that you visit ends in .gov
Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
Medicare Part A and Part B are often clumped together as what is known as Original Medicare. Under this option, people pay a deductible at the beginning of each year, paying for services as they receive them. They are then required to pay 20% of the cost of any service that is approved by Medicare.
While Original Medicare covers the majority of the cost of healthcare supplies and services, it doesn’t cover them all. That’s why many people will opt for a Medicare Supplement Plan to cover the remainder of the costs. These plans are called Medigap.
Medigap plans are sold by private insurance companies. They are meant to fill the 20% “gap” that remains between what Original Medicare will cover and the full cost of the healthcare services patients need.
Medigap policies are also popular because they will cover some services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover at all. This includes the cost of medical care you may need if you’re traveling outside of the United States. Original Medicare will pay the share of costs for covered services, and then the Medigap plan will pay its share of what is left.
These plans are very popular for people who have Original Medicare, which makes them an essential policy to offer if you’re an independent insurance agent.
People can also opt to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan instead of Original Medicare. These plans are approved by Medicare by are offered by a private company. In most cases, Medicare Advantage plans will offer a bundle of Part A, Part B, and Part D together.
Some people choose Medicare Advantage because they often provide benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t, including dental, hearing, and vision. These plans are fully contracted with Medicare.
There are many different Medicare Advantage Plans, and each may have different rules that determine how those covered receive services as well as how much they must policyholders must pay out of pocket.
Prescription Drug Plans
Medicare Part D is a separate plan that must be added to Original Medicare or included as part of Medicare Advantage. Many people feel as if this is an essential health insurance plan that they need since it covers the costs of prescription drugs.
You can only purchase a Medicare Part D plan if you first have a Medicare-approved plan that offers drug coverage, which includes Medicare Advantage Plans that have drug coverage.
Every prescription drug plan has variations in what drugs are covered and how much they cost. But, they have to provide a standard level of coverage for all drugs, which is set by Medicare and includes both name-brand and generic drugs.
The list of drugs that are covered may vary by prescription drug plan, and so, too, can the tiers in which these drugs are placed. That’s why independent insurance agents must review all the options for prescription drug plans and the formularies, based on which prescription drugs their clients require.
The cost of prescription drugs could vary greatly based on the specific plans the applicant chooses.
Work with an Experienced Medicare IMO Such As GLIA
Medicare can be very complicated. As you can see from above, it takes meticulous investigation to figure out which plans are best for each client so that they receive the best coverage for the lowest price.
As an independent insurance agent, this can be a very difficult task. When you partner with an experienced Medicare IMO such as GLIA, though, this task becomes that much easier.
GLIA offers Medigap, Medicare Advantage, and prescription drug plans. These plans offer our agents a wealth of options for their clients. For more information on becoming an independent agent with GLIA, contact us today to learn more.