Don’t Be the Last One to Sell Ancillary Plans

By: Libby Elliott, Broker Sales Specialist

For years, I have been saying it is time to add Ancillary Products to my portfolio. And for me, it has always been hard to keep a new habit. I came from the Ancillary world as I sold AFLAC for ten years before I moved to the Medicare Arena. I know the benefits of the products, so why did I not sell them? I cannot answer that question, but I will tell you I am offering the products now! 

Why, When, and How will cover the objectives of this article on the top sellers of our industry – Dental, Hospital, Cancer, Accident and Short-Term Care. First, we all know we must have the Scope of Appointment (SOA) that includes Dental and Hospital Indemnity. When I fill out the SOA for the client, I let them know that I am going to check all the boxes as it is important for them to know all their options to make educated choices. Many of my agents make assumptions as to the concerns of their clients, so I’m going to drive you crazy repeating this statement, “Whether you think you know your client or not, you have a fiduciary responsibility to let them know the products that are available to cover the gaps in their insurance.”  

PRO TIP: When talking to your clients, use the term Hospital Benefits instead of indemnity and ancillary. Most clients are usually new to the words, Indemnity or Ancillary, since those tend to be industry words. 

Dental Plans 

Medicare Advantage is getting better and better every year by adding dental coverage right into the plan, but I have clients who still wish to get the standalone products. Why would a client want to add a standalone plan? Most importantly, it would increase your client’s annual maximum and lower co-pays as you would have extra coverage. If you have a client with a lot of dental work needed, paying an additional $30 to $45 a month would be helpful to their wallet. It would be fiduciarily sound to ask your client about dental health concerns.

Medicare Supplements do not cover any dental, so with these clients, you want to be sure they have a standalone plan as they had one with their employer group coverage, and they expect to have the same in their Medicare years. Humana discusses in this article how quickly dental costs can add up. Some routine or needed services can add up and put a dent in income. Here’s a look at some costs:

  • Basic cleanings up to $200
  • Panoramic x-rays up to $200
  • Simple Tooth Extraction up to $250
  • Root Canals up to $1,500
  • Dentures up to $3000 for a full set, mid-quality

Hospital Indemnity Plans

Oh yeah, I meant to say Hospital Benefit Plan. As soon as you learn to quote plans for your clients to cover the OOP (Out-of-pocket) costs for hospitalization, ambulance rides, and maybe a lump sump cancer rider, you are off to a good start. You can present this quote right after you write a Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Supplement plan. Again, you are offering your client protection against OOP that can occur when hospitalized or diagnosed with cancer.

Of course, when a client wants the Medicare Advantage, all the co-pays line up to sell a Hospital Benefit Plan. If your client is getting a Medicare Supplement plan, then the conversation needs to lead them to all the expenses that ARE NOT medical that a cash benefit can cover. 

PRO TIP: When selling the Medicare Advantage plan, you can write down the co-pays showing in the plan on paper. This will show your client the actual numbers, and then you can let them know you will show them how they can protect their assets against these OOP after you enroll in the MA plan.

Take a moment to discuss how these plans work. Use our examples, which are real-life examples that either I or other agents have had until you start hearing your own. Your clients will share stories with you, too; this will confirm the need for these products!

Here are a couple of examples:

  • A client who loves playing tennis and needs a shoulder or knee replaced. The Hospital and/or the Accident plan would help them pay for the inpatient surgery cost, physical therapy, and doctor follow-up visits. 
  • A client has been hospitalized for long-term cancer and is finally returning home. The family rented a handicap ramp temporarily and then found they needed a permanent one.
  • A client has surgery, is living alone, and needs support taking care of herself and her pets until she is back on her feet.

Plans do not coordinate with the medical, so they pay in full, even if your medical covers some of the same benefits.

That is all you can sell during the Medicare appointment, but we should always have a follow-up appointment. Schedule it, and let your client know there are other products to cover many gaps in the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Supplement Plans.

