Medicare doesn’t cover all of the insurance needs that seniors have. Insurance agents may want to help their clients obtain the additional coverage types that they need while also securing additional insurance sales for themselves. But be careful. Medicare has strict marketing rules when it comes to cross-selling to seniors. Before you do anything, make sure you understand how to proceed compliantly.
What Other Insurance Products Do Seniors Need?
Medicare covers hospital care, medical care and prescription drugs, but that still leaves out many important insurance coverage types for seniors.
For example, Medicare does not cover long-term care. Some Medicare Advantage plans now offer coverage for adult home day care and in-home support services, but even these plans won’t cover residency in an assisted living facility. Long-term care can be incredibly expensive, and seniors may be interested in long-term care insurance to cover these costs.
Likewise, some Medicare Advantage plans offer hearing, dental and vision coverage, but these services are not covered in Original Medicare, and they’re not available in all Medicare Advantage plans. Some seniors may be interested a separate policy to secure coverage for these services.
Seniors who plan to travel may need travel insurance, especially if they are planning to go outside the country. In addition to providing coverage for canceled plans and lost or stolen items, travel insurance can cover emergency medical expenses that occur while traveling. The CDC warns that people who need medical care in another country will likely have to pay out-of-pocket, even if the country has nationalized healthcare for citizens. Original Medicare does not typically cover care outside of the U.S., although some private Medicare plans may offer coverage. Before traveling abroad, seniors should check their coverage and determine whether they need to purchase travel health insurance.
Life insurance can also be important for seniors. Although seniors don’t typically have young children who depend on them, they can still have many reasons to purchase life insurance. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral cost is $7,848. Some seniors may want term life insurance or final expense insurance to help with burial costs and other estate planning issues. Other seniors may be interested in permanent life insurance policies with investment and retirement planning benefits.
Medicare Rules Against Cross-Selling: Do’s and Don’ts
Medicare insurance agents need to be aware of Medicare’s strict marketing rules that prohibit certain cross-selling activities.
Review the current Medicare Advantage Marketing Regulations and make sure you’re complying with Medicare’s rules regarding Scope of Appointment and cross-selling. The rules are detailed, but here are a few important takeaways for agents who sell other products:
- Do complete a Scope of Appointment. Medicare agents must complete a Scope of Appointment (SOA) form prior to each marketing appointment.
- Don’t stray from the SOA. During the appointment, agents are not allowed to market products that go beyond the previously agreed upon scope.
- Do stick to health-related products during the Medicare appointment. Agents are not allowed to market products other than health products during the appointment. Medicare gives annuities as an example of an off-limits product.
- Don’t cross-sell non-health products during your Medicare meetings. Cross-selling non-health products during any Medicare Advantage sales activity or presentation is prohibited!
Although Medicare’s rules may seem strict, they’re designed to shield seniors from fraud and abuse. To protect your clients, your reputation and your career, it’s important to adhere to all Medicare marketing regulations carefully.
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