If you’re thinking about working with a Medicare broker, it can be hard to know where to start. What does a Medicare broker (sometimes called an agent) do? How much do their services cost? Where do you find one? We’re here to help you through it. Here’s what you should know before beginning your search.

What is a Medicare broker?

Finding the right Medicare plan can seem like a daunting task – many people choose to work with a Medicare broker or agent for extra guidance. These licensed professionals help you evaluate, select and enroll in a plan. Experienced brokers have a detailed understanding of Medicare. They will be able to explain plan benefits and restrictions, as well as help you compare options, so you can find the best fit for you and your budget.

What’s the difference between a Medicare broker and an agent?

Medicare brokers are often referred to as Medicare advisors or agents. In most cases, these titles are used interchangeably. In some organizations these may be separate roles, but in most cases, they are different ways to refer to the same kind of Medicare insurance professional.

Do I have to work with a Medicare broker?

No – working with a Medicare broker is entirely up to you. Many who do find the extra guidance helpful, but it depends on your needs. If you know what you’re looking for, and don’t have many questions, you can find and enroll in a plan directly.

What does a Medicare broker do?

Medicare brokers are the link between people in need of Medicare plans and the companies who offer them, and they work with both clients and insurance companies. Medicare brokers can also work with both clients and insurance companies to help them find individual, family and group plans that fit their needs.

From the client end, a Medicare broker guides and consults. They can answer your questions and help break down dense Medicare information in a way that makes sense. But what does a broker do for an insurance company? Simply put, they feature and sell their plans, helping private insurance companies get plan information to those who are most likely to enroll.

Are Medicare advisors legitimate?

Legitimate Medicare advisors, brokers and agents are all certified by the insurance companies they represent, according to guidelines set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). All must be licensed in the state or region in which they do business and must adhere to strict regulations, especially regarding marketing and enrollment. Every year, brokers, advisors and agents are trained and tested on Medicare updates by the companies they represent.

Are Medicare brokers/agents unbiased?

As is the case with most services, when looking for a knowledgeable and trustworthy Medicare broker, it’s all about the details. Most brokers should be unbiased and committed to helping you find the right plan that fits your budget and meets your needs. Still, it’s important to ask your broker the right questions before getting started to ensure they’re working in your best interests.

How do Medicare agents get paid?

Medicare agents working for a single insurance company are typically employed with and paid by that specific insurance provider. Medicare brokers who work with a wide range of organizations are contracted by these companies for featuring their plans and are paid by commission after enrolling a client. This means you’re able to work with a broker at no cost to you.

Typically, broker and agent commission maximums are determined by CMS. This depends on many factors, including state or region, featured plans, whether an enrollee is a new member or renewal, and much more.

Looking for a Medicare broker?

Our easy-to-use online tool will help you find a qualified Medicare broker in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota or South Dakota.

Medicare insurance brokers in Iowa or Illinois are also available at HealthPartners UnityPoint Health.