Explaining Trial Rights To Your Medicare Clients
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.
What Are Trial Rights?
Trial rights allow Medicare beneficiaries to “try out” a Medicare Advantage (MA) 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.
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Who Is Eligible?
Anyone who purchases an MA plan and decides they’d prefer Medigap can switch from 60 days before their MA plan expires to 63 days after it 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.
Exercising Trial Rights
Call your client to check in and see if they are happy with their plan. If they are unhappy, tell them that they are eligible for trial rights! Even if your clients know that trial rights exist, they may not know that they’re eligible. In truth, as long as they are still within a year of their purchase date, they can make the switch.
It’s important for you to remember that your job doesn’t end after you leave an appointment with a new client. There is so much more that you can do for them than just selling them one Medicare policy. Trial rights are just one way for you to simultaneously help someone and earn some extra cash. Plus, your clients are more likely to recommend you if they believe you have their best interest at heart. Start talking to your clients about trial rights today.