Now, more than ever, I’m getting those turning 65 calling me or meeting with me and they say something to the effect: ‘I get all this stuff in the mail, why is it all so confusing?’. My personal belief is the party who sent the mailing intends to confuse you and get you to call them in an attempt to get you in their sales funnel when you call to get clarification.
Prior to working in insurance I worked for an advertising company called J. Walter Thompson out of Detroit, MI (my hometown). One of the things I learned working there was an ad was effective if it created curiosity. Which is where Joe Namath comes in. His ads for the ‘Medicare Helpline’ create curiosity, especially for the Senior-age demographic, who were impressionable kids when he was a superstar for the New York Jets winning Super Bowl 3, and want to give the venerable Broadway Joe the benefit-of-the-doubt.
The ad is generic (by design) as he lists a host of benefits that may or may not even be available in your particular part of the country. The entire goal of the commercial is to use your curiosity about the benefits he’s talking about and your trust of his persona to call the number on the screen.
Which, believe me, folks nationwide have done in droves. Once you make that call you get a licensed insurance agent in a cube farm somewhere who will try every trick in the book to get you to switch your insurance to a plan to one they sell, whether it’s in your best interest or not. The truth is that the Medicare “Helpline” is designed to help the agent you wind up speaking with on the phone, not the customer necessarily. Their entire endgame is to get a commission out of you and anything that results after that is of little concern to them.
Odds are that agent knows nothing about your local market and is not even in the state you live in. When it comes to Medicare Advantage plans in particular, knowing the local market can be the difference in knowing which company or circumstances will best benefit the client. Once an agent on the Medicare Helpline has you as a client, if you have follow-up questions or issues, you will be lucky to ever hear or get ahold of from them ever again, Especially if there’s a service issue on the plan they put you on.
You’d be better served calling 615-578-5174 if you live in TN than the # above 😉
At least with a local agent, such as myself, we know our local market well and if you need our help, we are available and easy to get ahold of. If you were to survey my clients they’d tell you I follow up with them annually to bring them up-to-date on changes to their plan and am responsive if they ever need my help.
And to bring it back to the original point, it’s my personal mission to answer your Medicare questions in a way that’s easy for you to understand. One of my strengths is breaking down details in an easy-to-understand way that’s straightforward for you, the client.
I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t ask me what it’s like to be an NFL Quarterback, so why would you ask a former NFL QB, no offense Broadway Joe, about Medicare? If you thought about it, you wouldn’t. And whatever you do, don’t trust Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz) about those reverse mortgages :).
-Randy W. Hall is Mr. Nice Guy Medicare Advisor and you can call him to ask Medicare-related questions in Tennessee at 615-578-5174. No pressure ever guaranteed!