SOURCE: American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance

Medicare Supplement insurance experts

October 06, 2016 11:18 ET

National Medicare Supplement Insurance Agent Directory Helps Consumers Pick Best Medicare Plans During Open Enrollment

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - October 06, 2016) - The nation's leading online directory of Medicare Supplement insurance agents can help consumers eligible for Medicare navigate options and obtain the best coverage for the best cost.

"Comparing Medicare choices can be tricky, especially for individuals who previously had health insurance coverage through an employer," explains Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI), a national industry organization. "Choosing wisely is critical because choices made will affect health care costs for decades to come."

The annual Medicare Open Enrollment period starts October 15 and runs through December 7. "During this brief time-period individuals have the option to change existing Medicare Part D prescription drug plan coverage and Medicare Part C Advantage plans," Slome notes. "It's also a time when consumers learn more about leaving current Medicare plans and switching to a Medicare Supplement policy sometimes referred to as Medigap coverage."

Before deciding what to do, Slome advises it is best to evaluate options. "It's really important to review and get the right information," Slome says. Insurance companies have the option to change what they offer each year and many of them do. "And, of course, costs for insurance can change and can vary, sometimes quite significantly," he adds.

Insurance companies can only start marketing many of their 2017 plans on October 1st. "We already are hearing from consumers getting a barrage of information," the AAMSI director notes. "Thankfully, there are consumer protections to prevent a degree of unwanted solicitations but that leaves many consumers not sure where to find knowledgeable professionals who can offer information and comparisons."

To help consumers seeking information and policy cost comparisons from local Medicare Supplement agents, the Association maintains the nation's largest online directory where you can find agents serving all 50 states. The organization also fields phone inquiries from consumers.

"Cost is always the number one question," Slome reports. "While Medicare Supplement policies are standardized, the costs can vary significantly by State and even depending on your Zip Code." According to the AAMSI 2016 Policy Costs Analysis, no single Medigap insurer was consistently the least expensive nor the most expensive. "Consumers who want the best coverage for the lowest cost would be well served by working with a knowledgeable agent who can educate and help with the comparison shopping."

To access the Association's Find A Medicare Supplement Online Agent Directory go to www.medicaresupp.org/agents.php or call the organization's national headquarters at 818-597-3205.

Jesse Slome is director of the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, established to provide consumer awareness and education, marketing support and networking opportunities for professionals who market Medigap insurance.

Slome also heads the National Advisory Center for Short-Term Care Information. The national organization supports insurance professionals who market short-term care insurance products. Short-term care policies are ideal options for individuals interested in long-term care protection but who find the cost of coverage is a concern or who cannot meet the health qualification requirements.

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