This presentation involved an interview with Gerry Flannagan. She is an agent with Humana where she specializes in Medicare advantage plans. She and I worked together in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia as insurance agents. She was my supervisor and a good friend.
During the interview, Gerry and I discussed the three issues that agents and supervisors face in the industry. Licensing, Medicare\Medicaid regulations, and how the Affordable Care Act would change Medicare. Licensing is a big issue, as there is a lot to do to get a license. First, a person must complete a background check. This requires a fee and a fingerprinting process. Twenty-four pre-licensing courses must be completed. These classes involve life, accident, health, and annuity education. Once these are completed a state exam must be passed in order to hold a license. Many people are not aware of all the requirements involved. Gerry gets to weed out those not meeting the basic elements to be an agent.
Medicare has changes that occur yearly, agents have a lot of rules they have to follow. Center for Medicare\Medicaid Services (CMS) does a good job of protecting seniors. There are certain ways to handle clients. Agents cannot call them. We use to do a lot of cold calling when we got leads. Everyday seniors could get many calls from agents trying to get them to sign up for their plan. This created a lot of frustration and confusion for seniors. Some other things that are restricted: we could not buy them lunch to hear our sales-pitch or offer them a gift for listening. CMS makes these rules & if you don’t follow them, pay a fine or you could lose your license. Basically, Medicare is a health insurance plan you pay into prior to retirement. It has 4 parts A, B, C, & D. There is an annual enrollment period, which this year is 10/15-12/7. Ten thousand Baby Boomers will age in everyday between the years 2012-2031. This is an amazingly large amount of people to have in the system. Medicaid is an...
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