Medicare Advantage plans have continued to rise in popularity. According to the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has increased by 71% since 2010. There is a clear demand for Medicare Advantage plans, which is great news for agents like you! No matter what you sell, vehicles, kitchenware, or even vacuums, it’s important to understand what the client values.
The Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation conducted research evaluating what seniors and Medicare eligibles valued when choosing or changing their Medicare Advantage plans. This research found that seniors and Medicare eligibles may not always value what you think. So what does a beneficiary value in Medicare Advantage plans?
For many beneficiaries, the grass may not be greener when it comes to switching Medicare plans. KFF’s research found that many beneficiaries found the process of enrolling in their first plan to be such a challenge, they would rather forfeit the potential benefits of the new and stick with the old. When selling Medicare Advantage plans, be sure to show them how simple it can be. As an agent, it is your responsibility to take that burden off their shoulders.
Even if a beneficiary doesn’t have any major health issues and only visits their doctor once or twice a year, they may still want to keep their current providers. Many beneficiaries find it difficult to switch to a different network and get a new doctor. It isn’t uncommon for seniors and Medicare eligibles to opt for a higher premium and stick with their current doctor instead of saving money each month by switching.
Many beneficiaries prefer to purchase a plan with a carrier they already have a good impression of. Brand awareness is key. Seniors and Medicare eligibles are also more likely to show interest in carriers they have heard of, or their friends or family recommend. If a beneficiary does decide to switch to a new plan, they may still prefer to stick with their current carrier solely because it is a brand they know and trust.
A beneficiary really values their experience with you – the agent! Medicare can be confusing, and they want to feel like they can trust you. When they are comparing costs, benefits, providers, etc. they are looking at you for information and clarity. It’s important to be transparent to the beneficiary and prove to them you’re there with the purpose of enrolling them in the best plan. Selling multiple carriers can help show your dedication to finding them the best plan for their needs and budget.
It is to be expected that seniors value the overall benefits included in their coverage. If a beneficiary requires a certain prescription, they generally want a plan that covers that drug, even if it means paying more. Additionally, many beneficiaries value having the same coverage as their spouse.
Seniors do not value star quality ratings as much as agents and carriers would like to believe. However, it is still important to explain to them the importance of the star ratings and how they correlate with the carriers and plans.
KFF’s research has shown that seniors and Medicare eligibles agree that the exposure of media, mail, etc. regarding Medicare can be overwhelming. They think it can be frustrating and difficult to sort through the information and determine what the best option is for their needs and budget. Rather than trusting the media they are more likely to trust friends, family, or licensed agents.
Each sales appointment will be different from the last, and each beneficiary will value different benefits and carriers. At Senior Market Advisors, you can contract will almost every carrier in your state! This means you can pitch the plans that have what the beneficiary values most. SMA also provides its agents with a free custom quote engine that provides accurate and streamlined quotes, access to a custom lead management system to make appointment setting a breeze, and so much more! Ready to contract? Visit agentcontract.com to start digitally contracting, or click here to get in touch with one of our agent advisors.