I have seen many situations of unacceptable service, waste, general ineptitude and just poor business practices in dealings with Medicare Advantage plans. Please don’t get me wrong, they have worked well for a number of people but when things don’t go smoothly they are horrible to get fixed. For example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a local office in Seattle. I call them the Medicare Hit Team. If we ever have a problem that we have tried to get rectified using all sources available as an agent we bring in the Hit Team. This Team does not like telephone calls or email, but prefer faxes. When we fax a written explanation of the problem, we are having them resolved usually within 3 days. We only use this resource as a last ditch effort, as we don’t want to use them so much that they feel we are taking advantage of their services. It is the inability of getting these Medicare Advantage companies to see common sense and correct their mistakes that I find infuriating.
On the other hand Mutual of Omaha, with whom we do the vast bulk of our Medicare Supplement business runs like clockwork, with minimal problems. Whenever we ask for something it is done correctly the first time, over the phone with out taking us 6 phone calls, 3 faxes and intervention from the Medicare Hit Team.
In my next update I shall let you know where I think things will be heading in the next couple of years.