Independent Medicare Insurance Agents And Brokers

By: Edward Neeman
Published: Thursday, September 13 2018
Last Updated: 4 years ago

Shopping for the right healthcare plan for yourself and your loved ones can be a confusing and stressful process under the best of circumstances. What happens, then, when you’ve reached Medicare eligibility? You may be thinking that things will get easier, you’re the only choice is, well, Medicare. In actuality, there is a number of Medicare options available to you, and you will still have to sort through lots of information.

Under the Medicare, you will encounter Original Medicare, which is Part A for hospital coverage and Part B for medical services. There are also Medicare Advantage plans, known as Part C, that include Parts A & B, along with some additional benefits. Then there are the supplemental plans known as Medigap, and Part D plans for prescription coverage.

It gets more complex when you consider that the options available to you vary based on your location. Traditional Medicare is nationwide, but Medicare Advantage, supplemental plans, and Part D are location-based, and availability changes from state to state and even city to city. An independent Medicare insurance agent can help you sort through your choices, finding options in your region that will work best for your needs.

What Is An Independent Medicare Agent?

An independent Medicare insurance agent is a licensed Medicare advisor who helps educate beneficiaries on the options available to them. They don’t work for a specific Medicare contractor or plan; rather they are knowledgeable on all the plans in their region and can offer objective advice.

Their Role

A Medicare advisor knows the pros, cons, and costs of the Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap and Supplemental plans, and Part D prescription plans offered in their region. They work with Medicare beneficiaries to understand these choices and help enroll the beneficiaries in a plan of their choosing.

You are not required to use an independent Medicare insurance agent or these other plans if you are happy with your Original Medicare. The decision to speak to a Medicare advisor is entirely up to you and you also determine which types of plans you wish to discuss.

Do They Cost You Money?

The great news is that your Medicare plan will cost the same either way. There is no extra cost to you to speak with a licensed Medicare advisor. Whether they help you enroll in a new Medicare plan or you decide to stick with just Parts A and B, your costs won’t change. Medicare brokers receive a commission from the Medicare contractors.

The Benefits Of A Broker Who Is Independent

The benefits of speaking with an independent Medicare insurance agent are numerous. Medicare advisers undergo annual training and education on Medicare policy and products. Their roles are also governed by strict guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

This means they can act independently of the Medicare contractors they represent to help you find unbiased solutions to your healthcare needs. They are restricted by CMS from pushing any one specific plan or contractor on you or pressure you in any way to purchase a specific plan. Their role is to present all options available to you and then allow you to make an informed decision on your own.

Finding A Medicare Supplement Agent

An independent Medicare agent can also act as a Medicare Supplement broker. The broker can only work in this capacity at your request. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan already, your Medicare agent is prevented from discussing supplemental plans with you, unless you request otherwise. You cannot have a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medigap supplemental plan at the same time; it is one or the other.

An agent, when acting as a Medicare supplement broker, can only do so at your request, and under the condition that you would have to leave your Medicare Advantage plan before enrolling in Medigap coverage. If you wish to discuss these plans, a licensed Medicare supplement broker can provide information on the best plans for you.

Speed Up Your Search With FirstQuote Medicare

Don’t worry if you’re still a bit confused, Medicare is complicated, and at FirstQuote Medicare we understand that. That’s why we’ve made it easy to find information and a Medicare agent or broker in your area to talk to. The best part? It’s totally free!

Whether you’re looking to compare Medicare Supplement quotes, or talk to an experienced agent to help guide you through the process, we have you covered. All you have to do is enter your zip code to get started.