Medicare card Medicare card (Image: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

Over 30 years ago, I taught reinsurance brokers about primary lines of business.

Flash forward to the present. My career is now back to insurance, working at the Medicare Rights Center. Since 1989, we’ve been the largest independent source of Medicare information and assistance in the United States, helping millions of people with services like the National Medicare Helpline and MedicareInteractive.org.

We also offer an online training program, Medicare Interactive Pro (MI Pro). The curriculum consists of 17 course modules totaling 20 hours of instruction and assessment.

Here are three things we learned from agents as we designed MI Pro:

1. 10,000 a day

The demographics of the mature market have never been so compelling.

Agents told us that, with more than 10,000 people turning 65 every day in America, it’s imperative for them to learn more about Medicare.

2. Anytime, anywhere

Agents told us they lead busy lives: There’s little time for formal classroom training.

Self-study programs offer agents the freedom to study in the office, at home, or on the road.

Many agents look for programs that give them an ample period of time to complete.

3. Medicare smart

Agents said they want to keep their prospects engaged, but they don’t want to turn into Medicare experts.

They want to learn what’s most important to policyholders and become “Medicare smart.”

As one agent told me, “If I can’t hold my own in a Medicare conversation, I’ll lose a prospect to another professional.”

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Jay Johnson Jay Johnson (Photo: MRC)

 

Jay Johnson is director of education and outreach at the  Medicare Rights Center.