Reasons to Work With A Medicare Agent

Reasons to Work With A Medicare Agent text overlaying image of elderly couple speaking with an agent You can technically enroll in Medicare and Medicare products on your own. You can do all your own research on Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement Plans. Or you can look into all of the providers available. You can even search for quotes for these plans on your own. However, is this the best way to enroll in Medicare? We don’t think so. The issue with doing your own research is that you may not find all of the information you need. Due to years of experience, a Medicare Agent will have more information for you, including things not commonly found on the internet.


Contrary to popular belief, you don’t pay your Medicare agent. Since the insurance companies pay your agent for their services, you never pay them a dime. Your premium will also not increase just because you used an agent. So using an agent is free and absolutely no hidden fees. They are there to give you all the information you need and help you find the best options for you.

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What Is A Medicare Agent

Before we dive into why you should use an agent, let’s look at what they actually do. A Medicare agent is a licensed expert who assists you in reviewing and evaluating Medicare plans and their benefits, as well as assisting you in selecting and enrolling in the best plan. There are two types of Medicare agents. The first is an independent agent. This type of agent works with numerous insurance providers and can enroll you in any of their plans. The second type is a captive agent. These agents work with one specific insurance company. EZ’s agents are independent so we can provide you with plans from all providers.

Benefits of Medicare Agent

We know it’s hard to trust that you’ll be in good hands. So, we’ve made a list of reasons a Medicare agent could be beneficial to you. Since EZ’s agents are independent we’ve based this list on the benefits of working with independent agents.

1. Expert Knowledge

Simply put, Medicare can be confusing. You can spend countless hours reading about Medicare and its products and you could get a fairly solid understanding of how it operates. However, our Medicare agents continuously educate themselves and are familiar with Medicare’s rules and regulations, which changes frequently. A simple mistake, such as missing your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), could result in penalties or delays in coverage. Even selecting the wrong Medicare Supplement Plan can leave you with big gaps in your coverage. Meaning you’ve got unnecessary money coming out of your pocket for healthcare costs that you could have saved with the right plan. When it comes to Medicare, the devil is in the details. Our agents will ensure that you are educated and supported through your entire Medicare journey.

2. Help Choosing a Plan

Once you’re eligible for Medicare it’s not as simple as enrolling. You have some options to consider. For instance, you can choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan instead of Original medicare. If you enroll in Medicare Advantage through a private insurer you’ll still have Medicare but your coverage comes directly from the Advantage plan rather than Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage can include additional coverages such as vision, hearing, dental and wellness programs. They also usually have prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D.


On the other hand you can choose to stick with Original Medicare and then purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan and enroll in Part D on your own. Going this route also gives you these additional benefits but deciding which path to take depends on your specific needs. You need a thorough understanding of each path in order to choose the right one. There are so many factors to consider, like your budget, provider networks, and current prescriptions. Our licensed agents understand the pros and cons of both paths and as they get to know your circumstances, they can help you figure out which is the best one for you.

3. Help with underwriting

Underwriting is a process that private insurance companies use to figure out your health stats when you apply for health insurance, such as Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement. The process helps companies decide how much your premium will be. Our Medicare sales agents are very familiar with the underwriting application questions from various companies. Suppose you are interested in switching Medicare Supplement companies. We can match you with the company that is most likely to accept you –even if you have a medical condition that you think might make you ineligible. We’re here to find you coverage, no matter what.


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4. Benefit clarity

When you’re searching for coverage or deciding what choice is best for you, you’ll mainly be looking at benefits. Our agents can help you read through all the legal jargon to find out what benefits are specifically being offered and if they’re beneficial to you.

5.Access to a variety of providers

Medicare agents work for you, not the insurance company. So we won’t just offer you plans from one source, we offer you dozens of options. We can research pricing for nearly every provider in the country for any given plan. For instance, Medicare Supplement Plans are standardized, meaning the plans all have the same benefits no matter where you live or who you buy them from. So, say you like Plan G, you can compare prices from all the available providers in your area. Why pay more than necessary for the same coverage? When you work with a Medicare agent you never will. 

