by Bill Haynor
Anyone watching the news will notice the steady increase in Medicare supplement policy purchases. It’s understandable given the concern that out-of-pocket costs appear to be rising and the uncertainty of where they will level off — if at all. Insurance agents are getting more seniors inquiring about such offerings. The key for these brokers is in how to close these deals before a rival does.
Many agents will dive into the specific coverage and cost options, but that’s not where to start the conversation with a prospective policyholder. Confusion still reigns in the customer’s mind about their Medicare options. Many may want to go the Medicare Advantage route, but selling these offerings can be a hassle given the regulatory hurdles surrounding such policies. The best option may be to find a national partner that can handle these leads and turn your attention to the supplement market. It’s a less laborintensive segment that enjoys a high renewal rate with customers. When you do, focus on emphasizing these five selling points to get the customer primed to sign.
Medicare supplement policies require no physical exam. There’s no need in order to qualify for supplement insurance. Many policies can also be approved in a matter of days so the barriers to getting one are often small, and very likely non-existent. Become familiar with carriers that you represent. There is almost always a carrier for each individual’s circumstance, so being familiar with different carriers’ guidelines will give you an edge and help you place the business with the most appropriate company.
Medicare supplement policies are portable. A supplement policy enables the customer to take their policy to any provider (doctor, clinic, or hospital) that accepts Medicare. It gives the customer the freedom to determine which medical practitioner will provide the best care for their needs without being restricted to a limited-area provider network.
Medicare supplement policies travel with you. Policies are not only portable by provider, but also by geography. Coverage is valid in any state; some even go so far as to cover individuals who are traveling overseas. This can be a key selling point as more and more seniors spend their retirement years jet-setting around the U.S. and the globe.
Medicare supplement policies can prevent an unexpected personal financial crisis. There will be some seniors who believe their net worth and prudent financial investments will help them cover any unexpected out-of-pocket costs. That may be true for now. I can tell you first hand, though, that circumstances can change quickly. I was a very healthy 70-year-old, a daily runner, tennis player, golfer and swimmer. Seemingly overnight, I began to experience health issues. Over a period of two years I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee for a torn meniscus, double hernia surgery, cataract surgery on my left eye, open heart surgery for four blocked arteries and a torn mitral valve and, finally, surgery for a ruptured appendix. The total cost was close to $600,000. My out-of-pocket costs would have been close to $120,000 if it weren’t for my Medicare supplement policy, which covered it all. Brokers who can paint such a scenario with prospects may turn their no into a continued discussion.
Medicare supplement paperwork can often be completed in 30 minutes or less. Make it easy for seniors to start the process. Seniors may be overwhelmed with the choices. Allay their fears by telling them about the multiple options that exist in terms of coverage and providers and help them identify the plan that’s right for them. The less complicated you can make the issue, the better. Offer them a chance to get going before you end the appointment, but minimize the time that’s required of them.
There are plenty of insurance brokers competing for the same business. The key is to not dwell immediately on the different policy features. Take the consultative approach. With seniors, the key is to give them peace of mind by outlining the five benefits. Once this is done, you can help them determine which Medicare supplement policy is right for them. Do so at the first meeting, and you’ll have a much better chance in closing the deal.
Bill Haynor is the founder and CEO of SeniorQuote Insurance Services, a nationwide provider of Medicare-related products and services. Haynor holds more than 30 years of experience in the insurance and the financial services industries and personally knows the issues related to seniors navigating through the confusing Medicare insurance market. To learn more visit http://www. seniorquote.com or contact Haynor here firstname.lastname@example.org.