At some point, I’m sure you made a trip to the grocery store without a list, only to come home and realize you forgot the most important item! “Why didn’t I make a list!?”
Well, an extra trip to the grocery store isn’t fun, but it’s a relatively minor inconvenience.
When it comes to Medicare, following a checklist or what I call the “Medicare Process”, is critical – and the consequences for forgetting one “item” can be much more than an inconvenience. It can result in costly penalties and problems.
An Example of Why A Checklist is Needed
About 15 years ago, I was working with a gentleman (I’ll call Mr. Ben) who was new to Medicare and was overwhelmed by the process. I explained everything in detail and made sure he got enrolled in Medicare Part A and B, along with a Medigap plan. Additionally, I recommended a Part D (drug) plan. However, the carrier I recommended was one that didn’t work with agents.
TIP: There are a couple of Part D carriers that only work directly with consumers. Some agents won’t show these carriers, even if they are a much better deal for their clients. I have always shown my clients the top 3 most cost-effective plans based on their medications. It’s a detailed comparison report. Sometimes, the plan I recommend is NOT one I can sell. It just depends on what is best for my client.
I recommended that Ben purchase a drug plan directly with the carrier since I couldn’t help him apply. I gave him the information and contact info, however, he never followed through and did not enroll. He discovered this about four months later (outside of his Initial Enrollment Period), so he had to wait until January 1 to start a new plan. And he had to pay a small penalty for the rest of his life.
Do You Have Your Checklist?
I learned from that experience that everyone needs a checklist. Checking off all of the important items during the Medicare Process is essential. I created this checklist and fine-tuned it over the years to make sure nothing was overlooked. If you haven’t already requested your checklist, then please do so now at this page. You’ll need to schedule a brief phone call, so I can assess your situation and send the correct checklist.
Now I make sure my clients receive their ID cards and clearly understand their benefits and billing – so nothing is overlooked.
Checklists are essential when initially enrolling in Medicare, but they are also valuable later on as well.
Every year, you have the opportunity to reevaluate all your plans and make changes if needed or desired. Your circumstances (health, finances, geographic location, etc.) might change, so ongoing “check-ups” can be well worthwhile.
With our agency, you will receive annual notices (by phone, email and email), so you can schedule a review.
We’ll go through a checklist as I ask you questions and we will determine what makes the most sense for you moving forward.
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