With his signature common sense, quiet good humor, and brilliant customer service, Jim is the other half of the RBI phone answering dynamic duo! An Arizona native, Jim manages agent relationships for the East Coast and specializes in the RBI agent tools, especially the Agent Market Edge. Jim has been a licensed health insurance agent for over a year, and has worked at RBI for 2 years. An accomplished bassoonist, he is known around the office for his amazing musical skills. In addition to keeping busy around the office, Jim frequently contributes to our blog, bringing a new agent’s perspective to the RBI online presence.
Zero interest in selling Medicare Advantage?
RBI Senior Sales Coordinator/Independent Agent: James Gramp
As a Senior Sales Coordinator at RB Insurance Group, I talk with agents from all over the country. Every now and then I’ll talk to an agent who has zero interest in selling Medicare Advantage(MA). These agents usually fall into 1 of 2 camps, either they don’t like the product, or they are afraid of the certifications to be ready to sell. But MA products are proving to be a really good fit for many beneficiaries and members continue to enroll into the plans. Market penetration for MA plans is growing, and the excuses could be costing you money. Let’s take a look:
Market Penetration for Medicare Advantage
According to Mark Farrah and Associates, in 2015 Medicare Advantage covered over 18 million members or about 33% of the Medicare population and is still showing growth year over year. Medicare Supplement beneficiaries account for just under 12 million. You can educate people all you want on why you think Medicare Supplements provide superior coverage (and I would agree in a lot of situations) but the fact is Medicare Advantage is here to stay.
Reasons Why Members Choose an MA Product
Some members like the additional benefits with an MA plan, like dental or vision.
We recently hosted a webinar about Aetna by Daniel Santos, the Medicare Broker Manager for Arizona. (If you missed the webinar, watch the recording here) If you aren’t aware, Aetna has some great MA plans in Arizona, but also across the nation in other markets. Daniel’s presentation highlighted a few reasons that members like MA plans: many folks prefer to have full coverage in 1 plan, with predictable out-of-pocket costs. Some people like that there is no underwriting with an MA plan. And some folks like the extras that you can qualify for with an MA plan, such as dental or vision benefits.
Overcoming Objections: “I don’t believe in the product”
In my day-to-day conversations with agents, I’ve come across one objection very consistently. “Well, Jim, I just don’t believe in the product.” Or “I just don’t want to sell a product I don’t believe in.” This usually leads into how a Medicare Supplement plan F or G is the best coverage you can buy. While I agree that plan F and G provide excellent coverage, not everyone is the same. As we saw above, a lot of people are choosing Medicare Advantage for their coverage and the market is growing. The bottom line is a lot of people (especially healthy people) can’t stomach paying for a Medicare Supplement policy and if you don’t sell them an MA plan then somebody else will.
Overcoming Objections: “There are so many certifications”
The second most common reason agents tell me they don’t sell Medicare Advantage is because of all the certifications involved with MA. I’ll be the first to tell you how much I LOVE doing my annual AHIP test. (I’m kidding of course.) I have good news for you though, it gets easier! I’ve only been in this business for 2 years and if I had to put a number on it, it probably takes me a couple hours at most to knock out my AHIP plus my 5 carrier certifications. With most carriers doing lifetime commissions for MA, I will gladly set aside 2 hours of my time every 365 days to collect my renewals.
Now that I’ve convinced you to sell MA, why should you contract with RB Insurance Group? Stay tuned for my next article, “The RBI Difference” and learn how to get your AHIP reimbursed as well as how to earn $25 in marketing credit for each of your MA enrollments!
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