Updated: May 26, 2020
At The Medicare Connection we’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about television ads that proclaim there is something new going on with Medicare. These ads are designed to get you to call an 800 number. In other words, they’re cleverly worded sales pitches aimed at people who already have a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement, the goal being to get you to switch plans.
As agents who specialize in additional Medicare options, we can assure you there is currently nothing new going on with either type of plan, especially in the middle of the year. For example, changes to Advantage plans, whether it’s additional benefits, new co-pays, or any other change, won’t occur until the new plans for 2021 are released for the Annual Enrollment Period that runs October 15-December 7.
So, trust us, you’re not missing some new development. But should you decide to call that 800 number, and that’s entirely up to you, be cautious. As the Latin expression goes, caveat emptor, let the buyer beware. You are most definitely going to get a sales spiel.
Our suggestion is to contact your current Medicare agent whenever you have questions about your plan, particularly in that first week of October when we can tell you about what changes, if any, will be coming in the next year.
While we are on the subject, when you buy your plan from a local independent agent, you are establishing a relationship with that particular agent. At The Medicare Connection we take that relationship very seriously. Our job is to make sure you are a satisfied, happy customer by pairing you with a plan, whether it’s Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement, that meets your needs and budget.
We look into many issues in helping you search out the right plan and we consider lots of questions:
· Are your doctors and other providers in the plan’s network?
· Are your prescriptions covered? What will they cost?
· Are you eligible for Extra Help with your prescriptions?
· Do you travel extensively?
· If you are eligible for Medicaid, can we optimize your benefits with a Medicare Advantage plan?
· If you are a veteran, does it make sense to have a Medicare Advantage plan along with your VA benefits?
· When can I enroll? When can I change plans? What steps do I need to take?
Having that relationship with an agent matters. We’ve taken the time to get to know you and what you need. We’ve also taken the time to pass certification tests, so we are knowledgeable about the issues surrounding Medicare (something agents must do every year to stay current on their licensing).
We keep our eyes open for changes to your plan or better options that might arise. We are there for you if you have problems with your plan. We are a resource when you have questions.
There are many other benefits to your relationship with your agent, because as agents, and pardon the cliché, we’re not happy unless you’re happy. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of the expertise that comes with that special relationship.
After all, it’s about your health, and we take that seriously.