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Sunday, October 2nd
SelectQuote prides itself on being an insurance referral partner you can trust. All of the Medicare Advantage Plans they offer come from insurers that have at least an "A-" rating, giving you only the best possible coverage. SelectQuote has been in operation for nearly 40 years, and the company enjoys an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau.
Return Call Flagged As Spam
When we first entered our information for a sample client in Wisconsin, we were told that the service was closed for the day, but someone would call us on the next business day. However, our phone rang almost immediately - it came up as a suspected spam call, by the way - and it was a representative from SelectQuote. She gathered some basic information and passed us along to a representative licensed in our state.
Licensed Or Not?
However, when that rep went to look up quotes, he said it was showing he's not actually licensed in Wisconsin and had to transfer us to someone who was. (Does that make sense to you? We didn't think so either.) After waiting on hold for a few minutes, this rep said he'd have a WI-licensed representative get back to us, so that we didn't have to stay on the line. We didn't get a call back that day, though to be fair we made our call within 10 minutes of their posted end-of-business hours in the Central time zone.
Reaching An Agent Took 15 Minutes
We didn't get a call back the next day either. Reaching out through the toll-free number, the initial experience was roughly the same: get a generic SelectQuote representative who then transferred us to someone who identified herself as a Tiburon agent. Tiburon? She explained, where none of the other three people with whom we spoke did, that SelectQuote is now known as Tiburon: same company, same relationship with SelectQuote, new division name. Good to know! We told her about the experience we had previously; as it turned out, she wasn't licensed in Wisconsin either, but she stayed on the phone with us until we were connected to an agent who was. At that point, we had been on the phone for nearly 15 minutes.
Agent Went Above And Beyond
But, we're very glad we went the extra mile to get in contact with a SelectQuote/Tiburon agent, because he gave us the most information of any company we contacted. He quoted us the Humana PPO policy referenced by many referral services we used, but he dug further and found that there were two UnitedHealthcare plans that would also be a good option for our fictitious client in Wisconsin. He made sure to verify that "her" preferred doctor would be in-network, and he took the initiative of looking up what Xarelto (the one prescription we identified for comparison) was for. As it turns out, someone on that medication may qualify for a special type of Medicare Advantage Plan that is only for subscribers with chronic health conditions. No other agent mentioned those to us, even when we told them we were taking a medication for atrial fibrillation.
Great Customer Service After Subscribing Too
We also learned that, when you get your coverage through SelectQuote/Tiburon, you'll get follow-ups from your agent. This could be at different points during the year, just to see how you're doing with your coverage, as well as during critical enrollment times or when your premiums are anticipated to change in the future. This is the only referral service we're aware of that takes its role as your agent seriously by staying in touch even after the policy is signed, sealed and delivered.
Patience Is Rewarded
While we can't put SelectQuote, also known as Tiburon, as one of our highest-ranked sources of Medicare Advantage Plans - because of how many hoops we had to jump through, over multiple days, to actually get a licensed agent and a quote - there are still reasons to consider using this service. You'll probably get a very thorough analysis of your situation, resulting in a policy that is almost perfectly suited to your needs. Plus, you'll have the peace of mind knowing that your agent is still looking out for you well into the future. SelectQuote/Tiburon is worth making a phone call, if you're prepared to be persistent in getting connected with an agent at the outset.
As your 65th birthday approaches, it's time to start sorting through your options with respect to Medicare health coverage. Those options include several add-on components, one of which is Medicare Advantage.
What are Medicare Advantage Plans? Essentially, they allow you to take your Part A and B coverage and transfer their management to a private insurance company - often with insurers you may have already used in the past, like UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Although Advantage Plans come with some limitations - most require you to use in-network practitioners to maximize benefits, for example - they can be attractive for a number of reasons.
Think of it like an all-inclusive resort: you might give up some flexibility in exchange for knowing that everything is taken care of, from meals to entertainment, and you don't have to try and cobble together a plan for your perfect vacation. Similarly, Medicare Advantage bundles up a number of features, many times including prescription drug coverage and even dental/vision/hearing services, that otherwise you'd have to piece together on your own with separate standalone plans.
Medicare Advantage premiums vary by provider and by plan. It's possible to get a policy with $0 in monthly payments, but those tend to come with higher out-of-pocket costs like office visit copays and annual deductibles. It's also important to point out that you can't have an Advantage plan and a Medigap policy at the same time: you'll need to carefully consider your situation - anticipated health needs, your income and ability to pay monthly premiums vs. paying for hospitalizations and other major medical expenses, and so forth - to strategize which additional Medicare coverage you need and when.
There are two main approaches to buying a Medicare Advantage Plan: go directly to an insurance company or work with a broker. Buying your policy right from an insurer can feel more reliable, choosing a company you already know and trust, maybe even one that has been your healthcare insurance provider in the past. You can usually count on premium quotes to be the lowest possible for that particular company. However, going through a broker or a referral service doesn't necessarily mean you'll pay more - and you gain the advantage of getting policy quotes from multiple providers at once. No insurance company is going to tell you that you might get better coverage from a competitor!
Either route you choose, it's a good idea to do some research in advance: to familiarize yourself with the different Medicare Advantage Plans, their benefits and their average premium costs for someone in your demographic (age, gender, location, etc.). Otherwise you could find yourself feeling pressured to commit to a policy that might not be the best fit for your needs. There are many websites, offered both by brokers/referral services and by the insurance companies themselves, with helpful articles and tools to help you figure out what coverage is best suited to you. Also, be aware that in order to apply for any Medicare Advantage Plan, you'll need to have your Medicare number - so make sure you've taken the steps to enroll in Medicare before choosing your Advantage coverage.
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