Both firms are based in Omaha, Nebraska. Medicare BackOffice is a partnership of insurance agents licensed, contracted and certified in all states to provide Medicare advice and related products. Agents ultimately work directly with individuals planning for retirement, but the company’s initial customers are financial advisers who want to help their clients navigate complex Medicare decisions while continuing to concentrate on their primary business.
“As health care costs continue to climb, more people approaching retirement are asking their advisers for advice on picking a Medicare health insurance plan and keeping health care affordable,” explains Brian Hickey, Medicare BackOffice vice president. “We created Medicare BackOffice to help financial advisers and other professionals who don’t specialize in Medicare meet this demand so they aren’t turning clients away—and potentially losing them forever.”
By offering Medicare BackOffice to its financial advisers, Securities America gains a value-added service that distinguishes the company from other broker/dealers, says Zach Parker, first vice president of income distribution and product strategy at Securities America. Parker adds that financial advisers’ clients are increasingly demanding specific advice on how to address rising health care costs in retirement—but it can be difficult for advisers to provide such advice because of the sheer complexity of Medicare and other government programs (see “Now’s the Time to Help Clients Plan for Health Care Costs”).
“Consumers already are feeling the pinch of higher health care spending and want help managing those expected costs in the future,” Hickey says. “Financial advisers who help them with that first step—choosing the right Medicare health plan—fortify their relationship as a trusted adviser, ensuring that they’ll return when they need help with other financial needs. A broker/dealer or independent financial adviser doesn’t need to be a Medicare expert to help clients.”
More information on the joint Medicare advice program is at www.medicarebackoffice.com.