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How to help clients switch Medicare Advantage plans

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 Consumers can make changes until March 31

Through new regulations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, consumers who enroll in Medicare Advantage plans during the annual open enrollment period of October 15th through December 7th will now be able to make plan changes until March 31.

This new change eliminates the existing Medicare Advantage disenrollment period, which previously took place between January 1 and February 14.

Now, individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans can switch their selection or elect “original Medicare,” which comprises Parts A and B, until March 31 annually.

Financial advisors may want to communicate this change to clients and prompt them to review whether their current Medicare strategy is meeting their needs.

Because Medicare Advantage and Medicare drug plans change so often, annual Medicare reviews are necessary to ensure clients still have the best and most cost-effective strategy.

More and more advisors are recognizing that healthcare costs represent an area of financial concern for clients, and are increasingly integrating advice in this area into their practices and scope of services.

In general, there are three ways to do this and to help clients make Medicare changes:

Nudge clients to do their own reviews

At a minimum, financial advisors can communicate Medicare changes and encourage clients to review their strategy.

Build out healthcare advisory services in-house

Wealth management practices can hire or designate an existing team member to be the “healthcare expert” and develop this area of service.

Partner with licensed healthcare advisors

Through partnerships with Bernard Health, financial advisors have access to a team of licensed, noncommissioned healthcare advisors who answer client questions, lead seminars, complete analyses and deliver personalized healthcare recommendations. Through the partnership, planners can roll healthcare advisory into their practice without hiring a dedicated staff member.

To learn more about Bernard Health’s Healthcare Extension, click below.

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