How to Make the Most of Medicare First Looks - Western Asset Protection
Medicare First Looks

How to Make the Most of Medicare First Looks

As a Medicare agent, you know this period of gearing up for AEP is an important time of year. You need to complete your AHIP certification, carrier certifications, and product training. In addition, carriers have already started to release their First Looks for 2024. You need a game plan for reviewing these to make the most of the opportunities they present.

The Purpose of First Looks

Carriers use First Looks to release preliminary benefit and pricing information, including any plan enhancements and potential areas for expansion. This early information can help you become familiar with plan details and determine which plans are the most competitive in your area before you start meeting with clients in the fall.

What to Look For

As you review First Looks, there is some specific information you should be looking for.

New Carriers

You should review the First Looks of all carriers, even those you’re not contracted with. These carriers may be expanding into new areas or offering new supplemental benefits your clients might be interested in. This could be a good opportunity to increase the number of carriers and plans you offer your clients.

Current Carriers

Review any updated benefits with the current carriers you are working with. Look for changes that may impact your clients, either positively or negatively. You should also check to see if any carriers are leaving your area. Remember, your clients will receive an Annual Notice of Change letter in September that specifies any changes to their policies. You need to be prepared to talk about these changes to help them make informed decisions.

Expansion Areas

Is there an opportunity to sell plans in another county? If you are licensed in another state, can you add plans there? This is a great way to build your book of business and bring in new clients.

Agent Tools and Resources

Find out if carriers are offering any market support and what features they offer in their agent portal, such as how to submit and track electronic applications, new processes, and sales incentives.

Company Updates

Don’t skip over this part. In the company updates, carriers share valuable corporate information, such as company acquisitions or any rebranding efforts.

Don’t Share First Looks with Clients

Carriers release First Looks after they’ve filed their plans with CMS but before they have received final approval, which means the information in First Looks is not yet official. Although it does not happen often, there could be further changes to some plans. For this reason, the information in First Looks is confidential. You should not share any updates with clients prior to October 1, 2023.

Put Your Marketing Plan into Action

Once you have reviewed First Looks and know what you will be able to offer clients, you can put your marketing plan into action.

  • Focus first on retaining current clients. Be proactive. Reach out early to decrease your risk of losing clients to another agent. Remember, your clients are other agents’ prospects.
  • Plan events like educational seminars to generate leads and gain new clients. Reach out to groups and organizations you have built relationships with and arrange dates and venues for events.
  • Order your marketing materials (such as business cards, flyers, and direct mail pieces) in advance.
  • Keep your social media accounts up to date with information that will be helpful to current and potential clients.
  • Use your CRM platform to organize your outreach, set reminders and keep track of appointments.

The months leading up to AEP are busy, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our team at Western Asset Protection offers the support you need. Contact us today.