New data shows that only 29% of Americans are completely confident in navigating the healthcare system. Considering how complex the healthcare system is, it’s not surprising Americans are confused.
One of the most prevalent healthcare programs in the country is Medicare. Fortunately, a Medicare insurance agency can help you sort through the Medicare health insurance plans available to you. Curious as to what an agency is?
This article will help you understand the differences between health insurance agencies and companies. In addition, you will learn about the benefits of working with an agency. So, let’s get started.
What Is a Health Insurance Company?
A health insurance company is a manufacturer of insurance services and products. You may also see the term insurance carrier. The company or carrier is the body you pay for your insurance coverage.
In return, they pay you on any qualified claims.
The companies are the ones who create and administer their own insurance policies. Some of the largest health insurance companies are UnitedHealthcare, Anthem, and Aetna.
If you’re wondering what Anthem is, you will be more familiar with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Anthem is a licensee of BCBS.
What Is a Health Insurance Agency?
A health insurance agency sells health insurance policies. An insurance agency is also known as an insurance agent or insurance brokerage. An agency can be a company or an individual.
Independent agents sell policies for multiple companies. Whereas exclusive agents only have the authorization to sell policies from a single insurance company. Another common term for these agents is captive agents.
Agencies do not write policies. Instead, they make money from the insurance companies for the sales they make.
Independent agents are popular because they offer the most significant value to customers. They provide more coverage options. Thus, allowing you to choose the best possible insurance company and policy for you.
Although you can purchase health insurance directly from a company, there are many benefits from working with an agent. An agent will help you adjust coverage limits, change policies, understand your coverage, and assist with filing a claim.
All About Medicare
Medicare is a federal government health insurance program. It is primarily for people aged 65 and over. However, some younger people with certain conditions are eligible too.
Those who are eligible for Medicare don’t all receive it the same way. And, they also don’t all have access to the same coverage for the same price.
There are a few different ways to get your Medicare insurance. Original Medicare is the part of Medicare that the government runs. This program includes Part A and Part B.
Part A covers inpatient hospital or skilled nursing facility care. But, it is not for long-term or custodial care.
Part B covers doctor’s visits, necessary services, and preventative services. This includes ambulance services and medical equipment.
For most people, this simply isn’t enough coverage. So, you can work with a Medicare agent to access supplemental plans and additional coverage.
Additional Medicare Plans
Medicare Advantage, or Part C, is a standard option for people. Yet, the government doesn’t operate Part C. Conversely, private insurance companies provide this plan. Part C includes the benefits of Part A and Part B, but it also usually offers Part D.
Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. For many, Part D is a necessity. Bundled Part C plans may also include vision, hearing, and dental care. Demand for vision, hearing and dental plans increases every year.
Another option for people is Medigap or Medicare Supplement Insurance. Medigap helps pay some of the costs not covered by Part A and Part B. This includes deductibles and coinsurance.
Medigap will not help cover long-term care, prescription drugs, or other services covered by Medicare Advantage plans. However, in most states, you can access ten standardized Medigap plans to help pay for the costs of health services.
Those with limited income may also be eligible for a Medicare Savings Program. There are four programs available in the savings program. State Medicare programs administer them. Thus, you can contact your state’s program for more information.
Each Medigap and Medicare Savings program has its own eligibility based on level of assistance and income.
Why Work With a Medicare Insurance Agency
If all this information sounds overwhelming, then it’s precisely why you need to work with an agent. Medicare supplement insurance agents have the expertise to explain each plan to you thoroughly.
They will also break down the additional costs, so you know your financial responsibilities. As mentioned previously, this includes assisting you in filing a claim.
Most importantly, a Medicare insurance agency will help you make the best decision because they can cross-reference supplemental plans from different insurance companies.
The greatest part is, their services are free. Most agents get paid on commission. So there is no reason not to take advantage of their services. All of these benefits ensure you choose the right Medicare plan for you and your family. In the long run, it will save you time and money.
How to Choose an Agency
When looking for an insurance agency to work with, there are a few tips to follow.
First, you should choose an agency with experience in your state. Plans and benefits differ from state to state. An agent with ample experience will help you best. If you are interested in a specific supplemental plan, you can also locate an agent with specialized expertise.
Finally, you must also make sure the agency holds a license in your state.
Call an Agent Today
Now you understand the differences between a health insurance company and a health insurance agency. In addition, you know the benefits of using a Medicare insurance agency and how to select an excellent agency to work with.
For those who live in the South Florida region, contact us today at South Florida Medicare Specialists to get your free consultation. If you live outside the area, search “Medicare insurance agents near me” to find state-specific assistance.