When researching their options, many people search for an “independent Medicare insurance broker near me”. This article and video detail the advantages of using an independent Medicare insurance agent vs. the classic captured agent.
How is an independent Medicare insurance agent or broker different from a regular insurance agent and why is this important to you as you shop for a Medicare plan? We will answer this question and more in today’s video.
I am an independent insurance broker helping people with their Medicare insurance from coast-to-coast.
Right at the top of the front page of our website, in clear view for all to see are the words “An Independent Insurance Broker.” As a result, almost every week people ask us; what is an Independent Medicare insurance broker and how is that different from insurance agents?
Well, the difference is substantial. It’s the difference between a person who represents your best interest and a person whose job is to sell you something regardless of what is in your best interest.
In the insurance world, there are two types of agents; the independent agent or broker and the captured agent.
The captured agent is an employee of an insurance company. They may work for Mutual of Omaha, Colonial Penn, or UHC /AARP, Blue Cross Blue Shield or any insurance company. Because they are employees of that insurance company they are only allowed to show you and discuss plans from their employer.
In insurance, the agent is required to be licensed in each state they work in AND with each company with which they are to do business.
Because a captured agent is an employee of an insurance company, the agent’s employer will not allow them to offer products from other companies. They are captured by their employer. They are only paid if they can get you to buy one of their employers’ products and they cannot offer you any product not authorized by their employer.
In our other videos I talk about two points that are critical to understand when you are shopping for a Medicare supplement. The first is that an insurance company may not offer every Medicare supplement plan that is available to you. They might not offer a Plan G or Plan N in your area. Second is that although the benefits of each plan are standardized, the prices are not. Insurance companies can charge wildly different prices for the exact same plan. In most states we see some insurance companies offering a Medicare supplement at twice the cost of the best priced plan.
How does all this fit in with the limitations of the captured agent?
Here is an example; in the last few years a major Medicare supplement insurance company was caught flat footed when Medicare announced the phasing out of Medigap Plan F. Everyone started buying Medicare supplement Plan G because it was a better value. But, this major insurance company, United Healthcare, did not have a Plan G anywhere. So, if a person shopping for Medicare supplements called up United Healthcare / AARP or spoke to one of their agents they would not even hear about a Medigap Plan G. They would not be told that there are other insurance companies offering a Plan G at a better value than the United Healthcare Plan F or that a Plan G might do everything a Plan F will do and put $300 a year into your pocket. They were also not told if other companies offer the exact same Plan F only at hundreds of dollars a year less, as is true in most parts of the country.
The same or similar is true with many other companies. It may be that they don’t a Plan N in your area, or some other plan. Or that the prices they charge are consistently more than their competitors. They won’t tell you if that’s the case. Their job is to sell you one of their products regardless of what is in your best interest.
So if you, the consumer, only talk to captured agents, you will have to talk to a lot of agents just to get a full picture of all the plans and prices that are available to you. If you consult with an independent Medicare insurance broker you can get all the information and prices you need from that one agent.
Working with an independent Medicare insurance broker is a completely different experience.
An Independent Medicare Insurance Broker does not work for an insurance company. They often run their own insurance agency and are contracted with all the major insurance companies or at least those with the most competitively priced products in your area. Because the independent Medicare insurance agent or broker can work with any of the companies available, the independent Medicare insurance agent can show you all the plans that are available to you, the prices from multiple companies and the price history from each of these companies. They work in your best interest, finding the right plan and best price of all that is available to you. It doesn’t matter which plan you choose, or company because the independent Medicare insurance broker can help you with any option you choose and get paid to do so.
By the way, you don’t pay the independent Medicare insurance agent or broker. The independent Medicare agent or broker is paid by whichever company you choose to get your Medicare supplement through as long as the broker helps you with the application process.
It cost you nothing to work with an independent broker. You pay the same price whether you go directly to an insurance company, use one of their captured agents or have an independent broker help you. The independent Medicare insurance broker is paid by whichever company you choose to get your Medicare plan with, as long as the broker helps you with the application. They are paid to introduce your business to the insurance company.
Even after you already have a Medicare supplement, you get more value and service with an independent broker. If your plan ever has a large increase in price, the independent Medicare insurance agent or broker can shop the entire market to find a better-priced plan. All the captured agent can do is hope you don’t re-shop your plan.
Here at MedigapSeminars.org, our mission is to help you make an informed decision about your Medicare choices. We want you to know about all the plans that are available and prices, so you can feel confident that you have the right plan at a competitive price.
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If you want us to help you shop for a Medicare supplement, complete the quote request form below and we will email you a complete Medicare supplement quote comparison. You will not be inundated with telephone calls. One person from my office will follow up to make sure you received the email and it’s not stuck in a Spam folder.
for Part D drug plan info visit: http://www.medicare.gov
Also visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medigap
Get your Medicare Guide to supplements here: https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/02110-Medicare-Medigap.guide.pdf
And your Medicare & You Guide here: https://www.medicare.gov/pubs/pdf/10050-Medicare-and-You.pdf