Insurance agents competing to sell Medicare Supplement insurance in five states can now capitalize on rules benefiting Medicare beneficiaries. According to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI), the five states include California, Illinois, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho.
“Medicare insurance agents now face a daunting task of competing with the millions of dollars being spent on television ads featuring celebrity spokespeople,” explains Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance. “Survival of the independent Medicare insurance agent will depend on the ability to take advantage of every competitive advantage. Agents in five states now have that golden opportunity.”
“Beginning this year more states now permit residents to switch Medigap plans around their birthday,” Slome explains.
“This brings the total to five states that have passed laws providing special Medigap birthday rules. This is an opportunity for local insurance agents to connect with prospects that television advertisers are not targeting.”
While Medicare Advantage plans today greatly outsell Medigap, in some of these markets Medicare Supplement policies are extremely popular according to AAMSI. The latest Medicare insurance statistics from the Association report that just over 14 million individuals currently have Medicare Supplement plan coverage, also referred to as Medigap, coverage.
Slome advises insurance agents in the five states to undertake targeted educational campaigns targeting seniors with information about the Birthday Rule. “Knowledge that can benefit consumers is your most valuable weapon when competing with celebrity spokespeople like Joe Namath or Jimmy Walker,” Slome suggests. “Stressing that you will be the permanent local expert a senior can turn to for expertise can never be duplicated by an anonymous toll-free number offer.”
AAMSI reports that the Medigap birthday rule provisions vary by state.
“If you are an agent in one of the five states and have a website, create a page specifically explaining the rules,” Slome suggests. “If you use social media like Facebook or Instagram, add posts that will catch seniors’ eyes. Email people a month before their birthday suggesting they contact you for Birthday Rule information. These are all ways to generate awareness and potential leads without having to spend money.”
For consumers, Slome acknowledged that finding the best Medicare Supplement insurance plan and pricing can be a formidable task. “In some areas there are as few as five different Medigap plans to choose from,” the expert says. “While in others, there can be 20 or more different plans available from insurers.”
The American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance makes available a free online directory listing local Medicare insurance agents. Agents listed also have access to free marketing tools designed to generate prospects. For consumers seeking information and cost comparisons, those agents who are listed will offer no-cost information and often are able to compare both Medicare Advantage as well as Medicare Supplement coverage.