by: Margie Johnson Ware, Aging and Health Specialist.
Part three of our new “How to Ask for Help” series, which explores the best and most trustworthy Medicare assistance tools.
There are a number of ways to obtain Medicare information. Which avenue you choose will depend on your personal style, the time you have available, and the nature of your questions. This is one of the notions that we have been trying to emphasize in this “How to Ask for Help” series of blog posts.
We have discussed which online and offline resources you can trust as you do initial research and educate yourself about Medicare, like calling a Medicare customer service representative at 1-800-MEDICARE, or attending a pre-retirement seminar at your local Area Agency on Aging. We have also talked about the SHIP network, a federally funded program that can offer personalized, and sometimes face-to-face, Medicare counseling from trained volunteers.
Another excellent counseling option is through My Medicare Matters’ partnership with the Aon Retiree Health Exchange. Aon is a national leader in retiree health insurance planning and counseling. They have helped over 500,000 individuals evaluate their Medicare options, with 92% of retirees stating that they were happy with their benefits advisor. Their special area of expertise has been transitioning retired corporate employees from one health insurance system to another. In doing that work, they have dealt with individuals all over the U.S. in a variety of circumstances. Aon’s experience includes counseling people at varying income levels, who were working at companies that provided a wide variety of health insurance products.
Aon is also a trusted partner of both the National Council on Aging and My Medicare Matters, and as such has met rigorous standards of integrity, knowledge and ability, known as the Standards of Excellence. There is no charge for this service, Aon counselors are not reimbursed for endorsing a specific plan, and it is entirely up to the individual whether or not to choose the plan that Aon recommends as the best fit for their needs.
Contacting Aon’s free Medicare counseling service is easy. Visit My Medicare Matters’ Questionnaire and fill out the short information section that asks for your zip code, date of birth, etc. Then select whether or not you would prefer to choose a Medicare plan using their online plan comparison tool or whether you’d prefer to receive professional one-on-one counselling over the phone.
You might be wondering, why did a non-profit educational service like My Medicare Matters decide to work with the licensed insurance counselors at Aon? In short, to address a growing need for education and assistance: 11,000 boomers age into Medicare every day. The My Medicare Matters/Aon partnership allows beneficiaries’ questions to be answered in a timely manner through free professional counseling, with a focus on making sure that the correct resources are brought to the situation.
The advantage of this service is that you can speak to a licensed insurance professional who can answer your questions thoroughly and perhaps suggest options that you had not even considered. You are speaking from the privacy of your own space and don’t have to worry about taking too much time or asking “silly” questions. Aon agents have years of experience counseling individuals from a variety of situations and backgrounds, and they can provide a safe, comfortable atmosphere to explore your choices.
For new beneficiaries, it is important that you prepare for Medicare and choose the educational and advisory options that sound the most appealing to you. And if you’re already on Medicare, remember that the Open Enrollment period offers you an annual opportunity to re-evaluate your current plan and potentially choose a better one. Proceed with confidence, knowing that there are lots of wonderful counseling and professional resources to make your Medicare journey as easy as possible!
In the meantime, contact Aon via the Medicare Questionnaire, take the comprehensive Medicare QuickCheck assessment, or sign up for a My Medicare Matters user profile to stay up-to-date on what is coming up next on your Medicare journey.