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 – Three Reasons Why It Makes Sense to Get Them

Medigap Quotes are readily available from many sources, especially this time of year (during the annual enrollment period for the other types of plans – Part D and Advantage plans). It is highly advisable to get quotes for Medigap coverage (also called Medicare Supplements) on an annual basis, if you are already on Medicare. This way, you can confirm that you have the best “deal” available, and if you do not, make a change to save money.

There are three primary reasons why you should obtain Medigap quotes:

  1. First of all, and quite simply, the plans are Federally-standardized. If you are on Medicare and have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan currently, you have one of the standardized plans, which are named after letters. For example, a Plan F is the plan that fills in all the gaps in Medicare Parts A & B so that you don’t have any out of pocket costs at the doctor or hospital. If you have a Plan F with one company, it is very easy to compare other Plan F’s with other companies to confirm that your plan is the most competitively priced.
  2. Secondly, you should obtain Medigap quotes because it is extremely easy to do and does not cost you anything. In fact, in 90% of cases, you can save money on your Medigap insurance for equal coverage. Because of the above point, that Medigap plans are standardized, you can often save money. Insurance, particularly Medicare insurance, is an extremely fast-moving and changing thing. A plan that is good today may not be competitively priced tomorrow. Because of this, it is important to stay “on top of” your coverage and compare quotes on an annual basis. You can do so online. The rates themselves aren’t published online (this is not allowed by most companies); however, if you find the right independent brokerage, you can get a rate quote comparison sent to you by email. Full disclosure: we do this and would be happy to send it to you if you want to request Medigap quotes – Go to our website
  3. Last of all, you should get Medigap quotes to save money. Since the plans are standardized and the quotes are easy to obtain, you can usually save money. Everyone likes a little extra money in their pocket and this is one of the easiest ways to get it. Keep the same coverage and save money – it’s a no brainer.

If you would like more information or to obtain Medigap quotes by email, please request information on our website or give us a call. While many people do this this time of year, during the annual enrollment period for the Part D plans, you can actually change Medicare Supplements at any time, and should consider doing so whenever your rates change, which is typically on your policy anniversary date.