As you probably already know, when you are about to reach the age of 65 and become eligible for Medicare, you are bombarded with junk mail, unwanted phone calls and even unsolicited knocks on your door by strangers desperate to enroll you in whatever Medicare plan someone is paying them to sell you.
None of these marketing ploys do anything to help you understand how Medicare works and what your options are with Medicare. They do not help you make an informed Medicare choice.
The most frustrating of these unwanted intrusions into your privacy are the non-stop phone calls you receive from high-pressure Medicare phone bank employees.
These phone banks are usually staffed with inexperienced, lightly or poorly-trained 20 somethings who only make money by convincing a lot of people to blindly enroll over the phone in the Medicare plan they are paid to sell.
In fact, usually the only training they have is not in Medicare itself but in over-the-phone sales tactics.
These are not bad kids and, in time, some may become effective Medicare consultants.
However, I am 54 years old and have helped thousands of people with their Medicare. I take what I do very seriously and learn something new about Medicare almost every week.
When I was in my 20s I did not have the life experience to recommend to someone approaching 65 years old how they should make critically important decisions affecting their access to health care and financial well-being for the rest of their life.
Like me 30 years ago, these kids in their 20s working in phone banks rarely have the life experience and Medicare knowledge necessary to be an asset to you in helping you make your Medicare choices. Most have been working in these call centers only a few months at most and most will be doing something else a few months from now.
Almost every day I talk to someone who has been given bad information from a high-pressure Medicare phone bank employee.
Many phone bank employees tell people who are still working and have health insurance through their employer that they will be penalized if they do not enroll in Medicare Parts A and B at age 65.
This is wrong and acting on such bad information can cost the person turning 65 thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs.
I have heard from many other people on Medicare that they do not have a Medicare Part D drug plan because someone at a Medicare phone bank told them they did not need one if they were not taking any medications. This advice is terribly wrong and can force the person on Medicare to have to pay the full price for expensive drugs they may be prescribed as well as pay a penalty the rest of their life.
I do not believe giving out such bad information is deliberate or malicious. These phone bank employees are trained to say whatever is most likely to lead to a sale and they often do not understand why what they are trying to sell is the absolutely wrong choice for the person their computer just dialed.
When you are about to go on Medicare, your job is to fully learn how Medicare works and what your options are with Medicare. The Medicare choices you make when turning 65 can be permanent and the wrong choice can negatively impact your access to health care and finances the rest of your life.
It is critical that anyone you trust with helping you with Medicare be fully knowledgeable about Medicare, experienced and focused on helping you understand Medicare rather than meeting their daily call center sales quota.
At Medicare Answer Center we appreciate the privilege of assisting you with learning about your Medicare options so you can make the right permanent Medicare decision.
Simply click the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute Medicare consultation.
I look forward to talking with you soon.
Charles Bradshaw is President and Founder of MedicareAnswerCenter.com.