People change their minds. People change their opinions. People change their hair color. People change their jobs, their friends, their… whatever!
Change is what we do. You get the point. We humans seem to always want something different. For me, I’m content with a white business shirt, half a dozen ties, and one pair of shorts. My dad used to comment he has over 20 pairs of shorts. I say I can only wear one pair at a time on the weekend. But this fashionable family of mine insisted on buying me three more pairs of shorts and seven colorful tee shirts.
Back to the point. Change happens for many reasons. Companies may change directions to meet their missions for growth in topline revenue, profit, or market share. These changes may affect Medicare beneficiaries, but 2020 is expected to be mildly disruptive. But rumors, misinformation, and concern will abound.
My concern is most folks when given a choice to make a change or not, default to staying where they are. It is human nature. The insurance companies know better than most how we humans think and behave. But I’m just like you. You have heard the axiom “cobbler’s kids have no shoes”. Well, I finally got my son to research my car and home insurance! He saved us over 50% in 20 minutes. He happens to be a millennial, an engineer, and a CEO, and he is under 30. (Yes, I’m a proud dad!)
My point. Every year, it seems, we need to beg our clients to allow us to help them not be taken advantage of by the insurance companies. I coined the phrase “Medicare Guardian Angel” in a workshop last month. We are Medicare guardian angels for our clients. For no cost to the Medicare beneficiary (our clients), we search every plan available in the zip code they reside. Insurance companies think we are nuts offering such a service, especially because we are not paid to do so.
I was speaking at a conference in Omaha. The audience was insurance agents focused on Medicare sales. I had the privilege of meeting agents from around the country. I was flabbergasted when I found that many sold only Medicare Supplements; some may be helped folks find a drug plan; many agents were adamant that their Medigap plan was the only option, when, in fact, 40% of the folks in the market they serve, select Medicare Advantage plans. Some only sold Medicare Advantage plans and never considered the benefits of Medicare plus a Medigap plan plus a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. I could not find a single agent who was licensed, certified, and appointed to help Medicare beneficiaries to compare both types of programs. I also could not find a single agent that offered more than five different insurance company offerings on either side of the equation.
Most experts, pundits, and agents say what we do is unheard of in the industry. Guess what. It’s the right thing to do, period. So, we will continue to advocate for our clients, continue to educate the general public, medical providers, and human resource professionals on how real people experience Medicare. We will continue to publish new books on the subject. We will keep up the good fight.