Navigating the world of Medicare can quickly become overwhelming. Between the different parts of Original Medicare, optional Medicare Supplement insurance, prescription drug plans, and a variety of Medicare Advantage plans, you have a lot to consider.

There are a lot of coverage options out there, so getting the information you need to make the right decision about your healthcare can feel overwhelming. Even with countless online resources providing Medicare information, many beneficiaries still find themselves lost. A licensed Medicare agent or broker can make all the difference and save you both time and money. 

Key takeaways:

  • A Medicare insurance agent helps you understand and compare your Medicare options and help you enroll in the best coverage for you.

  • You can find a Medicare plan on your own, but working with a Medicare advisor can save you time and money.

  • It’s usually free to work with a Medicare agent. The agent gets paid by insurance companies when they enroll someone in a plan. 

  • Not all agents will compare every Medicare option to recommend the right coverage. Make sure to ask your agent questions about how they sort through and recommend plans. 

What Does a Medicare Insurance Agent Do?

A Medicare insurance agent is a licensed individual who can help you make sense of Medicare coverage options. Agents are required to complete training and pass an exam each year to maintain their licenses. The best Medicare agents will help you to understand each of your coverage choices and enroll the right Medicare plan for your specific health and financial situation. Your Medicare agent should help you understand every Medicare option available, compare every option, and choose the coverage that best meets your health and financial needs.

Review healthcare needs and priorities

Medicare plans should fit your needs and your budget. A Medicare insurance agent will ask you questions about your preferred doctors, the prescriptions and services you need, and your healthcare budget. The information you provide, including your medical history and current prescriptions, helps your Medicare agent narrow down your options and recommend the best plans for your unique circumstance. 

Agents aren’t only for people who are new to Medicare. If you’re already enrolled in Medicare, they can also help you review your coverage to ensure there's no better option for you. This is particularly important during Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment Period. Should you want to switch Medicare plans, they can check your eligibility and guide you through the process. 

Break down coverage options

Medicare beneficiaries have an average of 43 Medicare Advantage plans, 10 Medicare Supplement plans and 21 prescription drug plans available to them. Each plan type has its own premiums, benefits, and rules. This can cause confusion about what’s covered and what you need to do to receive coverage. One of the last things you want is to present your policy information to a healthcare provider or pharmacist only to find out you don’t have the coverage you thought you did. 

A Medicare insurance agent can walk you through the specifics of your health plan and policy options, helping you to decipher complex terms and confusing details. After speaking with your Medicare broker, you should feel confident that you’re choosing health insurance that benefits you and is tailored to your needs.

Help with enrollment

Once your Medicare agent has reviewed your needs and priorities and recommended the best coverage options, they should help you with the enrollment process. The best Medicare agents will also follow up after you’re enrolled to make sure your coverage is meeting expectations and you don’t have any questions or issues.

Benefits of Using a Licensed Professional to Purchase Medicare

If you want, you can navigate your Medicare options on your own. There are several online tools and resources that can help, and you can seek information from plan providers and family members or friends who have already enrolled in Medicare. 

We’ve even put together our own overview of Medicare coverage options to help people gain a basic understanding. That said, we’d recommend working with one of our licensed agents to ensure you get the best value from your Medicare coverage. Let’s dive into some key benefits of working with an agent. 

You’ll save time and feel confident in your decisions

Agents and brokers are licensed advisors who are there to help you understand the intricacies of the plans they recommend. They read plan information daily and Medicare terminology is second nature to them. By understanding how everything works in depth, they can help you understand and compare your options quicker.

I felt overwhelmed by all of the information regarding Medicare options even after working with multiple advisors from other companies (they all seemed to be PUSHING particular products and not interested in making sure I understand the impact of options). That changed when I opened a dialogue with Venus at Chapter. She won me over by considering all options and making sure I understood them.

You could save a lot of money

When you don’t have a firm grasp on the specifics of Medicare coverages and policies, it can be easy to make a costly decision. Missing a deadline can result in lifetime penalties. Choosing the wrong coverage can cost you thousands of dollars each year. A licensed professional can help you find the best Medicare insurance coverage, specific to your health and financial situation. 

Many factors affect the cost of healthcare in retirement: insurance premiums, provider networks, deductibles, copays, prescription drugs, pharmacies. A licensed insurance agent can help you search through all available options, so you can choose coverage with the best value for you based on your health and financial circumstance. 

Robert Vogt spent about 2 hours with my wife and me, thoroughly discussing plans, medications, supplemental, etc. He was knowledgeable, left no question unanswered and has now begun saving us approximately $3,000 every year. That's meaningful! No pressure. Just picking from the best alternatives. SO delighted a friend referred us to the Chapter website.

Different types of Medicare agents

If you’re considering a Medicare agent, you’ll have two options: a captive agent or an independent insurance agent. While they’re both licensed to sell Medicare, they’re very different from one another. Knowing the difference can help you decide which type of licensed insurance agent to select.

Captive Agents

A captive agent works with only one insurance company. They get to know their company’s plans very well, and in great detail. The drawback to working with a captive agent is that they cannot provide you with information about options from other insurance providers. This means they can’t help you shop around and compare every plan available to you. With over 20,000 Medicare insurance plans available nationwide, committing to a captive agent can easily mean missing out on opportunities to find better value elsewhere.

Independent Insurance Agents

As the name suggests, an independent Medicare insurance agent is one who is not tied to a specific insurance carrier. Independent agents have contracts with multiple insurance providers: this allows them to offer Medicare beneficiaries more options.

When working with an independent Medicare agent, it’s important to ask how many insurance carriers they work with. Two? Three? The more, the merrier. Unfortunately, most independent agents only have access to compare plans from three or four carriers.

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

A Medicare agent is someone who represents one or more insurance companies. A broker, on the other hand, represents consumers looking for the right Medicare insurance. Finally, Medicare advisors could be agents or brokers—this term includes anyone who provides advice on Medicare decisions.

Agents, advisors, and brokers all receive commissions from insurance companies. Some brokers may charge consumers a fee for their service.

How Do Medicare Agents Get Paid?

Medicare agents don’t usually charge you a fee for their services. Most Medicare agents get paid a commission from insurance companies when they enroll a beneficiary into their plans. Unfortunately, many Medicare agents will only recommend a handful of plans that they get paid a commission for. At Chapter, we will recommend the best plan for you, regardless of if we get paid a commission.

How Chapter is Different from Other Medicare Insurance Agents

Chapter Advisors help you understand and choose from every Medicare option available to you. Our Advisors get paid the same amount, regardless of which plan they recommend to you. This removes misaligned incentives and ensures they always have your best interest at heart. 

We enable our Advisors to explain and compare all your options clearly and quickly by spending hours on training and providing them with detailed plan information at their fingertips. We take pride in making sure you understand your options and providing the best recommendation based on your personal needs.

Finding a Medicare Insurance Agent Near You

The right Medicare insurance coverage can ensure that you are receiving the healthcare you need without overpaying. However, the sea of information leaves many people feeling confused and worried, and you want to be sure you’re receiving the best coverage for your needs. 

Rather than struggle to understand coverages, policy options, and unfamiliar terms, a Medicare insurance agent or broker can help make enrolling in Medicare easy. The best licensed professionals will take the time to get to know you, present you with suitable options, and help you compare them so that you know that you’re selecting the best solution. 

Are you getting ready to enroll in Medicare for the first time or thinking about switching your coverage? Let one of Chapter’s licensed Advisors be your guide. We have Advisors licensed in every state! Give us a call today to get obligation-free advice.

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