There’s a lot to consider when choosing a Medicare plan. That’s why many people find themselves looking for more hands-on guidance with a Medicare broker. In fact, choosing the right broker can be just as important as finding the right plan. You want someone transparent and impartial who can share the information you need to make the best possible choice about your plan.
But the search for an excellent broker doesn’t have to be complicated. You just have to make sure you’re asking the right questions.
Do you need a Medicare broker?
Whether or not you need the help of a Medicare broker depends on your personal situation. Many people choose not to, but there are plenty of reasons why those looking for Medicare plans seek their guidance.
The truth is that Medicare can be confusing, with complicated benefits and exceptions to navigate. Knowledgeable Medicare brokers can help you explore your Medicare enrollment options, answer your questions and make sure you meet coverage requirements.
Questions to ask your Medicare broker
When looking for a Medicare broker, you’ll want to make sure whoever you choose is unbiased and well-informed – and that starts with a good conversation. Here are six questions that will help you figure out if the broker you’re considering is right for you.
1. How long have you been selling Medicare plans?
Broker experience is important. Brokers must be licensed by their state and have a prerequisite knowledge of Medicare, but plans are always changing. An experienced broker will have extensive knowledge of Medicare offerings, recent coverage changes, benefits and any additional questions you may have.
2. How many insurance companies do you work with?
This question will tell you a lot about the type of professional you’re working with. Some brokers contract with multiple insurance organizations and offer a wide selection of plans to choose from to best suit your needs. Meanwhile, some brokers only sell plans for a single Medicare insurance company. This makes their offerings less extensive – and it’s also important to note that many of these single-organization brokers are paid per sale.
3. What plans do you offer and why?
Most brokers are very knowledgeable about Original Medicare and may sell Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap), stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans or Medicare Cost plans (if available). Each type of coverage has its benefits, and it depends on what you’re looking for. The more robust a broker’s offerings, the more likely you are to find a plan that meets your specific needs. If a broker only sells one type of Medicare insurance, ask them why they do so.
4. What types of services do you offer your clients beyond helping with enrollments?
Enrollment assistance isn’t the only service brokers have to offer. Some provide on-going engagement as well as a hands-on support team in the office to help answer your questions and assist with billing issues and more. This extra support can go a long way in terms of understanding your coverage as well as any limitations you may not have considered.
5. Can you tell me what your other clients like – or do not like – about your recommended plan?
Everyone loves a good testimonial! Hearing others detail the pros and cons of a broker’s most popular plan can help you make a more informed decision. It’s one thing to read about a plan, but it’s another thing entirely to hear how that plan has served other beneficiaries in practice. Plus, many of today’s plans offer added benefits you might want to hear about, including gym memberships, travel benefits and much more.
6. What areas of the state do you serve?
Medicare health and prescription drug plan offerings vary by state – this includes which area (or region) of the state you live in. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, brokers are licensed to do work in the state in which they conduct their business. This includes yearly training and testing by the health insurance companies they represent, and following specific marketing regulations related to selling and enrolling beneficiaries in Medicare health and drug plans. Make sure to confirm with your broker that you live in the area in which they’re licensed to serve before getting started.
Looking for a Medicare broker?
Our easy-to-use online tool will help you find a qualified Medicare broker in your area.