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Agents Eye Medigap Look-Alike Plans as Alternative to Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Advantage plans are constantly innovating to differentiate themselves from competitors. A few bold carriers have taken a page from the old playbook and are offering a new kind of product called Medicare Supplement Look-alike plans, also known as Medigap look-alike, Medicare Advantage Flex, Medicare Enhanced Select Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Medicare Platinum Preferred PPO or Flex PPO plans. These products are designed to appeal to Medicare Supplement prospects by resembling a traditional Medicare Supplement plan.

In most states, Medicare Supplement plans are subject to standardization to make it easier for consumers to compare plans between carriers. Conversely, Medicare Advantage plans have traditionally had more product flexibility, as long as the benefits were actuarially equivalent to Original Medicare. This has enabled Medicare Advantage plans to offer additional benefits such as dental, prescription drug coverage, vision and hearing.*

WEB_BLOG_ma-look-alike-plans_top-inline_20535Why Medicare Supplement look-alike plans appeal to your clients

These new look-alike plans are mainly targeted at Medicare Supplement customers because they resemble Medicare Supplement plans, but with the PPO network of a Medicare Advantage plan. They also provide additional benefits that a standardized Medicare Supplement plan can't offer. In recent years, Medicare Supplement plans have undergone a shift towards higher rate increases, and it can be challenging for those with Medicare Supplement plans to switch carriers because they don't have the same types of annual and open enrollment periods that Medicare Advantage plans provide. For clients in poor health, this can create a situation where they feel stuck with a particular carrier and subject to the annual rate increases that come along with those plans. These look-a-like plans present clients with a viable alternative.

These plans are ideal for clients:

  1. Experiencing premium increases they can no longer afford
  2. Who cannot pass underwriting
  3. Who signed up for a Medicare Supplement at age 65 and want a new solution

WEB_BLOG_ma-look-alike-plans_mid-inline_20535Which carriers are offering Medicare Supplement Look-alike plans?

Currently, only a few carriers are offering these types of plans, and they are only available in a limited number of states. However, if they prove to be a popular option for consumers, we can expect to see more carriers offering these look-alike plans in more areas.

WEB_BLOG_ma-look-alike-plans_bottom-inline_20535How can I start selling Medicare Supplement Look-alike plans?

As an agent, you’ll need to be knowledgeable about these plans, how they work and how they compare to Medicare Supplement plans. You’ll need to demonstrate the pros and cons of these new plans and show clients why the premiums may look higher than other Medicare Advantage plans. Also, you’ll need to have the understanding to explain the added benefits that may be included in various Medicare Advantage plans as well as any limitations. For example, Medicare Advantage plans may have provider networks that are not as extensive as the number of providers who accept Medicare.

These plans appeal to agents:

  1. Who have experienced a reduction in Medicare Supplement carriers in their markets
  2. Who want to sell plans that pay them fair market value on commissions

You don't have to do this alone. Senior Market Sales® (SMS) is here to help you along the way. SMS’ licensed team of Med Solutions marketing consultants is knowledgeable on a wide array of Medicare topics, including Medicare Supplement Look-Alike plans. If you’re ready to start offering Medicare Supplement Look-Alike plans to your clients, give us a call at 1.877.645.0147 or schedule a conversation with a licensed SMS marketing consultant.

*Depending on the plan.

For Licensed Insurance Agent/Advisor Use Only. Not for General Public.

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