Entries by Tom O'Neil

Medicare: Avoiding a Sales Allegation

A few weeks ago I had to answer an inquiry regarding an AEP enrollment in the Phoenix area. I spent a ton of time doing pre-enrollment research for this lovely lady. She is one of those HMO members who do not want an “expensive” Medicare Supplement but wants to have a full and unlimited universe of doctors and other providers.

Elder abuse or neglect and how to report it.

Any agent who’s been working as long as I have with Medicare beneficiaries has stories to tell. Some are heartwarming, some are humorous, some perhaps are disturbing and others are just heartwrenching. I could spend all day telling you all about the experiences I’ve had, but let’s get serious for a minute.

Don’t leave money on the table this AEP: Sell Hospital Indemnity with Medicare Advantage

My first insurance sales trainer loved to tell me, “Don’t leave money on the table.” When it comes to coupling hospital indemnity plans with Medicare Advantage, his advice resonates a little louder. Hospital indemnity plans are very affordable for your clients and pay excellent first-year commissions, often in the 50 percent range (Of course, commission varies by states).

Limit free Medicare advice in your business

In my first few years in the field selling the old Medicare HMO products I assiduously avoided friends, relatives and their various cronies who wanted free help with their HMO. Having been advised by some old timer agents that working pro bono was a waste of time, I steered clear of helping these kinds of folks. After about 10 years into the Medicare insurance business I changed my tune when I met Ralph.

Appeals and Form CMS-1696, the Appointment of Representative

Humor me with this post. It deals with appeals.

Say your client Fred is really upset. He feels the prior authorization for his electric scooter should have been approved, but his Medicare Advantage carrier has denied it. It happens: Providers occasionally submit a weak authorization request and sometimes carriers might even make mistakes. When either of these happen, who do plan members like Fred turn to after a confusing conversation with customer service? He of course will call his insurance agent.

A free Power of Attorney form can spare loved ones from additional grief

The Power of Attorney (POA) form, often referred to as the Life Care Planning Packet, can be one of the most valuable extras senior insurance agents can provide to their clients. They’re simple to complete — just a few printed pages or a website link. Agents know that building credibility requires constant effort, and providing these fillable documents to clients demonstrates a high degree of professionalism. In a distant, previous life I prepared POA forms and other documents for clients as a paralegal. I was a total convert to the art of preparedness then, and for the last couple of decades in the insurance business my respect for this status has served me well.