6. Continued service

Your relationship with your agent continues even after you enroll in Medicare. During the annual enrollment period, your agent can help you review your coverage. Then, they can help you decide if your current plan is still the best option or whether you need to make adjustments. They will then help you make those adjustments. They can also help you with any concerns or questions about your coverage no matter the time of year or how long you’ve had Medicare. Once you find an agent they are available to you the entire time you have Medicare.

7. Time saver

Working with a Medicare agent can save you a great deal of time. You won’t be stuck spending hours, days, or even months researching Medicare and looking for plans on your own. Agents can compare every plan for you quickly and efficiently. They can also answer any questions you have immediately and accurately rather than having to read through hundreds of internet searches hoping to find the answers you need and hoping the answers you find are accurate .

8. It’s free!

You don’t pay any fees to work with a Medicare agent. Using their services is completely free. You’re probably wondering, “So, how do they get paid?”. Their pay comes directly from the insurance companies. Most agents are paid commission. When they enroll you in a plan, the insurance company pays them for the first year of coverage as well as an initial sum for each year you are enrolled. Now, don’t worry, they aren’t incentivized to enroll you with a specific company. So you don’t have to worry that they’ll push you to enroll with a certain company to get more commission. They’re only motivation is getting you enrolled in the best coverage possible.

Choosing a Medicare Agent

After you provide us with some fundamental information through EZ, we will provide you with quotes and match you up with an insurance agent who is the most suitable for your circumstances. Who we match you up with depends on a variety of factors, including your location and the kind of coverage you’re looking for in a plan. We take measures to ensure that your agent is familiar with the area in which you live. This way, you won’t have to worry about being assigned an agent who lives in another part of the country and who isn’t as knowledgeable about the services provided in your area as a local agent would be. 

Why Work With EZ

EZ is able to help you with enrolling in Medicare, buying a Medicare Supplement Plan, or even just answering any questions you might have. We can also help determine which options are best for you. Our insurance agents work closely with a number of the country’s most well-known and respected insurance companies. They are able to give you a free analysis and quotes that compare all of the plans offered in your area. First our agents will talk with you about your medical needs and your budget. Then we help in finding you a plan that we can help customize to fill those needs while staying well within your budget. We can actually save you hundreds of dollars a year. If you’re ready to start, simply enter your zip code into the bar below or give us a call at 877-670-3602 and we’ll get the process started right away.

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What Happens When the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period Ends?

Did you take advantage of the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), and review your plan, or even change it for next year? Great! The AEP is your opportunity to save some money and maximize your medical benefits for the new year. But what happens once the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is over? When does your new plan’s coverage begin? And what happens if you don’t like your new plan? What if you missed the AEP altogether? 

Your New Plan Begins…

january 1 on a calendar
If you made any changes, then your new plan will begin on January 1.

The Medicare AEP ended December 7, so now you are unable to make any changes to your Medicare plan until next year. If you did decide to change your plan before the AEP ended, your plan will not begin until January 1st. What does this mean for the plan that you have decided to drop? Don’t worry, your current plan will continue to cover you until the new plan kicks in on the 1st of the new year. 

But What If…

You Are Unhappy With The Plan You Chose?

If you choose a plan and then decide that you’re not happy with it, you do have options. Specifically, if you chose to enroll in Original Medicare and buy a Medicare Supplement Plan alongside it, you have the option to change your Medicare Supplement Plan to a different one that better fits your needs within 30 days of your enrollment. After 30 days, you will be subject to medical underwriting and might have to pay more because of pre-existing conditions. Remember, there are 10 different Medicare Supplement Plans to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that is right for you – simply speak to one of our agents, who will help you compare them all. 

You Missed The AEP?

If you missed the AEP,  you will have to wait until the next AEP to switch plans, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), which will allow you to sign up for a Medicare health or prescription drug plan, or change plans outside of the AEP. A few situations that might make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period include:

  • You moved out of your plan’s service area.
  • You moved into, out of, or still live in a skilled nursing facility, or another institution such as a long-term care hospital.
  • You left your employer-based or union-based health passport in luggage's front pocket
  • You’re moving back to the United States after living outside the country.
  • Your plan is losing or ending its contract with Medicare.

