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.
About Tom O'Neil
Tom was licensed as a Life and Health agent in the late '70s. He joined RB Insurance Group in 2012 and is now Senior Broker Trainer, specializing in initial carrier-related training, sales and AHIP preparation. Tom started in the senior market as a carrier appeals specialist, then spent many years as an employee sales agent with PacifiCare/United Health and Intergroup/Health Net in Arizona. He has worked with Medicare clients for 20 years and is always available to share his expertise with our agents.
Tom is an honorably discharged veteran (Sergeant First Class) who served as a military Air Traffic Control Specialist. He still works nights and weekends as a producing agent, always keeping up with the latest trends in the business. He lives in Phoenix with Molly, his beloved Labahoula.
Entries by Tom O'Neil
I am going to speak to some commonly missed lock-in period cross-selling opportunities and other related musings. Keep on the lookout for another article where I touch on problem clients and when to fire them!
Back in the 70’s I was lucky to score an Army school slot at Fort Rucker, Alabama, the home of Army Aviation. The course of study was for those being awarded the designation of Air Traffic Control Specialist (ATC). It was by no means a slam dunk.
Although I had been licensed since college days in the late 70’s, it was in 1992 I reentered the insurance industry full time with FHP Healthcare in Tucson, AZ
Now that AEP is over, we enter into the MAPD world of reduced commission advances for the next 11 months. What is a good way to keep up the cash flow?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.