Should you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or get a Medicare Supplement?
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The first time I met Richard was in 2016, to buy a life insurance policy. He did a good job, so when it came time to enroll my spouse in Medicare, I contacted Richard again. He found a good policy that didn't have a monthly payment. In our conversation, I learned that we both served in the Air Force. Richard told me about the VA and then helped me access my VA medical benefits. He even drove me to the VA hospital so that I could enroll because I had surgery on my eye and couldn't drive. He's not like an insurance agent. He's more like a friend.
-Edward W., Delaware County, PA
My husband is retired and disabled. When I turned 65 I was supposed to get my medicare from his job but I didn't understand the choices or understand what I had to do to get medicare coverage. His company told me that I had to call medicare. I asked Richard if he could be on the phone with me so that he could understand what I needed to do. Richard stayed on the phone with me and medicare for over 45 minutes and asked questions that I didn't know what to ask. He helped me figure out why I wasn't getting medicare benefits from my husband's company and then helped me pick which plan was the best one for me. Since he was honest with me and didn't just care about making a sale, I referred my daughter to him to get life insurance.
-Daisy M, Philadelphia, PA
What's the difference between Medicare Plans?
Medicare Advantage Plans usually don't have a monthly cost but they have co-pays and deductibles that kick in when you use the policy.
Medicare Supplement Plans have a monthly cost but you usually don't have co-pays or deductibles.
Medical Savings Account Medicare are not well known. These usually don't have a monthly cost or co-pays but have very high deductibles that are partially offset by an annual lump sum payment deposited into your bank account that you can use toward the high deductible. If the deductible is met, they usually cover 100% and if you don't use all the money they give you each year, you get to keep it.
A Message from Dr. Parenti
Sometimes people ask, "Why is a doctor selling insurance?"
It's a fair question and the answer is three-fold:
First, there is a need for someone that people can trust in this industry, especially considering how Medicare is so confusing. As a doctor, I accepted Medicare in my office. Unfortunately, I've seen too many patients who were not allowed to receive care because they had the wrong Medicare plan. At that time, I didn't know that the agents who sold these plans earned different levels of commission based on what type of plan they sold. I also didn't know that insurance companies actually incentivized these agents to sell the more expensive plans! So, when I retired I vowed to do my small part to help make this right, at least for those who came upon my SeniorsCovered.com agent company.
Second, I'm also an educator. I taught high school and later, I taught teachers. I was a college instructor, promoted to Academic Dean and then Campus Director. Teaching has always been in my heart and I value learning. In fact, I founded a Private Elementary School in Philadelphia, of which I'm co-owner with my partner, Sharon. I enjoy teaching Medicare by "comparing apples to apples."
Lastly, I'm not motivated by money. I won't sell a Medicare plan just because it pays a higher commission. It's more important to me that we have a trusted relationship. I advise my clients as if they were a member of my family (and yes, I get along with my family!). Even if you select a plan that I don't represent, I'll show you how to apply for it, or refer you to someone that I trust, who can help you. Most agents don't do that.
Advertising Disclaimer: We've all see the celebrity television commercials advertising Medicare plans that urge, "check your zip code!" only to learn that your information was sold to many agents and your phone starts ringing off the hook. The Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) knows that these ads are misleading and is trying get a handle on it. This year, CMS is requiring everyone that markets Medicare Advantage plans to have a specific disclaimer on all communications. Here it is:
“We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.”
While I hope this helps bring awareness to misleading Medicare advertising, it doesn't address the bias that medicare.gov itself has for Medicare Advantage plans over Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plans. Medigap plans, (which allow you to go to any doctor that accepts Medicare) are hard to find on its website. And Medicare Advantage plans, (which often limits you to a network of doctors and hospitals) seem to be unequally favored.
Did you know that enrolling in a Medicare Advantage takes you out of Original Medicare and that the government will not be responsible for your medical care when you have Medicare Advantage?"
With that said, when you become eligible for Medicare (or a few months before), you should create an account at Medicare.gov. and review what they show as available plans. Then, instead of enrolling right away on their website, get a second opinion from a trusted agent because there will likely be options you haven't seen (like Medigap Plans). I will show you these options, talk you through each one and compare them with the other plans you've seen. This process can take as long or as quickly as you need, so that all of your questions are answered. When you are ready enroll and when you enroll through SeniorsCovered.com, I will be your agent. This means you won't have worry about waiting on hold for the next available agent and you won't have to wonder who to call when you have a problem with your insurance. I will be that person and you'll have the peace of mind knowing that you're not on your own when it comes to Medicare.
1112-28 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, United States
(267) 367-5600 (you can enroll over the phone)
This is a solicitation for insurance.
Submitting your information will authorize a licensed agent to contact you about medicare coverage. You are not required change plans or enroll in medicare as a result of this contact.
SeniorsCovered.com does not use Robocalls or any automated dialing systems to contact you. When we call we will always leave a message.