Study Examines How Seniors Shop For Medicare Insurance
Less than half (44%) of the survey participants used an independent insurance agent or broker when shopping for Medicare coverage. Greenwald Research conducted the research in partnership with the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI).
The study found that the majority (53%) of survey respondents did not work directly with a broker. These individuals worked independently to compare and select coverage.
Comparing the various available Medicare plan options can be confusing. There can easily be 40 or as many as 50 different plans available. The number will depend on where you live.
According to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, the majority of Medicare beneficiaries currently participate in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. The organization reports some 26 million individuals are participants in a MA plan. The latest data reveals that 14.5 million have a Medicare Supplement plan, also referred to as Medigap coverage.
Experts recommend consumers consider working with a knowledgeable and experienced Medicare insurance professional. Some plans are promoted as being free of cost for the participant. However, these no-premium plans may expose you to deductibles and co-payments that can exceed the cost of monthly insurance premiums.
Some Medicare plans provide the option of seeing any medical professional, an option some seniors find desirable. Other plan options may limit you to specific providers including the ability to seek second opinions from specialists of your choosing.
Consumers should be aware of the difference between an insurance agent and an insurance broker. While both must be licensed and meet state-specific requirements, an agent is typically able to only represent one insurance company. Conversely, an insurance broker can represent and sell policies offered by multiple companies.
Asking how many different insurance companies the individual can represent is a simple way to ascertain who you are speaking to.
A national directory lists local agents and Medicare insurance brokers available to assist consumers. Hosted by the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, the zip code based resource is free to use and can be accessed at https://www.medicaresupp.org/find-local-agent/ without inputting any personal information.
32504 Carrie Place
Westlake Village, CA 91361
The American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance advocates for the importance of protection and supports insurance professionals who market Medicare products. For information, visit the organization's website at https://www.medicaresupp.org
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