Helping Your Clients Transition to MedicareJulie Brooks
Established agents understand that it is the nature of the insurance industry that business will ebb and flow over time. With that understanding comes the knowledge that working your book of business can provide ongoing sales as your clients’ needs change over time. A consist opportunity exists in assisting your existing clients in transitioning from traditional or employer provided healthcare to Medicare as they turn 65. The world of Medicare can seem overwhelming to clients, as well as to many agents. Offering your assistance or referring them to someone who is knowledgeable and can provide them with the guidance needed to navigate their transition to Medicare is invaluable.
Whether you have extensive knowledge and expertise in the field of Medicare, or you do not, it is important to have a basic understanding so that you can guide your clients as they approach 65. If nothing else, determine when your client’s Medicare eligibility begins. They have a 7 month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) to sign up. For most people, this is 3 months before, the month of, and the 3 months after their 65th birthday.
In most cases it is to the client’s advantage to sign up for Medicare when they are first eligible because once their Medicare Part A coverage starts, they will no longer be eligible for a premium tax credit or other savings for a Marketplace plan. If they were to keep their Marketplace plan, they would have to pay full price.
If your client enrolls in Medicare after their Initial Enrollment Period ends, they may have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty for as long as they have Medicare. In addition, if they miss their IEP, they can only enroll in Medicare Part B (and Part A if they must pay a premium for it) during the Medicare general enrollment period (from January 1 to March 31 each year), and coverage does not start until July of that year. This may create a gap in their coverage.
Once their IEP is determined, if you would like to become Medicare certified to act as the agent to your clients, Insurance Advisors can guide you through the process. We offer tools and resources to ensure that you are providing your clients with a smooth transition. If you do not wish to be certified to sell Medicare, Insurance Advisors can offer experienced Medicare enrollment on your behalf, while providing a referral program to reward the agent for their referrals.
Work your book of business and retain your clients through the next phase of their lives. Reach out to Insurance Advisors and get the assistance you and your clients need.