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  • Writer's pictureTom Cianflone

Don't Take the Bait! (or, How to survive Medicare Annual Enrollment Period)

Here are my top ten tips for surviving Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) October 15th through December 7th:

  1. Don’t take the bait! During this period, there is all sorts of bait that will be dangled before you in TV ads, emails, and unsolicited phone calls. You will be offered the moon just to get you to switch plans because that is how enrollment mills get paid, for the switch.

  2. Don't call 1-800-ANYTHING! Call a trusted, licensed, knowledgeable, responsive independent agent. If you don't already have such an agent, call me.

  3. If you get an unsolicted call about Medicare, HANG UP! You should never answer calls from unscrupulous Medicare call centers. If you do answer unawares, hang up right away. These people do not have your best interests in mind.

  4. Never give out personal information over the phone to an unsolicted caller. That includes your Medicare number!

  5. Don't provide your contact information online. If you do, your phone won't stop ringing, ever!

  6. Choose the plan that fits you, not the plan in which your doctor or agent is pressing you to enroll. Doctor's offices and agents sometimes have an agenda that is hidden to you.

  7. Always do business with a licensed personal agent in good standing with the State in which you live. Doctors offices sometimes have non-licensed and non-certified personnel pushing Medicare Advantage Plans that benefit them financially. Always ask yourself: Is it better for them or better for me? Each state has a lookup that allows you to see if an agent is licensed and in good standing. Click here for agent lookup for the State of Florida.

  8. Take your time. Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is from October 15th to December 7th. What’s the hurry? Do your homework and choose a plan that works for you.

  9. Do business with an independent agent who represents several carriers. One size does not fit all when it comes to Medicare plans. Each person has individual needs and finding the right fit is what’s important. An agent who represents just one company can only offer the plans from their company and those plans may or may not fit your needs

  10. Do your homework and ask the right questions. Star ratings, provider networks, drug formularies, customer service and benefits are all important.

Finally, work with an agent who is courteous, knowledgeable, experienced and takes a no-pressure approach to helping you choose the best plan for you. If you don't have a relationship with such a person, I would welcome the opportunity to work with you to find the right Medicare plan for you during Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. Contact me here.


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