AEP Prep Checklist for Medicare Agents
An Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) Checklist is a great tool new and veteran agents alike can use to make sure they’re on track to hit their goals this busy selling season.
Certifications. Each Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescriptions Drug Plan (PDP) carrier requires agents to certify with them so that you can offer complete and up-to-date plan information to clients and prospects.
AHIP. AHIP certification is an industry-recognized method of proving you have completed the required Medicare training courses that allow you to understand how to sell Medicare insurance in a way that’s within the compliance regulations set forth by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Review New Carrier Plans. Familiarizing yourself with the plans your carriers are rolling out for the upcoming year provides a number of benefits: this new knowledge helps to further establish you as an expert in your field; you gain an overall picture of the marketplace which gives you insight into which plans to recommend to new prospects; you’re better equipped to advise existing clients on whether or not to stick with their current plan.
Marketing Materials. You may be one of the top advisors in your community, though most of your community won’t know that unless you make them aware. The marketing materials that help differentiate you from the competition range from traditional flyers and postcards to social media ads and online reviews. To effectively reach prospects, it’s important to know who you’re targeting, when you’re going to target them, and to have your marketing materials, mailing lists, business profile accounts, etc. in place enough in advance so that you’re ready to push the “GO” button when AEP arrives.
Secure Event Locations/Understand Video-Conferencing Basics. Attendance for in-person events is on the rise, though many seniors still have health concerns over new COVID variants. Agents will have to thread the needle. A healthy mix of virtual and in-person events – ideally with in-person events being hosted in outdoor patio areas, weather permitting – may be the most viable approach to sales and/or educational event marketing this year.
Order Supplies. Waiting until AEP to order business cards and other supplies can be a recipe for disaster, particularly this year when the pandemic, natural disasters, wildfires and other circumstances/factors are creating delivery delays. If possible, order more supplies than you need and order in advance.
Technology. Agents unfamiliar with online quoting tools or customer relationship management systems (CRMs) may find the prospect of managing these technologies daunting when, in fact, they are often quite intuitive to use and should be provided at no cost by your FMO/NMO. As an example, MedicareCENTER is a performance-driven CRM provided for free to Integrity Marketing Group partners and incorporates a call recording feature, which helps agents meet new compliance requirements within the same system they use to quote and enroll. A robust CRM such as this may have a slight learning curve, however it will likely end up saving you time in the long run.
Current Client Plan Checks/Follow-Ups. Because this is the time of year when clients can switch plans (and therefore switch agents, too), retention should be a high priority entering the Annual Enrollment Period. Review the current plan for each client, determine whether or not a plan change is needed, and contact your clients to schedule plan reviews, giving priority to those clients who are most likely to switch their current plan.
Having worked with thousands of independent agents for well over 20 selling seasons, we believe these are the basics needed for a successful AEP. For more in-depth information or to discuss your AEP outreach strategy, give Berwick Insurance Group a call at 888-745-2320 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help!