After the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period ends on December 7th it's natural to slow down during the last couple weeks of the year after the frenetic pace you've endured since October. And it's important to regroup and plan for the coming year ahead. As part of your New Year's business strategy think about creating a Wellness Strategy for your clients. Sit down, be it virtually or face-to-face, and talk to them about ALL of their insurance needs. After all, they were pummeled with Medicare ads and mailings for months, and that was their (and your) primary focus. Come the New Year though, it's a great time to think about the bigger picture. As you know there are an array of insurance products available on the market that can be hugely beneficial to your clients, but until you talk to them, they may never know about them or even worse...be headed for a catastrophe if they're under-insured.
Let's face it, the last thing anyone wants is to be up-selled, and that's not what this blog post is about. It's about getting to know your clients and learning about their individual needs. We're going to take a dive into some of the insurance products you can discuss with your clients to create a well-rounded solution for 2023.
No one wants to be up-selled, but having sufficient coverage is crucial.
To start off, consider discussing Critical Illness insurance which can be so important if a client suffers a heart attack, stroke or a cancer diagnosis. Some plans even cover other illnesses such as Parkinson's Disease, End Stage Renal failure and Multiple Sclerosis, among others. Explain to your clients how Critical Illness insurance works and that a lump sum is paid out to the beneficiary once a diagnosis has been made that can help cover the costs that add up quickly. It's very affordable and creates a safety net in the event they need to access a large sum of money in the future. Relay to them that it can be used for any number of things, including mortgage payments, rent, groceries, child care, etc. It does not have to be used strictly for medical bills.
More than 25% of Americans become disabled before retirement, and on average the disability lasts more than three months, making Disability insurance an important topic to discuss. Go over the fact that there are Short-term and Long-term policies available and they typically cover 60 - 80% of a beneficiary's monthly income. The policy will include details about what constitutes a disability and how the payout will be made. The funds can then be used for bills or day-to-day living expenses. Remind them that premiums can vary depending upon the insurance carrier and their job occupation can also affect rates.
Dental, Vision and Hearing insurance is hugely important. Original Medicare Parts A and B do not cover dental, vision or hearing, as they're probably aware. And unfortunately Medicare Supplement policies do not cover these items either. Some Medicare Advantage plans may cover portions of the costs, but it depends upon the plan. Having an affordable DVH plan to help cover the costs of cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, dentures, eye exams, eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing exams and hearing aids just makes so much sense. Talk to your clients about getting them on a plan if they don't currently have one in place.
Now let's get into long-term care. This is a must-have conversation with your clients as 70% of people over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care in their lifetime. Explain to them that Medicare does not cover the costs of long-term care and the costs of private nursing home rooms or even semi-private rooms are absolutely staggering. You can share the 2022 costs for long-term care services provided by Mutual of Omaha's '2022 Cost of Care' study below.
Life insurance is for the living. We've all heard that phrase, and if your clients haven't heard it, be sure to use it. Explaining how Life insurance works - that it's not for those who've passed away - it's there to protect and help loved ones during an incredibly difficult time - will help them understand the need for it. You can review the different types of Life insurance available below and review any existing policies they may already have in place.
The New Year is a great time to have conversations with your clients to learn about their health, wealth and lifestyle so you can create the best solution for them. Setting aside time with them after the holiday rush is over and resolutions kick in is ideal. Take the time to reach out to your clients and create a Wellness strategy to set them up for an amazing year ahead. If you need assistance with product selection, have questions about rates or underwriting, simply reach out to us. We're always here to help.
Carolyn Portanova is the Director of Marketing at The Brokerage Resource and has been with the firm since 2012.