Advisor Today - March/April 2016 - (Page 24)

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT MEDICARE SUPPLEMENTS By Elie Harriett Selling the "Best Plan" When it comes to Medicare Supplements, the "best plan" is the expertise you offer your clients. A s we pass the decade mark on selling Medicare Supplement Insurance, I want to share one of the simplest and most powerful of all our selling strategies for Medicare Supplements. Every now and then, we come across a client who knows just enough about Medicare Supplements to insist on getting a Medicare Supplement Plan F. Their reason for doing this? "Because it is the best," they say. For those unfamiliar with the structure of Medicare supplements, an explanation is in order. The government mandates a benefits package and places it under specific plan letters labeled A through N. A Plan F mandates that 100 percent of all Medicare Part B approved charges get paid, as well as the Part A & B deductible, and certain other Medicare-approved copays and coinsurance charges. I can confidently say that if a person gets a Plan F, then 100 percent of all his Medicare-approved hospital and medical bills will get paid. If he sees a single bill, then something is wrong and we need to investigate where the problem lies. The majority of our Supplement clients go into a Plan G, however, instead of the F. We do this because an F and a G are identical in every respect except for one-the Plan G leaves your client with paying the Medicare Part B deductible. In 2016, that amount is $166 payable once in the year. All other charges are paid identically between the two plans. The reason we ask this of our clients is the premium. And it isn't a little premium savings-it is a lot. If we take the cheapest F of any company right now, and the cheapest G of any company, even if they are two different companies, and we take the difference in premium and multiply it by 12, that number tends to be higher than the Part B deductible. 24 ADVISOR TODAY | March/April 2016 The more companies you can show, the greater the difference will be between plan prices. A case in point For example, if the lowest premium for an F plan is $140 a month and the lowest G is $110, that's a $30-a-month difference. $30 x 12 months is a savings of $360 annually to your clients. In exchange for taking a plan G, your clients will have to pay the first $166 deductible annually. They still come out ahead by nearly $200. Broken up over 12 months, $200 is not a lot of money for one year, but showing the clients how they are saving money by having a plan with a single deductible rather than simply taking "the best" because it covers all copays and charges instantly disarms the client. I have even had a few prospects tell me they went with me because they felt I was "on their side" simply by showing them this little trick. One of our clients said it best when he told us that the additional "convenience charge" to have the insurance company pay the part B deductible isn't worth it. Be aware that not every company offers Medicare Supplements Plan F & G. It is always a good idea to have multiple carriers, if you are allowed to do so. The more companies you can show, the greater the difference will be between plan prices. "The best" is a misnomer when it comes to Medicare Supplements. By federal law, an F is an F and a G is a G, regardless of the company's name at the top of the card. The only differences are the prices between the companies, and the service the client gets from you, the trusted advisor. And defining "the best" as a plan in which the client pays absolutely nothing for Medicare-covered health expenses doesn't take into account the unnecessarily high premium for that one single deductible to get covered. By showing the client how he can have both excellent benefits and a lower premium, you can show him that "the best" is really the expertise your clients can get by buying their coverage through you. Elie Harriett co-owns Classic Insurance & Financial Services Co., specializing in Medicare-related insurance. He is a trustee of NAIFAOhio. He can be reached by email at

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - March/April 2016

From the Editor
New Products
A Question of Ethics The Details Often Make the Difference
What's Ahead for Financial Advising?
Whos's Saving the Most and Why?
Making the Case for Critical Illness Insurance
Are You a Retirement Expert?
Selling the "Best Plan"
Smooth Sailing
Taking Incremental Steps Toward Success
Investment Strategies for Today’s Consumers
How Tax Efficient is Your Investment and Retirement Portfolio?
Naifa News
Ideas for a Profitable Practice
Crossing the Two Client Relationship Bridges
Working with Muslim-American Clients
Attracting and Serving Today's High-Net-Worth Clients
Becoming a Networking Success
Advertiser Index
Back Page

Advisor Today - March/April 2016