I asked myself why other advisors weren't using this approach and the only thing I could think of is they really weren't trained about it. I work with many clients from many firms and generally advisors have a third-party company that they can become associated with and sell Medicare supplement insurance. However, if a client doesn't ask for it specifically most advisors don't address this critical need. In this article I'll review the facts about the senior market and more to the point, a few things every advisor should know about Medicare, and finally how to bring in new clients by adding Medicare supplement offerings to your practice.
Did you know that 70% of the wealth in the U.S. is controlled by people ages 55 and older?
A study conducted by UnitedHealthcare's Senior Horizons found that nearly seven out of 10 seniors (69%) expressed concerns about their health and wellbeing, a larger percentage than expressed concern about other categories such as personal finance (52%), often considered a top source of anxiety among older Americans. Spiritual well-being came in at 58% and receiving adequate care in old age was 56%.
Did you know that the 2009 Senior Census discovered that the top 10 concerns of seniors were:
1. Losing Our Health
2. Inability to Care for Ourselves
3. Losing Our Mental Abilities
4. Running Out Of Money
7. Becoming a Family Burden
8. Ending Up In a Nursing Home
6. Not Being Able To Drive
5. Inability to Get Good Healthcare
9. Inability to Work or Volunteer
10. Being Left Alone & Lonely
Now when I ask advisors these same questions they generally say running out of money is a senior's top concern. My best advice is to survey your own clients, simply take the above 10 items in random order. Then ask your clients 55 and older to number their priorities from one to 10. Be prepared for what you learn because you will need to address these issues once you have discovered them.
Now, how important do you think Medicare is in addressing these issues? It's very important! How prepared are you to discuss these important issues? How prepared are your competitors?
I am guessing you have a potential competitive advantage by learning to address clients concerns about Medicare. So, where should you begin?
If you think Medicare covers all of a person's medical expenses you are mistaken.
Below are some examples of what Medicare doesn't pay for:
24-hour-a-day care at home
Meals delivered to your home
Homemaker services like shopping, cleaning, and laundry when this is the only care you need, and when these services aren't related to your plan of care
Personal care given by home health aides like bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom when this is the only care you need
20% of the Medicare-approved amount for Medicare-covered medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, and oxygen.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. And, if you think all doctors accept Medicare you are also mistaken. The number of doctors accepting new Medicare patients has been steadily declining because federal health insurance pays less than what private insurance pays.
With the passage of the U.S. Affordable Care Act Medicare even less money is available to pay medical expenses:
Now you can see why health care is a major concern among seniors and why there is such an opportunity for an advisor who learns to help these potential clients.
All firms offer the same Medicare coverage because it is regulated by the government. Medicare part A is for hospital insurance, part B is medical insurance for doctor visits, part C is Medicare Advantage which has an additional cost and is more like an HMO, and part D is for drugs. Finally there is Medicare supplement (Medigap) insurance which is a policy to cover expenses that Medicare doesn't cover.
Are you a little confused? Well, if you don't understand this how do you think your clients and potential prospects feel?