Unmasking Medicare advantage agents: the good, the bad and the bad
As an agent of Medicare Advantage policies, I comprehend the stigma that insurance agents face. Fortunately, I’m not suited to the prototype of a stereotypical car salesman, but I know many agents who do so. Since open registration is almost complete and many people are choosing to switch from Medicare Advantage to Medicare Advantage, I thought I could say what I could say about choosing the right agent, just in case consumers would like to separate the good, the bad and ugly.
A quality which separates agents is their method of generating leads and who they work for. Although impromptu calls have become illegal, many Medicare health providers still find people who are not on the list of excluded phone numbers and spend their days bothering those unwanted consumers unintentionally. If an agent calls you and you do not know how he got your number, the call ends. This officer is breaking federal law and we can’t say what this officer could do.
Independent agents, that is, agents working for everyone, are generally responsible for cold solicitation and contract holders. However, this does not mean that there are no reliable independent agents on the ground. Surprisingly, independent agents can be among the best in the industry as long as they do not resort to looting or cold calling. Why? First of all, most agents work in the major call centers or for the couriers themselves. If you work with a large call center, out of thousands, you are just a customer. Agents working for a supplier can’t give you more than one offer. Never talk to an agent who only works for a supplier, because I can guarantee you that you will listen to a sales imbalance, which all consumers, in all markets, should suffer.
Independent agents do not encounter any of these problems. They are generally stipulated with multiple carriers for their region and have a manageable customer base, making it one of the best ways to get the cheapest rate for a Medicare top-up policy. Disclaimer: Some smaller call centers do not grow too large and are good places to shop. In general, you should be away from anyone who does not help you in your purchases, i.e. from someone who does not understand that you want to hear more than one available option.
Agents offering only one type of policy, especially Policy F, can’t be considered to be reliable. “But did I expect Policy F to be the best policy?!” In terms of insurance, you are right; the policy F is the most complete. However, in terms of commission income, Policy F is the most cost-effective policy an agent can sell or promote to you. If you talk to an agent who does not want to discuss other policies with you at any time, I can guarantee that this agent will probably be 1. very greedy and no one likes an insurance agent who is greedy or 2. very inexperienced on the job.