Avoid These Mistakes When Choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan Pt. 1

Avoid These Mistakes When Choosing a 2019 Medicare Advantage Plan Pt. 1

It was an emotional meeting with a couple at their kitchen table while tears streamed down their faces. He was really sick, quickly losing weight due to digestive issues, and he had very painful migraine headaches, painful to the extent that his life seemed to end up being the only way to live without pain. To say that they are afraid would be an understatement. Doctors handling his current Medicare Part C were unable to diagnose the problem. They only prescribed more drugs, which aggravated his problems. In addition to his medical puzzle, the plan refused medical tests that might have diagnosed his problem. It was the month of October 2011; while crying, they inquired, “What are our options?”


In this case, we jointly decided that it was in his best interest to switch to a Medicare Supplement (MediGap) plan that would allow him to visit a facility or doctor that accepts Medicare, together with a “state of health.” Alone Part D Prescription Drug Plan. “It was important that he could find the best of the best anywhere in the country. We selected a Supplement Plan F and a carrier that would enable him to alter between a cheaper and an expensive cost plan without proof of insurability.  Find a 2019 advantage plan at www.medicareadvantage2019.org/

Could he avoid this problem at all? Absolutely. Here are some of the mistakes people make and the solutions to guide you in choosing the right option for YOU:

ERROR # 1: Who do you work with?

* Working with a “proprietary insurance agent” (direct employment with the carrier, often W2, commissions and / or bonuses) or working with an “independent career agent” (1099 contractors with the carrier and with leads supplied). The latter term can be really puzzling. They are considered to be independent, but if they apply to another insurance provider since it was lawful for the participant, the contract can be terminated at will. What incentive will the agent have if he loses his main source?

** Another mistake is working with an agent who is not certified to market all types of Medicare health plans. You can only market ‘some’ MediGap ‘complementary plans without certification.

*** Go directly to the insurer. If something goes sideways, it will be useful to have an advocate on your side, especially one that you can see and who lives and works in your locality.


*Select an independent insurance representative who represents more than one insurance carrier. Why? Because independent agents know the pros and cons of ALL plans and will be able to relay that information so that you can make a SELECTED choice. They receive compensation from the insurance carriers, but have no loyalty to a particular company. Also pay attention to carriers forcing their “independent agents” to sign an exclusive agreement. This usually happens with Medicaid / Medicare Plans or “Dual Eligible Plans”. Could the agent again be “non-partial” should he be contractually bound to market only one plan?

** Select a Medicare insurance agent who is certified and can market MediGap plans, Part C, and Part D plans. Also they have extra supervision and training.