Selling Medicare during lock in

We all know about the Annual Enrollment Period, October 15th — December 7th. But did you know you can sell ALL YEAR? As Medicare Agents it is our responsibility to maintain contact with our clients throughout the year. Retention is the first step in growing your Book of Business! Most people don’t fully understand their coverage benefits and have questions throughout the year. Reach out to your clients periodically and answer their phone calls to help with issues or questions they may have. A little support goes a long way. Now that we’ve established retention, let’s discuss growth!

The first and most obvious concept is asking for referrals when helping your existing clients. Most agents say at the end of the call, “If you ever need anything else, do not hesitate to call!” What if then we added another sentence, “Should any of your friends or family need help, send them my way!” Congratulations!!! You just asked for a referral!

The second most common way to grow your book throughout the year is T65s! MAPD Initial Enrollment Period is 7 months. 3 months before their birthday, the month of, and 3 months after. The Medicare Supplement Plans Open Enrollment Period begins the month Part B becomes effective and lasts for 6 months. Get a head start, beneficiaries will start researching months in advance. Grassroots Marketing is the most cost-effective way to reach age-ins! You can do this by becoming involved with your senior community, educational events at your local library, and connecting with your personal Physician. The list is endless!

Did you know the U.S. Bureau of Statistics states that there are more than 8 million employees between the ages of 65 & 74 and nearly 2 million ages 75 and older in 2020? This is a HUGE opportunity! Many of these older Americans have employer coverage through themselves or a spouse. This means with creditable coverage they can qualify for penalty-free late Medicare enrollment! This allows for an 8-month SEP. Connect with locally owned businesses in your community to be a resource for retirees!

The U.S. Census Bureau states that 27.1 million Americans moved in 2021! If they have an MAPD plan or Part D plan and move out of the plan’s service area, they will need to select a new plan. Moving is one of many Special Election Periods. Keep track of the emails that inform you of SEPs in your licensed states. You never know when you will be called upon! Make relationships with realtors in your area. When a beneficiary moves, they may ask their realtor who to turn to for help picking a plan!

Last but certainly not least, is for beneficiaries with chronic health conditions. According to CMS, newly diagnosed or those with a worsening condition qualify year-round to enroll into a Chronic Special Needs Plan. Most are tailored for heart conditions and diabetes. These plans are designed with rich benefits to better serve this population. Many plans include housekeeping allowances, healthy food benefit cards, and much more!

Keep your lead generation activities active year-round. Whether they are aging into Medicare, signing up for the first time after losing employer-based coverage, or looking for coverage because they just moved, many people need enrollment help throughout the year.

Taryn Mott, Director of Provider Referral Operations and Training and long-time licensed insurance agent