Using 2021 enrollment figures, we can estimate there are 21.8 million Medicare beneficiaries who would benefit from extra coverage from a Medicare Supplement plan. But who are the right clients for these plans?
Listen to this article:
Being able to recognize the perfect Med Supp candidates will allow you to know which clients would be more likely to enroll in a plan. Identify a picture-perfect Med Supp client using the qualifications below.
Who Is Eligible?
In order to be assured of eligibility, individuals must try to meet all three criteria below. However, failing to meet all three does not mean that a client can’t enroll in Med Supp coverage. In some cases, carriers may disqualify someone applying for Med Supp who has certain conditions, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, amputation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or neuropathy. Anyone who has been hospitalized recently may also be denied.
- Enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and do not have (or intend to keep) a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan
- Within their Med Supp Open Enrollment Period (this window is six-months long, starting with the first day of their 65th birthday month)1
- Can pass underwriting (if they don’t have a guaranteed issue right and/or want to enroll in non-guaranteed issue Med Supp plans)
1According to CMS, individuals who are looking to enroll in a Med Supp plan outside of their OEP are able to enroll in coverage as long as they are able to pass underwriting.
Finding the Ideal Clients for Med Supps
Ideal clients will satisfy extra qualifications. Use this list to identify individuals who could be the best match for a Med Supp plan!
A client’s financial status will affect how they view a Med Supp plan. Some clients may be interested in the added value that Med Supp plans provide, while others may be interested in the ability to anticipate costs for the year to work them into their monthly or annual budget. Our next two ideal clients will review both scenarios.
The Financially Comfortable
Clients with a higher income can enjoy the extra flexibility that comes with Med Supp plans without being stressed about additional costs. Costs can be elevated with Med Supp plans due to the added benefits that are included. If you have clients who like the coverage available with Original Medicare and value having more security than Original Medicare alone, consider suggesting a Medicare Supplement!
Approximately one in three adults over the age of 65 are economically insecure, according to a report from KFF. Many seniors live on a fixed income, including Social Security payments and retirement income. When it comes to health care and insurance costs, there isn’t a ton of wiggle room.
These clients, or others who may like to anticipate their annual spending, may enjoy the added security of a Med Supp plan. Med Supps allow for more predictability in budget-conscious clients, since they enable them to have a better idea of their health care spending for the month. They may not have to deal with copays or coinsurance2 and could save money on their prescriptions with Original Medicare.
Additionally, clients who live with health issues or conditions can make great Med Supp clients because these plans can cover more health costs than traditional Medicare on its own. These clients may not be able to pass underwriting in the future so it’s important they know about this option when it’s first available.
2For specific benefit details, view our Med Supp plans and benefits comparison chart.
The Country Dwellers
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than one in five older adults live in a rural area; and in some states, more than half of the elderly live in this type of area. Individuals in rural areas who only have partial coverage may feel restricted in their provider network and may have limited Medicare Advantage options. With a Med Supp plan and Original Medicare, a patient can see any provider who accepts Medicare. This allows clients to have more options, perhaps taking away some of the stress connected to finding an in-network doctor or health care facility.
A Med Supp plan can help to alleviate some of the stress associated with finding in-network providers.
People who love to travel can make great Med Supp clients. The Journal of Gerontology found that up to 800,000 Florida residents are winter migrants, or snowbirds. Often, these clients want to take their Medicare coverage with them — wherever they go. However, many Medicare Advantage plans have defined networks in a certain geographical areas. With Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement, beneficiaries can see any Medicare provider across the United States. Several Med Supp plans also offer some coverage for foreign travel emergency costs!3 After all, if you’re interested in following your wanderlust spirit, that doesn’t mean the chance of illness or injury stays at home.
3For specific benefit details, view our Med Supp plans and benefits comparison chart.
Who Pays the Lowest Premiums for a Med Supp?
Clients may qualify for the lowest Med Supp premiums if they are female, have no history of tobacco use, and buy a Med Supp plan during their Open Enrollment Period or during their 60s or early 70s. However, premiums aren’t the only factor to consider. Health care and insurance costs can vary depending on the person. Agents should consider a client’s unique health care and prescription drug needs when evaluating their coverage options.
Agents should consider a client’s unique health care and prescription drug needs when evaluating their coverage options.
The premium a client may pay also depends on which type of Med Supp plan they’re looking at, as well as the carrier. Typically, plans with less coverage have lower premiums than plans with more coverage. Our Medicare Quote Engine can help you evaluate plans and their costs. This tool is available in the Ritter Platform after registering with Ritter. (It’s free!)
Don’t Go Through It Alone
By partnering with a field marketing organization (FMO), such as Ritter Insurance Marketing you don’t have to worry about finding potential clients alone. Ritter offers lead programs to agents looking to find clients for Med Supp plans. We also have other tools and resources available to make finding the perfect clients easier.
We’ve taken the time to develop resources to help you make the best suggestions to your client. For example, our free eBook, The Complete Guide on How to Sell Medicare Supplements will walk you through what you need to know to sell Med Supps. Ritter also has the Med Supp plans you need to get ahead of the competition. Contact your sales specialist to learn more about the Med Supp plans Ritter has available.