In addition,  during the Medicare General Enrollment Period and Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 – March 31, you can drop your Medicare Advantage Plan (if you have one) and return to original Medicare. 

Work With A Medicare Agent

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to Medicare coverage. You will need to review all available plans in your area and find one that fits your budget and your medical needs as much as possible for the new year. And if you missed the AEP, don’t worry: you don’t have to be trapped in a plan that isn’t right for you. 

If you are looking for a plan, know that you have options, and that you don’t have to go it alone – EZ.Insure can help by providing you with a licensed agent to compare plans for you. Our agent will compare all available plans, review your specific needs, and find the perfect match that will provide the right amount of coverage, while saving you money. Our services are free and there’s no obligation. To get free instant quotes for plans that cover your current doctors, simply enter your zip code in the bar on the side, or to speak to a local licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.

Mutual of Omaha Plans To Sell Medicare Advantage Plans in 2019

In 2019, Mutual of Omaha, an Omaha-based insurer will begin selling Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage. They have partnered up with Lumeris, a St. Louis company that will handle the health provider networks, and healthcare solutions.

The Kaiser Family Foundation recorded that one in three Medicare recipients are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. They project the number to rise to nearly 41 percent by the year 2027.

Omaha is introducing Medicare Advantage Plans in 2019.
Omaha is introducing Medicare Advantage Plans in 2019 to provide options for seniors.

The Plan

James Blackledge, the Mutual Chairman and CEO said “Our entrance into the Medicare Advantage market represents a significant step forward for Mutual of Omaha as we strive to respond to customer needs and offer a meaningful suite of senior health solutions. We’re confident that our collaboration with Lumeris will lead to better health outcomes for our Medicare Advantage customers.”

Mutual started in 1909, and has been one of the first providers of Medicare Supplement plans. But recently Medicare Supplement plan sales have been declining, while Advantage sales have increased.

Lumeris has over 10 years of experience with Medicare Advantage plans, even starting their own called Essence Healthcare, which has about 65,000 members in the St. Louis area. They have built a value-based model to provide seniors with better health for a lower cost while providing a better patient and physician experience. The company functions to help other medical providers deliver better care and financial outcomes by its value-based care model.

The idea is to create more plans so that Medicare beneficiaries can save money, and receive better care.
The idea is to create more plans so that Medicare beneficiaries can save money, and receive better care.

“Our new initiative with Mutual of Omaha is exciting because it enables both of our companies to build on our successes while remaining laser-focused on what matters most—delivering the highest quality care to seniors,” said Lumeris Chairman and CEO Mike Long. “This new partnership also leverages each company’s unique strengths to benefit the larger healthcare ecosystem. Together, we will make a deeper, more meaningful difference in the lives of patients and providers.”

Hopeful Future

The alliance between the companies will allow Mutual of Omaha to continue to lead in the senior health market. Mutual will provide Medicare Advantage plans, while Lumeris will evaluate markets, and establish networks.

A Mutual executive vice president, Brad Beuchler said that the plans will have narrow networks. The networks will be limited as to how many physicians, hospitals and care providers to choose from. This way there will be reduced costs while improving efficiency and medical outcomes.

The multiyear agreement is expected to be ready by Medicare open enrollment October 15, and the plans taking effect January 1, 2019. This will hopefully provide better healthcare quality with lower costs for seniors.

Planning Your Medicare Costs During Retirement

Many Americans are turning 65 every day, and can be overwhelmed with the retirement costs to come, especially when unprepared. It is important to plan for retirement and costs for Medicare. Most people underestimate the expenses during retirement. It is important to research medical costs and plan accordingly.

As you get close to retirement, it is important to plan ahead for monthly Medicare costs.
As you get close to retirement, it is important to plan ahead for monthly Medicare costs. Medicare only covers 60% of costs, consider Medicare Supplement to cover the rest.

Medicare only covers about 80 percent of costs, leaving retirees to pay the rest out of pocket. Over time, Medicare costs such as premiums will increase over time, so it is important to budget for this.

