As a Medicare advisor, your job is to help make the transition to the health insurance as easy as possible for your client. You have been trained and are licensed to review a person’s information and then to guide them to whatever insurance best suits their needs as well as fits within their budget. It’s easier said than done of course and it takes true experience and skill to be able to help a person and get them exactly what they need.
Every year, open enrollment provides you with an opportunity to close existing clients as well as new ones. However, whether you are talking to existing clients or new ones, you still have to have some topics ready to go. These topics of discussion focus on areas of concern for the patient, whether they are new to Medicare or not. Ideally, by focusing on these areas of discussion, you can show your clients how these services can offer them more assistance than they expected, for a better price.
It does not matter what someone’s financial situation currently is, no one is happy with the costs of goods and services and how they have skyrocketed this past year. This is an issue everyone will want to discuss and they are especially interested in learning how they can cut down on those costs. Healthcare costs are something that seniors struggle to budget for and if they are living on a smaller budget, they will need to make their money work for them when it comes to their insurance.
Thankfully, there are several new things to announce with Medicare that include options to help cut prices down including spending caps, lower deductibles and other news depending on what plans you are enrolled in. As you are going over the options with a client, be sure to mention where they can cut costs in their healthcare, especially if this is their first time enrolling and they are not sure what the difference will be in costs with this insurance over insurances they’ve had in the past. Being able to cut those costs significantly throughout the year can be a major help, especially for a retiree who is on a fixed income.
Before the age of 65, one is not used to hearing about additional benefits or perks with their health insurance. That’s because, in many ways, their plans focus more on coverage rather than perks. In the case of Medicare, because providers are limited on what they can add to a plan or what they can charge for it, you can expect far more perks to be added. A great example of this is the grocery allowance plan that allows people to have a monthly allowance to go towards healthy foods as well as over-the-counter medicines. This is a major benefit that millions of people are unaware of and few utilize to their advantage.
This is a great thing to mention during talks about costs and how to keep things affordable. OTC medications and healthier groceries like produce have skyrocketed in price. Help with these costs specifically is extremely valuable and can help the consumer to save a lot throughout the year. Other options offer things like routine exams, lower costs on preventative care and more. There are also programs in place to help with weight loss and diabetes prevention. While this may not be enough to close a deal, it could make the plans more appealing to a client, especially if they are on the fence about costs.
Help With Online Services
In many ways, the biggest impact covid will have on health insurance, especially Medicare, is that it made the services and options more internet friendly. Because of the pandemic, the medical field, which many felt was being too stubborn about utilizing online services, had to begin relying on these options. For the first time ever, doctors relied on telehealth options to communicate with clients, prescriptions are being shipped directly to patients homes, appointments can be made over the internet and important information can be accessed simply by logging in rather than having to wait on the phone for hours.
While this is great for the consumer, many seniors are not familiar with these options nor how to utilize them. Your consultation is a great opportunity to discuss these options with your client and show them where and how to access them. The more accustomed to these options your clients become, the more they will utilize their plans and take advantage of the benefits it offers them.
Every client is different. It does not matter how many similarities they have to someone else, each one has a different budget, financial situation, health needs as well as a unique understanding of health insurance and how it works. Your goal is not to sell them on a plan they can use, but to show them the advantages that every plan offers and create a strategy that will benefit the client throughout the year. During open enrollment, these people will share with you all the information you need to understand what they are really looking for as far as coverage goes. If they are too concerned about costs, then you know where to focus your attention. If they were limited in coverage last year, focus on that first.
The time you spend creating a custom strategy will not go unnoticed. However, make sure that you are breaking down the advantages every time you see the price go up a dollar. If the client sees a higher price they need to know why it’s more expensive and what benefits they are getting from the increased costs, whether it’s short-term or long-term. If they can save money on out-of-pocket costs, make sure you focus on that because they will not see that simply looking at monthly prices.
When selecting Medicare coverage, most people look to advisors to show them their options. If you want to stand out and make an impact with your client, focus instead on areas where they want to see improvements. If you cannot help with price, focus on quality of care. If you can help them to save throughout the year, why not focus on that during your discussions? You know where this person has seen their advantages as well as their disadvantages when it comes to healthcare and insurance. Utilize that information to make them a plan that works best for them. The more time you dedicate to this, the happier the client will be with your strategy.