Medicare seminars are designed to offer seniors answers about their future. However, choosing a seminar can leave you even more confused. We’ll cover the need-to-knows about Medicare seminars, and provide some reliable Medicare resources.
1. There Are Two Different Kinds of Seminars
Before signing up for a Medicare seminar or workshop, you need to make sure you’re going to the right kind. There are two types to choose from. Depending on the information you are looking for, you will need to decide to attend an educational seminar or a sales seminar.
Educational seminars cover topics related to Medicare like eligibility, when and how to enroll, and how to determine your Part B premiums. They may also include general information about your options for other coverage. Your options include Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans, which work with your Medicare coverage to fill in the gaps, or Medicare Advantage plans, which replaces your Medicare coverage. Depending on the agent hosting the event, you may learn about both of these options, or only one.
If you are interested in learning specifics about Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plans, you should choose a sales seminar. Sales seminars can go over all of the same information as educational seminars, as well as the details of Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans. The details can include plan coverage, benefits, and networks. Due to strict compliance guidelines, you will probably not get a plan comparison across multiple companies. The host will typically only present plans from the company that they represent.
2. Beware of Bias
When you attend a seminar, keep in mind that they are usually hosted by an agent or representative for a company, and have a product to sell. As helpful as the speaker may be in explaining how Medicare and your coverage options work, it is important to think about how they may be biased towards their product or their company. This is true even of educational seminars. If you know who is hosting the seminar ahead of time, you can search them online to see who they represent.
3. You Still Need to Shop
When you start Medicare, you get an Open Enrollment Period. This period is very valuable, as it is the time that you will have the most options available to you. While the information you receive at a seminar can be helpful, don’t squander this period by signing up without shopping around first. You should compare plans and carriers to ensure that you’re getting the best coverage and rate. If you don’t, you may find out too late that you don’t have the right coverage, or are paying too much for it. After you’ve done some comparing, you can always go back and sign with that agent if they are your best option.
4. Think Twice Before Paying
Most Medicare seminars are free; in fact, many will have food and beverages to thank you for coming! There is a wealth of information and advice about Medicare available free of charge from trusted sources online, including the Medicare website. If you are considering attending a seminar that has a fee, ask yourself what are you getting that’s worth the cost?
Nothing on this website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.