Scope of Appointment
Before you talk to an insurance agent about Medicare plans, you’ll probably have to fill out a form. The form may be called a “Scope of Appointment” or it may have another name. Its purpose is to find out what kinds of plans you want to discuss – and protect you from scams and high-pressure salespeople.
Why is the Scope of Appointment Necessary?
When Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage was introduced in 2006, Medicare enrollees suddenly had many new options. These included several types of prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage included.
Scam artists and unscrupulous insurance agents saw a potential gold mine in the confusing new Medicare system and the millions of people who would be looking for coverage. And they pounced on the opportunity.
In the first years after Part D was introduced, insurance agents made appointments to talk to people about prescription plans, then used high pressure tactics to sell them expensive life insurance, annuities and other products they didn’t need or want.
To earn higher commissions, they enrolled people in Medicare Advantage when the enrollees thought they were just signing up for prescription coverage. Some people had their identities stolen. A few agents even enrolled dead people!
Because of these abuses, rules were put in place to protect you from scams, fraud and sleazy sales tactics. One of these protections is the Scope of Appointment form. The form lets you decide what kinds of insurance an agent is allowed to discuss with you.
The Scope of Appointment for In-Person Meetings
The law requiring Scope of Appointment forms applies to in-person meetings with an agent to discuss Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D prescription plans. If you are meeting an agent face-to-face, the agent should ask you to fill out a Scope of Appointment first.
It’s a simple form where you check the boxes to indicate what kinds of insurance you want to talk about. If you didn’t check off a particular type of insurance, the agent can’t discuss it with you or try to sell you a policy.
MedicareFAQ’s Online Form
The Scope of Appointment form wasn’t designed for phone consultations with companies like MedicareFAQ, but we use a similar form to make sure we are giving you the information you want. We don’t want to waste your time discussing insurance that isn’t right for you, and we don’t ever want you to feel pressured into buying anything.
When you fill out our version of a Scope of Appointment form, you’ll be asked what types of Medicare policies you’re interested in. Your choices are:
- Medicare Supplement, or “Medigap” plans. Medigap plans work with with Original Medicare to pay healthcare costs that Medicare does not cover.
- Standalone Medicare Part D prescription plans. These plans go along with your Original Medicare coverage.
- Medicare Advantage, or “Medicare Part C” plans. These plans are an alternative to Original Medicare, and they may include a prescription drug benefit.
- Dental, vision and/or hearing plans. Routine dental, vision and hearing care are not covered by Medicare, but can be covered by separate insurance policies.
We also ask for some basic information, like your name, email address and phone number. This information goes to one of our agents, who may contact you with some follow up questions to give you an accurate quote.
For example, we may need more specific information about where you live because the available insurance plans and rates will depend on your location.
We may also ask for some information about your health. Your health history can affect your eligibility for certain insurance plans and the premium you will pay. And if we understand your healthcare needs, we can do a better job of explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the plans you are considering.
Get Quotes for the Right Medicare Plans for You
When you fill out our form, we’ll get busy preparing quotes for the types of Medicare insurance you’re interested in. You can even check the “not sure” box and we’ll help you sort through the options. Or you can start the process by calling us.