Article

Assisting Members with Medicare Enrollment

red pen laying on a blank Medicare enrollment form
Contributing Writer

1 minute

Health insurance consultations help enhance member relationships by providing much needed guidance.

With 20,000 of its members reaching age 64½ this year, $2.9 billion SAFE Credit Union has introduced free Medicare consultations to help them choose the right plans and supplemental insurance.

“We’ve heard from a lot of members and their children who describe the Medicare enrollment process as ‘horrible’ and ‘confusing,’” says Larry Braley, VP/wealth management for SAFE CU, Folsom, California, serving 230,000 members. “There’s so much misinformation out there that makes the process even more intimidating.”

To help compare their options, members can schedule appointments in SAFE CU branches with specialists from Retirement Health Solutions, which represents a variety of major health insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage, supplemental insurance and prescription drug plans, along with cancer, dental and long-term care plans. 

Though the Medicare consultations are not a revenue-producing service for SAFE CU, they do help enhance member relationships by providing much needed guidance on a critical decision, Braley notes. 

The consultations, which are offered at no cost to members or the credit union, expand SAFE CU’s range of financial education programs, which already include investment services, access to trust specialists and SAFE@Work financial literacy events offered to local businesses and their employees. In addition, two credit union employees are currently enrolled in training through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to become social security advisors educating members about how and when to apply for benefits, says Braley.

Karen Bankston is a long-time contributor to Credit Union Management and writes about membership growth, operations, technology and governance. She is the proprietor of Precision Prose, Eugene, Oregon.

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