Find Out Medicare Costs and Additional Insurance

Depending on your preference, there are many possibilities for out-of-pocket expenses regarding your insurance. One of the main payments you will have are Medicare Part B monthly premiums and an annual Part B deductible. The annual deductible is roughly $183, and the monthly premium amount will depend on your income, which is on average $134 a month.

Medicare does not cover prescription drugs or dental and vision care, so if you would like extra coverage and relieve some of the financial burden, many people choose to buy a Medicare Supplemental Insurance or Medicare Advantage.

Long-term care insurance is also something you should consider, considering Medicare does not cover the majority of long-term care costs.

Figure Out Your Medicare Costs

It is important to account and budget for your medical costs within your retirement and social security funds.

Monthly Medicare Part B Premiums for 2018. See how much your premiums will be.
Monthly Medicare Part B Premiums for 2018. See how much your premiums will be.

Medicare Part B premiums will depend mainly on your income.

There are 10 different kinds of Medicare supplement insurance plans to choose from. It is important to go over each plan, what they cover, and their costs to determine if it will fit within your budget. Plans F and G are typically the most popular because they offer the most coverage with an out of pocket limit. This means once you have reached the out of pocket limit, any other expenses will be covered by the company.

If you are looking into long-term care insurance, it can cost you nearly $100-$150 a month.

Taking all of these costs into consideration is important to determine your retirement costs, and have money left for other living expenses such as food, rent, etc.

Planning your budget during retirement can become very overwhelming. There are many different routes to choose when it comes to your medical needs. EZ.Insure can guide you in the right direction that meets your needs. We can help you estimate your budget and help you determine what you can afford with what you need. We can go over all the different kinds of Medicare Supplement Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans, and when you are ready, we can also help you through the process of signing up.

Enter your zip code in the bar above to get an instant quote.  You can reach one of our knowledgeable agents within your region by calling 888-753-7207, or e-mailing Our agents will help you with any questions you have, and guide through the process step by step, all at no cost to you. No commitment, no bouncing from agent to agent, no hassle. We make it easy.

How Medicare Supplement Plans Are Rated

Medicare may sometimes fall short on coverage and can be a financial burden to retirees. It is wise to look into Medicare Supplement Insurance to help ease the burden, and receive more coverage.  Medicare Supplement is offered by private companies that are regulated by states. There are different policy premium rates by different companies, and it can be confusing.

Medicare Supplement Plan rates are assessed based on different factors: age and community.
Medicare Supplement Plan rates are assessed based on different factors: age and community.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance offers coverage for things that traditional Medicare does not cover. Once you begin paying premiums for a Medicare Supplement Insurance, you will have more coverage, and save more money. Competition between insurance companies is allowed, which is why there are different prices. There are three ways that companies calculate a premium rate.


The same monthly premium is usually charged to everyone, regardless of age. Someone 65 will pay the same price as someone who is 72. Premiums are not based on your age, and the only reason premiums may go up is because of inflation, never because of your age. However, state to state and community to community, insurance companies do not have to have the same rates.

For example, Mr. Halpert is 65 and buys a Medicare Supplement plan at $160 a month. Mr. Scott is 75 and buys the same plan as Mr. Halpert. He also pays $160 monthly because everyone pays the same price regardless of age.


Premium pricing is based on the age you are when you purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. The younger you are, then the lower your premium will initially be, and will not change as you get older.

Premiums may go up because of inflation and other factors, but not because of your age. Switching plans later in life may result in rates being higher than if they chose the same plan when they started.

Plans are either community rated, attained-age rated or issue-age rated.
Plans are either community rated, attained-age rated or issue-age rated.

For example, Mr. Halpert is 65 and purchases a Medicare Supplement plan, paying $140 a month. Mr. Scott is 75 and purchases the same plan as Mr. Halpert. But, because Mr. Scott is older, his monthly premiums are $180.


The last method of creating a premium is when premiums are based on your current age of when you first start the policy. The premium is low for younger buyers, age 65, but the rate goes up every year as you get older.

For example, Mr. Halpert is 65 and purchases a plan for $130 a month. The premium will go up each year, so at 66 it will cost him $136, at 67 it will be $142 and so on.