Did you know that Original Medicare, or the other Medicare products leave a client very vulnerable if they need:

  • Cancer Drugs and Alternative Medicines
  • Temporary Care after a Medical Procedure
  • Skilled Nursing

With that said, let me introduce two other plans to the discussion:

Cancer and Short-Term Care Plans

Cancer Plans

It does not make a difference whether your client chooses a Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Supplement plan; they do not cover the high-end cancer drugs or the alternatives they may want to use. Cancer plans are cafeteria type or a lump sum. You can add it to your client’s Hospital Indemnity Plan as a rider. Or, my plan is a separate lump sum, so if I have a diagnosis, I get the lump sum upfront to use as I need it.

Short-Term Care Plans

This plan covers a client with many other options. Your clients could then have the opportunity to stay home after a medical procedure or continue rehabbing in their homes. A client can pick a daily lump sum for care in the home, remodel, or help with cost when rehabbing in a Skilled Nursing Facility or Adult daycare. Some of these plans even have a return on premium rider!

Last, Hospital Indemnity is a Guarantee Issue product at age 65. So also consider your disability clients who could use this plan but cannot get it. Ensure you have them on your radar when they turn 65; whether they are on Medicare or not, they get the GI Issue!

It may sound like a lot when you consider including these product types in your portfolio. Once ready to take this step into the ancillary world, you can pick one carrier and begin playing with the quoting tool. You’ll become comfortable knowing your clients have what they want and what they need to protect them from financial ruin while covering your fiduciary responsibilities as an agent! 

We have covered some reasons why your client would want these products; for example, Original Medicare or Medicare products do not cover it. Remember, these clients were offered many of these products on their Employer Group Plans, so they expect to have the same options when they go on Medicare. If you are not offering them to your clients, other agents will use these products to call your clients and eventually will take the client from you. Your client will wonder, “Why did they not talk to me about these products?”

Educating and Selling Ancillary Products is Simple

  1. Mention these products in all your marketing materials. Including ads, flyers, business cards, social media, and websites!
  2. Discuss and share the Hospital Plan in your Medicare Review appointment, along with the Dental, Cancer, and Short-Term care products. Remember to discuss this in your follow-up appointments.
  3. Have your quotes ready for each appointment. 
  4. Give examples of how the plans work. (Ask UIG for examples to use!). You could even tell a story on your social media!
  5. Be sure your client knows these benefits do not coordinate with your Medical. So, no matter what your medical pays, this pays on top, in cash, to your client.
  6. Remember that if you sell under 65 products, they work for your younger generation. For example, a woman purchases a plan before she gets pregnant; this money will help her to be able to stay home for the 6 – 8 weeks that are allowed. It is paid on top of the disability check paid by her employer – or would be beneficial to her if she is a 1099 employee and has no other benefits to use. 

Yes, as you can tell, I believe in these plans! And it does not make a difference whether you believe in these plans or do not believe in them. As an agent, your job is to educate your clients on the choices available for their situation (Fiduciary Responsibility Again). It’s up to them to say yes or no to the options you’ve provided. You’ll walk away knowing that you presented them with solutions to protect their income as much as possible. And that alone is a good feeling. 

UIG Can Help You

Let us help you learn about these plans and see how they can build your portfolio by:

  • Building your commissions. They can add up to 50% to your Medicare Sales.
  • Highest Commissions, along with Carrier and UIG Incentives.
  • Adding additional plans makes your clients “sticky”; the more they have with you, the longer their retention. 
  • Carriers and UIG have incentives to sell these products
  • UIG can get Marketing Dollars to help you reach your clients.
  • UIG has scripting, Out of Pocket Analysis, Surveys, etc.

Jump in, write your first plan, watch your BOB grow, provide solutions to your clients, and make extra cash for you! I promise you that adding these plans will become addictive! You can contact the UIG Brokerage Team at (800) 878-1058, ext. 1380, or by email at [email protected] for more information or to get appointed.