The world of Medicare Insurance just got more crowded this year with a proliferation of Medicare Quote tools being launched by Insurance agencies in an attempt to give consumers all the information they need to make better and more informed decisions.
Many agents have had access to these quote tools for years and the ability to access information has been a critical differentiator in their success. The agents used these tools to keep track of the rates for carriers and all the different plans and how they compare to other carriers and plans.
While most Medicare prospects and enrollees purchase plans based on price, most Medicare Insurance agents know price is only part of the picture. The bigger picture includes; provider networks, copays, maximum out of pocket expenses, prescriptions, and extras provided by the plan like dental, vision, hearing, OTC and transportation.
One of the best things about a Medicare Quote tool for the average consumer is that it provides complete transparency – showing them without a doubt that agents are objectively shopping their options and helping them choose the plan with the most competitive rates for the benefits they want.
However, one of the biggest challenges for the consumer relying only on a quote tool is they have no idea about new plan changes; extra benefits, savings plans, network changes and how that could affect them based on what they want out of their benefits.
For example, many new plans this year are including transportation and tele-medicine. For agents having to go through certification with all the carriers, they know exactly what is available and what to look for to get the most out of the various plans for their clients.
The agents are comparing a variety of plans, talking to the different carrier representatives, and going through the training on the new products and benefits. They not only know how to use quote tools to find plans based on price, but they are looking for benefits based on needs that are the best cost overall.
The agents understand the underwriting policies, know what types of medications certain plans work with best and look at the comprehensive picture of everything available based on the unique needs of the individual, not just the price of the plan.
The independent agent knows what new plans are entering the market, if they’re stable and have longevity, and they can guide you away from bright shiny objects and help you look past the polish and make sure it has lasting value.
When the average Medicare enrollee is using these quoting tools, they are looking at the basics and don’t understand all the factors involved. Before shopping around or looking for new plans, you should consider what you aren’t getting out of your current plan and what you need out of a new one.
How do you know if you need to choose a new plan?
1. You’re spending too much on healthcare. If you’re spending too much on medical services, you might need a more comprehensive plan with higher premiums.
2. Your health situation has changed. If you’ve developed new conditions or health issues, it may be worth getting a plan that’s better suited for your needs.
3. Confirm your physicians and/or medications are on your plan. Providers may opt in or out of networks, and formularies can change annually. If your preferred medical provider is no longer willing to accept your current coverage, a switch to a different policy might work the best.
Don’t get stuck in the trap of going with the cheapest carrier that a quoting tool gives you. Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best choice. There are many factors to think about before choosing a plan and enlisting the aid of a professional agent is one of the best recommendations we can make. The independent agent isn’t incentivized to sell you any particular plan over another, instead, they are looking out for your best interests and not the interest of the carrier.
Medicare Quote Tools + Independent Agent = The BEST plan for you!