Medicare Insurance Agents versus Brokers
The way Medicare functions, complication seems to be built into the system just because it's so big, and it has to be in order to care for so many people with unique needs. It feels that way coming in, anyway; whether you're on disability or about to turn 65, it seems like you need to know a lot quickly. The good news, though, is whether this is a matter of design or all in your head, Medicare insurance agents exist to make this a smooth ride for you. That's true if you're about to qualify for Medicare or if you've been on Medicare for many years.
A Medicare insurance agent's job is to know all they can about the Medicare process and also as much as they can about private providers in your area (we specialize in New Jersey). They have answers to your Medicare questions, and for the rare occasion that you think of one that stumps them, they generally know exactly where to look to find it.
Do Medicare Insurance Agents Represent Private Insurance Companies?
When you go beyond Original Medicare and explore Medicare Advantage (Part C), or any of the other letters of the Medicare alphabet, you're usually dipping into the side of the system that private insurance companies handle, so this is a completely normal question to ask. Yes, Medicare insurance agents and brokers may be paid via commission by the company that you enroll in. It's important that agent you work with represents multiple companies and will do the following:
- Helping you go over all plans available to you to determine the plan that makes sense for your specific needs.
- Review your medications, doctors, and healthcare needs to assist in finding a plan that everything is covered at an affordable price.
- Looking at your current plan and deciding whether it is still the best value and coverage for you, allowing you to decide whether you would like to make a change.
- Agents must certify with federal Medicare testing annually (AHIP) and have to pass annual tests to certify with any insurance carrier they represent.
Your Medicare review can happen over the phone or in person. Rest assured that no Medicare insurance agent or broker will ever just show up in person; it's always an arranged meeting, by appointment, and they have to be certain to document all plan options that you, specifically, wish to discuss.
Medicare agents are not endorsed or paid by the federal government. The agent makes a commission when they enroll you in a plan, but the price you pay is the same whether you use an agent or go directly with the company. You will never be charged a fee to use a Medicare agent or broker.
What Having a Medicare Broker on Hand Can Do For You
Medicare brokers are tied to no specific private insurance company. Some might be appointed to different companies, but never just one. When you're planning ahead, or when you have questions, remember there's someone there to give you detailed, informed answers, and it doesn't cost you a dime. Consult with an agent through a company like the New Jersey Medicare Brokers, and arrange a meeting so that you are the most prepared you can be for your next important Medicare decisions.
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