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By Cristin Hopkin-Bishop • November 16, 2017

Annual Election Period Ends December 7 for PDPs, too!

With Medicare's Annual Election Period now halfway over (the deadline is December 7, 2017), we want to share with you some of the questions The Brokerage, Inc. (TBI) team is receiving from our agents. Prescription Drug Plans are often a source of confusion for your clients, and our agents have expressed this again to us during this AEP.  This post might help you understand the importance of your clients taking action during this time to save them money and ensure that your clients are getting the best drug coverage!

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Below you will find a list of questions our agents have received from their clients and possible answers by our Medicare team.

Client asking the agent:

  • Why is there an open enrollment period offered to all Medicare members at this time every year?

Our response to the agent:

  • All prescription plans change every year. The plan you had this year might not be the best for you in 2018. The co-pays and deductibles may increase and your client’s pharmacy may no longer be included in the plan’s network.
  • Seniors are leaving millions of dollars on the table in over payments by not checking their drug plans. Your client should always review their plan and not let it renew automatically.

Client asking the agent:

  • What are some tips you can share with me before the upcoming deadline?

Our response to the agent:

  • Determine which pharmacy your client prefers. Find out if the pharmacy is still in the plan’s network. Make sure the medications are covered under the current plan. Medications can change in a year, so it is always good to use www.Medicare.gov to find the best drug plan out there for your client. Advise your client to visit with their pharmacist about the plan before December 7th. Even if they enroll in a plan, it can be changed before the deadline because Medicare will accept the last plan your client submits.

Client asking the agent:

  • What if I don’t take medications? Why should I enroll in a prescription plan?

Our response to the agent:

  • If you don’t enroll when you first join Medicare A and B, you will be assessed a penalty of about $4.50 for every year you remain out of the program. Last year, a Medicare beneficiary joined after laying out seven years, and had to pay a penalty of $31.50 per month added to his premium. He chose a $25 per month plan, but had to pay $56.50 and the $31.50 penalty will be added to the initial premium every year the rest of his life. Ouch!

Client asking the agent:

  • Where can I go for help, and who can I trust?

Our response to the agent:

  • That is where you, the agent, need to sell yourself. You are a Health Advocate for these clients and are here to help them! The insurance company pays you a commission fee to help your clients find the best drug plan that fits their needs.

 

Have your received these questions from your clients? If you have received any particular question from several of your clients, feel free to post them in the comments. We love hearing feedback from our agents on how their AEP is going. Do not hesitate to reach out to our team with any questions or comments. As always, happy selling!