Your Guide to Finding a Medicare Agent

Enrolling in Medicare sounds simple but is often easier said than done. The sheer number of options and rules for age-based qualification can quickly become confusing.

Enrolling in Medicare sounds simple but is often easier said than done. The sheer number of options and rules for age-based qualification can quickly become confusing. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Consulting with a Medicare agent gives you access to a trusted and knowledgeable professional who can answer your questions, provide guidance, and ensure you’re taking the best path forward. 

What is a Medicare advisor?

A Medicare advisor is an independent, licensed insurance agent who represents multiple Medicare plan providers. The goal of an advisor is to help you compare, select, and enroll in the plan that’s best for you, whether it’s Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage

How do I find a Medicare agent?

At this stage, your priority is to connect with an experienced agent who has your best interests in mind. There are two main ways to find an agent: online or through a referral. Many people start online, so we have a helpful advisor directory that allows you to quickly find and contact a licensed professional in your area. 

If someone you know has already enrolled in Medicare, you can ask them for a referral. If they were happy with their experience, they may be willing to make an introduction. 

5 important questions to ask a Medicare advisor

Which Medicare insurance companies do you have a relationship with? 

Some agents are independent, meaning they work with multiple carriers. Others may work exclusively with one provider. Since an independent advisor works with more than one insurance carrier, they’re in the perfect position to walk you through a range of options so you can choose the plan that aligns with your needs and goals.

In your opinion, which plans best meet my needs?

Many people like the simplicity of Original Medicare, while others prefer the additional services and benefits available through Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Prescription Drug plans. The advisor should be able to help you determine which is the best approach based on your health and wellness goals.

How are you compensated for your services? 

Medicare agents typically earn commissions from the insurance companies, meaning they won’t receive payment unless you sign up for a plan they advised you on. However, they have a duty to only show customers plans that are well-suited to their needs unless the customer asks about a different one during the consultation.

Keen’s advisors are salaried, so their recommendations are based on individual attention and quality research rather than commission potential.

Can you assist with my Medicare application?

This one is simple: Yes. Working with a Medicare advisor isn’t required, but it’s often faster and easier than trying to do it alone. Advisors know how to navigate and interpret insurance company and government websites and can advocate for you when talking with the insurance company.

Do you have any reason to believe that I may not be eligible for Medicare?

People often associate Medicare enrollment with turning 65, but there are other requirements to meet. First and foremost, you must be a US citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived in the country for at least five years.

Additionally, you or your spouse must have worked for at least 10 years and paid into a retirement benefits program, like Social Security or the railroad retirement plan. If you or your spouse worked for the government, paying into Social Security may not be required, but Medicare payroll taxes are.

If you don’t meet any of the work-based criteria, you can pay premiums for Medicare services. But you still need to be a citizen or permanent legal resident for at least five years.

Why it’s beneficial to work with a Medicare advisor

A review of available plans

The plan you choose will impact your health and finances in the future, so it’s important to review all your options before making a final choice. Your agent can discuss each plan’s benefits, rules, and exceptions. 

Time savings

Comparing Medicare plans and completing an application can be a time-consuming process, especially if you don’t have any prior experience. An advisor knows the ins and outs of the Medicare system, which allows them to speed up the process on your behalf.

Help with medical underwriting

An underwriter’s job is to assess your health and use their findings to set a premium. An insurance company may decline your enrollment in a plan because of pre-existing health conditions. Your agent can assist with all aspects of medical underwriting to improve your chance of securing coverage at a competitive rate.

If you’re interested in consulting with a Medicare agent, call (888) 443-5336 (TTY: 711). Our experienced team can answer your questions and help you find the perfect independent Medicare advisor for your situation. 

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