AEP Is Over: What Comes Next? - Western Asset Protection
AEP is over

AEP Is Over: What Comes Next?

Did you hear a large sigh of relief echo across the country on December 8? That was the sound of Medicare insurance agents finally getting a chance to relax after the Medicare annual election period officially ended on December 7.

Now it’s time to focus on what comes next.

Send Out Thank-You Notes

You wouldn’t have an insurance sales career if not for your clients. A thank-you note is a simple way to show your appreciation.

Many of your clients may enjoy receiving mail. Handwritten notes are especially likely to make an emotional impact and leave a positive impression. In addition to expressing your gratitude, remind your clients you’re always available to help them. You can include a business card or two for them to share with any friends or family who might need help with Medicare enrollments.

It will take some time, but it’s worth the effort. Send thank-you notes to all the clients you enrolled this AEP.

Check In with Your Clients

The plans your clients selected will take effect on January 1. Hopefully, your clients will love their new plans, but some of them may have issues. Check in with your clients to see how things are going.

If your clients are unhappy with their plans, they have a limited amount of time to switch, but you need to be careful about how you approach this opportunity. The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January 1 to March 30. During this three-month period, Medicare Advantage enrollees who are unhappy with their plans can switch to a new Medicare Advantage plan or return to Original Medicare. However, CMS has strict prohibitions against marketing the MA-OEP. You are not allowed to mention OEP in your marketing – CMS says messages along the lines of “Unhappy with your plan? Change now!” are not allowed. However, if a client approaches you about OEP, you can provide information.

Focus on Cross-Selling

Now that your clients have their Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans, it’s time to focus on their other insurance needs. For example, if your clients are in a plan that doesn’t offer dental care, they might want a standalone dental insurance plan. Other policies that could help them include life insurance and long-term care insurance.

Once again, CMS compliance is critical. When you meet with clients to discuss Medicare, you need to fill out a Scope of Appointment and are not allowed to discuss other insurance products. This means it’s important to keep your Medicare and your non-Medicare business separate.

Work on Your Retention Plan

The next AEP will be here before you know it. If you don’t focus on retention efforts year round, your competition has the chance to swoop in and take your clients.

  • Create a plan for how you will stay in contact with your clients throughout the year and how you will demonstrate your value to them. This way, they’ll be thinking about you if they have any Medicare coverage needs or concerns and it will be harder for another agent to take your place. Plus, you may increase referral business.
  • Create a schedule for cards. In addition to the thank-you cards you sent out after AEP, send cards to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, pet birthdays, holidays, and any other special events you think your clients will care about. Create a schedule for all the cards you’re going to send throughout the year to avoid missing any.
  • Invite clients to follow you on Facebook. They have a better chance of seeing your posts if they follow your page.
  • Follow the WAP Facebook page and share posts that your audience may find interesting. Use this Social Media Guide to stay active year-round.
  • Stay in touch. Send a monthly email newsletter to stay in contact with your clients throughout the year. This is a great way to provide useful tips on using Medicare coverage and staying healthy. You can also make sure your clients know about any Medicare announcements or new coverage rules that could affect them. When you share information, always make sure you’re using reliable sources, such as the CDC. With emails, make sure you’re always following CAN-SPAM and CMS rules, such as making it easy to opt-out.

You’re there for your clients and Western Asset protection is there for you. If you have any questions or need assistance, contact us. Also stay tuned for our next article, which will share additional year-end business housekeeping ideas to help you start the new year strong.