Now Mr. Scott is 75 and purchases the same plan as Mr. Halpert, but pays $170 a month. His premium is higher than Mr. Halpert’s because it is based on his current age. The premium will also go up each year, so at 73, it will cost him $176, at 74 it will be $182, and so on.

Costs of Medicare Supplement Plans can vary between insurance companies for the same coverage. It is important to compare rates from private insurers to find the most affordable price for the same coverage. EZ.Insure understands how difficult this process can be, so we make it easy for you. We will compare all policies around your area, and find you the most affordable Medicare Supplement plan, with the coverage you need. To compare rates and get different quotes, enter your zip code in the bar above. If you would like to speak to one of agents who are trained and knowledgeable for your region, call 855-220-1144, or email us at Even if you are renewing a Medicare Supplement plan during the open enrollment period, we can help find the best rates, since they are subject to change every year.

Medicare Part B Rates Fluctuating In 2018

The fourth quarter is when senior citizens learn about their social security benefits and Medicare. They find out if they will receive higher social security, and how much, also how much monthly premiums will be for Medicare. Most people with Medicare will face higher premiums in 2018.

Medicare Part B insurance covers outpatient care, preventative services, ambulance services, laboratory tests, and durable medical equipment.

The Part B premium increases will not only will this affect older adults who were stable due to their social security benefits, but it will affect a large number of low-income seniors who struggle on a fixed income.

“Hold Harmless”

In order to protect senior citizens living on fixed incomes, a federal law provision, “hold harmless,” prevents Medicare from raising Part B premiums more than their annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) from Social Security. The premiums are being automatically deducted from their Social Security checks. About 70 percent of Medicare enrollees are protected by the “hold harmless” rule.

In 2016, there was no Social Security COLA, so those under “hold harmless,” did not have their Part B premiums rise that year. Last year, Social Security gave enrollees .03 percent COLA, raising premiums from 104.90 to $109 for the hold harmless group. But, Medicare enrollees not in the group (30%) had to pay the full raise in premium, $134.

The Changes

In 2018, the cost-of-living adjustment will go up 2%, which is the highest raise in six years that senior citizens have received. This year, the Medicare Part B premium has remained unchanged from last year’s $134 a month. Because of the premium remaining unchanged, majority of seniors that were protected by the hold harmless provision will be get hit with a major increase in their premium. They will be expected to go from paying $109 a month, to $134 a month, a $25 a month increase. The $25 these senior citizens will be paying leaves them will little to no money for expenses.

Enrollees who are not part of the group, about 30 percent, will not see any additional costs because they already took the hit the previous year.

For high-income enrollees, the more you have the more you pay. Their Part B premiums will increase depending on their income, rising anywhere from $187.50 to $428.60.

Income (adjusted gross income plus tax-exempt interest income):
Single tax return Married filing jointly Monthly Part B premium (per person)
$85,000 or less $170,000 or less $134 (may be less if covered by the hold-harmless provision)
$85,001 to $107,000 $170,001 to $214,000 $187.50
$107,001 to $133,500 $214,001 to $267,000 $267.90
$133,501 to $160,000 $267,001 to $320,000 $348.30
More than $160,000 More than $320,000 $428.60

Other Alternatives

Head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma said in a news release, “We encourage Medicare beneficiaries to explore their options to make an informed choice between original Medicare and Medicare Advantage before open enrollment ends on Dec. 7.”

It is a good time to begin exploring other options, to avoid the large financial hit from the increase of Part B premiums. Medicare Advantage plans, Part C, have become popular, offering all that Medicare offers, sometimes cheaper. Instead of having to enroll in Part A, and Part B, and buying a separate Part D (prescription drug plan), Medicare Advantage has all of these under one plan. Medicare Advantage also offers an annual out-of-pocket limit, meaning once you have reached this limit, you will have no more out of pocket expenses.

Another option to consider helping pay for Part B premiums is a Medicare Supplement plan. These plans help pay the 20% that Medicare leaves up to the individual to pay.

It may be confusing comparing plans and figuring out which will tailor your needs, on a budget. EZ.Insure ensures finding you the best Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan in your region, within your financial plan. Get a quote by entering your zip code in the bar above. You can also call 888-753-7207, or email will be assigned your own highly trained agent to fulfill your needs.