Five Advantages of Using an Independent Medigap Broker

Independent Medigap brokerThere are many advantages to using an independent Medigap broker. These may not be readily apparent to someone who does not fully understand how the back end of the insurance “business” works, but these advantages are significant and they can help you save even more.

First of all, let’s establish that there are two basic ways to sign up for a Medigap plan. Unlike Part D, you cannot sign up for a Medigap plan directly through Medicare or on Medicare’s website. The two ways to sign up for a Medigap are directly through an insurance company or through an independent agent who represents that company (among others). Signing up directly through the company is certainly an option, and either way, you’ll receive the same rate, same benefits, same claims processing, etc. However, here are five advantages of using an independent Medigap broker that may make that option more advantageous for you.

1. The independent broker is just that, independent, so they can assist in compiling and comparing all options in a centralized place. While this seems like it would be easy for a consumer to do on their own, anyone that has attempted it can tell you, it is a tiresome task. First, all rates are not published online – some may be, but there are questions about whether the website is up to date and whether all options are reflected. What an independent broker can do is compile and present all options in a centralized place.

2. An independent broker can also provide virtually unlimited and unbiased expertise from their dealings with the various Medigap plans. For us, we represent 30+ companies in 40+ states, so we have clients with many different companies. We have seen how stable companies rates have been over time, what problems/issues clients have had and which companies have maintained a strong position in the marketplace.

3. Once you have the rates and information, an independent broker assists by answering questions that you have about how the plans work and what they cover. Again, this is information that can be obtained by thorough reading of Medicare’s materials, but anyone who has done it can tell you, that again, that is not an easy task.

4. After you have understood the plans and chosen one, an independent broker can provide service after the sale. This can take many forms, but the certainty is that, because agents are compensated on an ongoing basis, it is to their advantage to consistently “service” you and your policy. Many other brokers, including us, also offer added services for clients. For example, we offer annual Part D plan reviews, Medicare informational newsletters, and periodic rate snapshots of Medigap rates.

5. The fifth advantage of using an independent Medigap broker is one many people do not realize… You are already paying for a broker, whether you use one or not – it doesn’t cost you anything to use one – so why not capitalize on your premium dollars and use a broker’s expertise. In other words, companies build in the broker’s pay into their premiums, so all policyholders “pay” agents as part of their premiums.

Whether it is us or someone else, it is unquestionable that using an independent broker has many advantages and facilitates and more informed decision. Signing up directly through an insurance company is an option, but by doing so, you would not have access to the unbiased comparative functions offered by an independent broker. Additionally, in most cases, you would be dealing with someone who is not as qualified/experienced specifically in this market. And, lastly, the likelihood that you would deal with the same person over time is not nearly as high (higher turnover and usually you’re calling an 800 to a call room somewhere for service/questions).

If you have questions about this or how using an independent Medigap broker works, please contact us at 877.506.3378 or on our website.

Medigap Quotes Online – How and Why To Get Them

Obtaining Medigap quotes online is an important and easy way to decide on a Medigap plan when you turning 65 or comparing plans. There are numerous plan options, but the most significant thing to realize is that the plans are Federally-standardized. So every company must offer the same coverage plans. This makes comparing the plans very easy to do, and it is something that can be done online.

Here are the steps to follow to make a successful and hassle-free plan comparison online:

1. Understand the basics before you start. Here are the basics that we believe everyone should understand before they even start comparing Medigap rates:

  • All of the companies must offer the same plans – plans are Federally-standardized.
  • The companies do have financial strength ratings (AM Best); however, all companies pay claims through the Medicare “Crossover” system and there is no variation in how fast, how much etc they pay.
  • Whether you sign up for a plan through a broker (who can compare multiple plan options) or the company itself, you will get the same rate/plan

2. Be judicious with who and how many people/companies you request information from. There are hundreds of sources of information out there, and all agents have access to the same rates/plans. So at most, you should only intend to speak with 2-3 agents to get an idea for rates and what plans would be most competitively positioned in your area. Also, many of the websites aim to only capture your information and sell it to 8-10 agents, who will contact you. Use your common sense to only request information from an actual agent/agency, not a “quote farm” website.

3. When you are ready to get Medigap quotes online, simply enter your information – use accurate information. Some websites will send you the information instantaneously by email, and some may take a couple of hours if it is customized information. Most insurance companies do not allow their rates to be displayed on websites beside rates from other companies. So, if you do find that somewhere, make sure the rates are up to date and all applicable companies are represented.

4. Once you have the comparison, you can easily compare plans based on rates and company rating. Make an informed decision and use the agent that you choose to work with to ask any questions etc.

If you have any questions now or if you want to obtain obtain Medigap quotes online, you can contact us at 877.506.3378.

Medicare Supplement Quotes – The Secure Way to Get Them

Medicare Supplement quotes are the best way to compare the various Medicare supplement plan options. There are many, many options for Medicare supplement insurance in each state, and different options are better in certain areas and for certain ages or situations. The best way to find out which plan or company is right for you is to compare all of your options and choose a plan based primarily on price.

So, why is price the most important thing? Well, put simply, the plans are standardized so there is no variation in coverage. A Plan ‘F’ with one company is the exact same thing as a Plan ‘F’ with another company. So, price is the only differentiating factor. Here are the steps to getting Medicare Supplement quotes:

  1. First and foremost, you must request them from an independent source, such as an independent Medicare insurance brokerage. An independent resource like this will give you quotes for a handful of the competitively priced companies for your age and zip code, so that you can compare them on your own time.
  2. Secondly, you must give honest and complete information so your quotes can be run accurately. Now, this doesn’t include giving them every piece of personal information you have – for example, to provide quotes, they shouldn’t need your social security number, bank information, etc. To successfully run quotes, all that is needed is age, zip code, gender, and tobacco usage. This will be enough information to give you the information you are looking for. If the source you are using is asking for additional information that you don’t feel comfortable giving out, we recommend using a different source to get your quotes.
  3. Once you have the quotes, you can easily compare plans and companies. Are you on a Medicare Supplement currently? If so, you can compare a “like” plan to see if you would be able to save any money for equal coverage. If you are turning 65, or going on Medicare for the first time, you can use the standardized coverage chart to see what each plan covers. Then from there, you can choose a plan and compare rates using the Medicare Supplement quotes.

If you have any questions or want to get your own set of quotes to compare to your current plan (if you already have one) or other plans you are considering (if you are going on Medicare), please contact us on our website: Medicare Supplements. We are happy to provide the information you request, by email, in an easy-to-understand format.