You dedicate your career to understanding and working with Medicare’s rules and regulations, but your clients just want good and affordable health care and coverage. To you, Medicare trial rights may seem like a remedial subject, but your clients may mix things up and end up stuck with a plan they don’t like without your help.
Trial rights allow Medicare beneficiaries to “try out” a Medicare Advantage plan with the option to switch to a Medicare Supplement plan. Trial rights are not ongoing – that’s why it’s important for you to make it clear to your clients that the plan they purchase will be their plan for a long time. They can’t just wake up one day after having the same policy for years and decide that they want to switch. Additionally, trial rights do not make the earlier days of coverage cheaper. It’s not like signing up for a free trial of Amazon Prime. Trial rights just give eligible beneficiaries an option to switch between MA and Med Supp without losing time and money.Trial rights allow beneficiaries to try an MA plan with the option to switch to Med Supp.Click To Tweet
A beneficiary who purchases a Medicare Advantage plan and decides they’d prefer Medigap can switch plans during one very specific period – from 60 days before their MA plan is set to expire to 63 days after their coverage ends. Because Medigap carriers are allowed to deny based on pre-existing conditions, beneficiaries typically cannot hold a Medicare Advantage policy for several years before deciding to switch. They have to do it early on in the coverage period.
Additionally, beneficiaries who have already switched to a Medigap policy but want to switch back to Medicare Advantage can exercise trial rights within a year of the initial Medigap purchase or switch.
The best way for you to exercise your client’s trial rights is to first hear their opinion of their current plan. If you call your client to check in on their plan and they tell you that they are unhappy, you can start the conversation by informing them of their eligibility. Even if your clients know that trial rights exist, they may assume that they are not eligible because they never signed up for any sort of “trial.” In truth, as long as they are still within a year of their purchase date, they can switch between Medicare Advantage and Medigap.
It’s important for you, as a Medicare agent, to remember that your job doesn’t end after you leave your first appointment with a new client. There is so much more that you can do for them than just selling them one Medicare policy. From ancillary insurance to trial rights and everything in between, there are several different ways for you to simultaneously help someone and earn some extra cash. Plus, your clients will be more likely to recommend you to their friends if they are happy with your services and truly believe that you have their best interest at heart. Start talking to your clients about trial rights today.