Snowbirds love to nest in Arizona — you know, retirees who flock to our state during winter to escape the polar vortex. And we’re all familiar with Sun City, the town northwest of Phoenix and Peoria that was planned just for seniors. More of our neighbors are relocated Michiganders or Illinoisans than true natives.
Many of these folks plan a road trip to see the country and end up moving here because they fall in love with our warm — We’ll go with “warm” —temperatures and breathtaking sunsets. However they get here, Arizona welcomes a steadily aging population, and that means a great selling opportunity for those in the senior insurance market.
According to the Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder, 14.4 percent of Arizona’s population is 65 or older, which is just slightly above the national average of 14 percent. Over 1 million people in Arizona are eligible for Medicare, with over 100,000 new beneficiaries being reported in the last five years, according to Census 2013 estimates.
How many of these prospective clients have you served?
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the Medicare market, Medicare Supplements are available to help with medical costs not covered by Original Medicare. Nationally standardized Plans A through N have monthly costs ranging from $37 to $300. The more coverage you want, the more expensive the policy will be. Plans C and F are the most popular and have reasonable premiums for the benefits they provide.
Medicare Advantage plans are a great alternative to a Medicare Supplement, but have cost sharing that varies widely between carrier plans. There are Special Needs plans available to help those with chronic conditions, and Special Needs plans cover those who have both Medicare and Arizona Medicaid, whose short name is AHCCCS. These deserving populations are generally underserved. Most of them make below the federal poverty guideline of $980. The Census bureau estimates there are over 120,000 people over 65 making less than $1,200 a month in Arizona.
If all you sell is Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplements, you’re missing a major revenue stream. I know of only two certainties in this life: death and taxes. This is why a final expense or burial policy can help you go the extra mile for your clients out while expanding your Book of Business. We all know that at some point in time we pass on, so if you, as an Agent, can help someone understand the costs associated with a funeral and plan for those costs, you’ve truly made the world a better place.
As someone who has had to plan two funerals in the last 18 months, I can’t tell you how much a burial policy helped out. If you can eliminate the cost of the casket, funeral service, etc., it makes a loved one’s passing much easier for your client — financially at least — to deal with. However, these important considerations are only part of the final expense equation. When you sell one of these policies, make sure you include something that empowers your clients to either start a dialog with their loved ones so they can go over what they want to have happen when they pass on, or let them put their wishes in writing. If you work with a funeral home as an Agent, you can get some of their folders they hand out to write down who your clients want notified, where important papers are located, what music they want at their service, if they want a service and who they want to be their pallbearers. These are all great opportunities for showing clients you offer insurance products that can take care of all their needs.
Welcome to the Arizona market. Bring your sunscreen.
This is the first in a series of posts about RB Insurance’s recruitment efforts in our home state as we prepare an exciting series of events for potential Agents. Next week I’ll post some examples of successful Agents serving the Arizona market before we launch our campaign.