As an agent, you want to make sure your clients are getting the most out of their coverage. This means informing them of all the benefits their plans offer.
For instance, many carriers have plans that offer unique and value-added benefits that go beyond primary health coverage. In fact, in 2019, more than 51 percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries were enrolled in a plan that had over-the-counter (OTC) benefits included. However, it’s possible your clients may not know about or forget these additional benefits. That’s where you come in — make sure your clients aren’t leaving benefits on the table!
By helping your clients in this way, you’ll foster the agent-client relationship and help them to feel confident that you care about their coverage. When your clients are satisfied and happy to see you going that extra mile, they’ll likely come back to you year after year. As we’ve mentioned before, client retention is great for business! Helping your clients helps you and your business significantly in the long run.
When your clients are satisfied and happy to see you going that extra mile, they’ll likely come back to you year after year.
Beyond Doctor Visits
When contracting with carriers and choosing which plans to add to your portfolio, you’ll notice not all plans are equal. As you know, part of being a top agent is figuring out which plans best meet the needs of your individual clients. Whether or not a plan offers additional benefits doesn’t need to be a “deal breaker,” but instead, it can be a great incentive. If your client is between two plans, the additional benefits offered may help them make their final decision.
As you know, part of being a top agent is figuring out which plans best meet the needs of your individual clients.
Some agents may think that OTC benefits that come along with plans are simply allowances for vitamins and bandages, when in reality, they’re so much more than that. For example, if your client is diabetic, you might be able to find a plan that offers diabetic socks. If they watch their grandchildren often, some plans cover children’s pain and allergy medications, and even personal care items like toothbrushes and toothpaste. And, if their doctor has recommended that they watch they watch their weight, a plan may cover a digital scale they can keep in their home.
In addition to OTC benefits, some plans even offer services at low or no cost to the plan member. These could include meal delivery service to their home, transportation to the doctor’s office, caregiver support, and even some medical equipment like grab bars in their bathroom. Many plans offer additional innovative benefits, such as flexible options to choose from a list of available added services, or a healthy foods card/produce box. Numerous plans provide programs for clients to help them manage their needs, whether medical or personal.
Numerous plans provide programs for clients to help them manage their needs, whether medical or personal.
The key here is to take a step further when looking at which plan is right for your client. While cost and network are the major factors, don’t forget about the little things that may end up saving your clients money down the line.
While considering what OTC benefits may help with your clients’ specific conditions or personal needs, remember that some plans have OTC benefits that can be valuable to anyone. Some products that may be covered include:
- Cotton balls
- Hand sanitizer
Many carriers will often partner with pharmacies, like Walmart or CVS, where your clients can utilize the coverage of these items. Some Medicare Advantage plans may even give your clients the option of having these products delivered to their home, which is a great opportunity for seniors who may have trouble leaving their houses. The exact coverage and cost of these benefits do vary from plan to plan, so be sure to thoroughly cover the aspects of the plan with your client.
Many seniors and Medicare beneficiaries want to stay fit and live a healthy lifestyle, so also consider plans that offer fitness program memberships at no additional cost. Popular fitness programs include SilverSneakers or Silver&Fit, which are specifically geared toward those who are 65 and older.
SilverSneakers is actually one of the most popular fitness programs in the United States, with more than 17,000 locations across the country. This means that, no matter where your client lives, they will most likely be able to find a SilverSneakers program near them! Members whose plans include SilverSneakers have access to gyms as well as specialized and community-based classes.
Plans that don’t offer SilverSneakers may offer Silver&Fit. This program also covers gym memberships and home fitness kits, so your clients can get active in the comfort of their own home. These kits even have themes, ranging from yoga to cardio strength and dance to stress management.
For more information on fitness benefits for your clients, check out our Medicareful Living article, “What Fitness Programs Are Available for Seniors?”
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Your clients’ Medicare coverage is more than just a plan. While doctors’ visits, surgeries, and drug coverage are important, many plans will also cover things to help your clients through their everyday lives. Help your clients become aware of these benefits before enrolling them in a plan and even after! Your relationship with your client doesn’t end after making a sale — so help them get the most out of the plan they choose.