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Medicare Advantage Seminars – Should You Really Attend?

Questioning FigureMedicare seminars are fast becoming a thing of the past

With all the information available at your fingertips, is it really necessary to attend Medicare seminars?

More and more people are staying home and going online to find  information about Medicare plans. Most seminars related to Medicare are primarily focused on Medicare Advantage plans.

These Medicare meetings are held primarily as informational events designed to educate you about Medicare Advantage.

Agents sponsoring these seminars are hoping to develop a relationship where you will feel comfortable to request additional information and eventually schedule an appointment to discuss enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan.

The history of these seminars is steeped in insurance agents feeding you lunch or dinner to make you more susceptible to feel some level of obligation. But Medicare seminars no longer come with a meal.

You may be served snacks and a beverage but not a meal. Any gifts given cannot have a value greater than $15 and must be given to everyone. Any gift cannot be readily exchanged for a cash equivalent. This would include gift cards and lottery tickets.

Medicare seminar alternatives

The main reason someone would consider attending a seminar is to compare plans and get the best Medicare Advantage plan for their circumstances. But these Medicare meetings are generally put on by agents representing only one company. You may see Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare seminars or seminars advertised as Humana sponsored Medicare seminars and many others.

If you have a genuine interest to compare plans from several companies you will be required to sit through several Medicare meetings. Unless you like stale coffee and the company of insurance agents, there is a better way.

Most people who value their time find that comparing Medicare Advantage plans online is the quickest and least painful way to cover a lot of ground so they can determine which is the best Medicare Advantage plan. Even if you eventually meet with an insurance agent to submit an application, you can do your home work with a few key strokes.

Insurance companies roll out next year’s Medicare Advantage plans on October 1st.  Medicare Advantage Plans with a January effective date can be applied for during the Annual Enrollment Period which begins October 15th and ends December 7th. During this time you are able to request free information from as many Medicare Advantage plans as you like. Review the information in your own home. You have options with most companies to enroll online, by telephone or meet with an agent approved to represent the plan of your choice.

Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period Overview

Do yourself a favor and shop smart. You do not need to rely on Medicare seminars to get information to choose the best Medicare Advantage plan for your needs.


8 comments

  1. Looking for a seminar in the Jessamine, Ky or Lexington, Ky area to help me decide between PFFS and HMO!

  2. give me a date and time of a seminar near me.
    I live in sarasota, fl

  3. Bobbi, I don’t have those resources available. Medicare Advantage seminars are conducted by an individual company and you will not see side-by-side comparisons of different plans. I would suggest calling a local broker for a plan you may be interested in. For instance if you are interested in a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage Seminar for 2011 plans, call an agent or broker locally that represents BCBS and they will bend over backwards to get you the information.
    David

  4. I would like to attend a Blue Cross/Blue Shield seminar for seniors in my area. My zip code is 10025.

  5. Lois, I would recommend calling a Blue Cross Blue Shield agency in your area or visit the to get information on 2011 Medicare Advantage seminars.

  6. Please have a smemanar !!!!!! in the orang park area

  7. Do you really think the average person can assimulate the information on their Medicare options? I have lawyers and professional people that have a hard time with all the material and you expect the general public to make an assessment of what is “the best plan” for them. Please…many of the agents I run across selling MAPD plans are on shaky ground when it comes to being a “pro” in this field. Interview agents and come up with one that knows what he’s doing. Best of luck to all the seniors for 2012

  8. Vince, If the average person is as helpless as you would suggest I’m not sure they would have the ability to find an agent who knows what he’s doing. I don’t think the inference that lawyers and professionals some how are superior at decision making is taken well by the average person that you reference.

    A decade ago travel agents were beating the same drum. As things change and agents become less significant they will need to reinvent themselves to stay relevant. I’m certainly not saying that many people could not benefit from an agent’s specialized knowledge, I just don’t think people are as helpless as you would like to believe.

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