From the Far Side of Medicare

Paul Turner
2 min readOct 8, 2023

The latest misadventure —

1. Tier 1 agents are calling people at home. At present, no would-be customer calls us unless he or she is referred by an existing customer or someone we didn’t help who shared individual agents’ phone numbers. It’s hit-or-miss whether we the agents keep the harried people on the phone.

After all, many people on Medicare get several calls during weekdays about changing their Medicare plans. This is in addition to car warranty calls and charity calls and scam calls that are in the mix.

2. We can’t sell Medicare plans that have the same contract number as the customer’s current plan. The contract numbers start with a letter and are followed by numbers and hyphens. The average person overlooks this identifier.

“Call the insurance carrier or Medicare if you want this other plan that has deeper benefits.”

3. We have supervisors with homespun ideas about mental illness among the households that we call: schizophrenia, dementia, and manic depression, etcetera.

We as agents are not the assessors of mental illness and other cognitive disorders. Many people can maintain lucidity on the phone for 15 minutes or so. What happens to our insurance licenses when a family member complains to the insurance carrier or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) when we change their family member’s Medicare Advantage plan?

4. Stating Part C is misleading and leads to would-be customers hanging up. Part C is a Medicare Advantage plan. “I already have that.” Click.

5. Call center agents earn bonuses, not the larger commissions that accrue to field agents. Twenty sales per month and hourly pay and more sales during the Annual Enrollment period do not add up to $100K in annual income.

Click.

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