Ikey Fowler

A local agent can be a valuable asset to you when signing up for a Medicare Plan. Any agent offering Medicare plans must be licensed by the State of Alabama, appointed by the insurance companies they represent and go through an annual certification required by Medicare. If an agent does not have these qualifications they cannot offer Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plans. This is a good thing because you, the consumer, can be assured that your agent has been completely vetted. This includes proof of citizenship and background checks.

Your local agent must also go through training courses with the insurance companies they represent. These courses are designed to assure that the agents have a complete understanding of the plans they are offering. Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans can be complicated because they have premiums, copays, deductibles and a specific provider network. Knowledge of what you are enrolling in is crucial.

One thing you will want to know from anyone helping you enroll in a plan is; “Do you make a commission on this sale?” You want the answer to that question to be “YES”!! Why? Because if a person makes a commission for enrolling you, that person can go to the insurance company on your behalf if you have a problem. If a person does not make a commission they cannot help you with a problem unless they have Power of Attorney for you.

Agents offering Medicare plans fall under the oversight of Medicare, whereas most non-agents do not. This should give you the peace of mind that the local agent is showing you all of your options. It’s also important to know that your premium will be the same whether you go through a local agent or someone else. If that’s the case, why not use someone who can go to bat for you if you need it!!

If you have questions regarding any aspect of Medicare or Medicare health plans feel free call us at Alabama Health Guidance (256-648-5710), stop by our office at 885 Florence Blvd (Four Lane Shopping Center) or email me at ikey@alabamahealthguidance.com.

Alabama Health Guidance is an independent insurance agency and is not affiliated with Medicare or any other government agency.