Why Work with an Agent

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When choosing a Medicare plan, an agent can help you every step of the way. Below, we explore the benefits of working with an agent, along with expert tips to keep in mind when choosing a plan.

Your agent can help you with:

Getting expert advice: Licensed by the state(s) they work in, agents have extensive training and education on plans and provider networks. They typically work with multiple health insurance companies to provide recommendations about which plans may be suited to your health goals and budget. An agent can also help answer your questions and act as your guide throughout Medicare enrollment.

Receiving assistance when you need it: From understanding the different parts of Medicare to helping you have peace of mind, an agent can assist you at any stage of Medicare enrollment. If you’re signing up for Medicare for the first time, an agent can compare different plans, including group versus Medicare coverage, provide you with quotes to review or offer a second opinion.

Reviewing your coverage options before your birthday: You are first eligible to enroll in Medicare in the three months before your birthday, the month you turn 65 and the three months that follow. This is your seven-month Initial Enrollment Period. It’s a good idea to start reviewing your options with your agent before this period begins to ensure you have time to compare plan quotes, benefits and coverage.

Knowing what each plan covers: Not all Medicare plans offer the same coverage and benefits. Original Medicare, also known as Medicare Parts A and B, covers most medically necessary services but not the full cost of routine care, nor does it provide vision, dental or other benefits.

As an alternative option to Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage (MA) includes complete Part A and Part B coverage, plus extras. Most MA plans offer additional benefits like vision and dental coverage, fitness incentives, care for chronic illnesses and even prescription coverage. MA eligibility is based on where you live. Find a list of qualifying counties in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota here.

By helping you know what’s included in each plan, your agent can help you understand the finer details of Medicare and eliminate confusion.

Enrolling in Medicare early: If you sign up for Medicare Parts A and B during the first three months of your eligibility, your coverage begins on the first day of the month you turn 65. Although your initial enrollment period gives you a seven-month window to enroll, not waiting to enroll can help your coverage begin in a timely manner.

Even after you enroll, your agent can assist you with any questions or concerns you have throughout your coverage year. When it becomes time for renewal, your agent will be there to provide recommendations based on any life changes.

Avoiding missing the enrollment deadline: If you get coverage through a spouse or a retiree plan, it’s important to consider your coverage options. If you don’t sign up for Part B when you first become eligible for Medicare, there could be a delay in your Medicare coverage or you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you are enrolled in Part B. Your agent can help you navigate these different considerations.

Best of all, agents are available to you at no cost: Most agents are paid directly by insurance companies, so you can meet with them at no additional cost. You’ll pay the same monthly premium whether you purchase health insurance on your own or through a licensed insurance agent.

Download your free Medicare comparison worksheet here or call (888) 535-4831 to speak with a licensed agent from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.

Align powered by Sanford Health Plan is a PPO with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Align powered by Sanford Health Plan depends on contract renewal. Sanford Health Plan complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

CMS ID Number: H8385_899-906-507-PY2022-ND-SD_M, H3186_899-906-507-PY2022-MN_M

Last Updated On: 4.20.23 at 10:30 AM

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