Playing Offense Against Joe - Western Asset Protection
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Playing Offense Against Joe

By now, you may have seen retired football star Joe Nameth’s television commercials about Medicare. Even if you haven’t, it’s safe to assume that many of your clients have. Joe’s pitch is compelling – though arguably somewhat misleading – and many of your clients may be convinced. Unfortunately, the result could be bad for both you and your clients. It’s time to play offense.

What Does Joe Offer?

If you haven’t seen the commercials yet, you can watch one here.

In his commercial, Joe talks about new benefits that have been officially authorized by CMS, and he urges Medicare enrollees to call the Medicare Coverage Helpline. He says he called and was offered enrollment in a plan with private home aids, rides to medical appointments, meal delivery and other extra benefits, all at no additional cost.

The call is free, and this fact is advertised in large print. Viewers will have to read the fine print to learn that the Medicare Coverage Helpline is not affiliated with or acting on behalf of any government agency or program, and that it’s actually a for-profit lead generation campaign.

So, what really happens when seniors call the Medicare Coverage Helpline? According to the commercial, they speak to a licensed insurance agent. This agent will presumably offer Medicare Advantage plans with various benefits.

This is nothing that you can’t do yourself. You also know your clients and their specific needs. You know that extra benefits can be attractive, but there’s more to consider – like how much your clients will pay out of pocket and whether their favorite doctors are in network.

Go on Offense

Call centers often employ high pressure techniques. Seniors who call may be convinced to enroll in plans that do not actually meet their needs.

Don’t let that happen to your clients.

These Medicare commercials are playing frequently. Your clients will notice them, so you can’t ignore them. To retain your clients, and to help them avoid plan selections that are not in their best interest, you need to go on offense.

Reach out to Your Clients Now

Don’t wait until AEP. By then, it might be too late. Contact your clients now. You can send a letter or email, or you can call, depending on your client’s communication preferences.

Here’s some sample language to get you started …

Dear Client,

I hope you are doing well. It’s been a few months since we last spoke, so I’m reaching out to make sure that you’re happy with your Medicare plan. How are your benefits working out so far this year?

I also want to give you a heads up that there are some commercials on TV, advertising new benefits and no extra costs. These ads are designed to prey on uninformed seniors. Be sure to tell your friends to be smart and avoid falling for their bait and switch tactics.

Some commercials claim that their Medicare Advantage plans include additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare, at no additional premium cost. However, they don’t tell you the full story, and as you know, there are a lot of different things to consider – such as out-of-pocket costs and network restrictions! Copays can add up quickly, especially if you have health issues, so it’s important to consider all the plan elements and how they may impact your situation.

I want you to always feel confident that you’re in the right plan, and if you ever have a doubt – just call me and we can look at all the options again. We’ll review everything that impacts your personal situation, including your network needs, expected copays and other out-of-pocket costs – not just extra benefits and premiums costs. Then, you can make an informed decision about the right plan for you.

I appreciate your business and I’m here to answer any questions you may have. Reach out anytime!

Wishing you good health!

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