When opportunity knocks, you have to be ready to open the door.
This AEP, opportunity will be knocking. According to Fierce Healthcare, a report from the Better Medicare Alliance found that Medicare Advantage enrollment hit 26 million in 2021. Over the last decade, enrollment has almost doubled, and enrollment is still rising. Every day, 10,000 Americans age into Medicare, and 42% of all Medicare beneficiaries enroll in Medicare Advantage.
The opportunity is there. You just need to be ready for it. Here’s how you can prepare for a great AEP.
- Get contracted with carriers. We’ve discussed why it’s important to have a multi-carrier portfolio See if there are any new carriers in the areas where you sell, and make sure you’re contracted with enough carriers so you can serve your clients well.
- Complete your AHIP training. AHIP 2022 training began on Jun 21, 2021. Medicare brokers have to complete the Medicare and Fraud, Waste and Abuse training every year, even if they’ve done it in previous years. There’s a two-hour test, and you need to get at least 90% of the questions right to pass. You can also receive CE credits for your state. If you haven’t finished this yet, take a look at our training tips.
- Complete any other certification/recertification requirements. Many carriers require the AHIP Medicare and Fraud, Waste, and Abuse training test, but there may also be other carrier-specific training requirements. Don’t be caught off guard when AEP begins. Make sure you’re meeting each carrier’s annual certification requirements now. You can go to WAP’s Certification Central in the Medicare Engine to see an overview of each carrier’s requirements.
- Watch for plan changes. There may be a lot of changes for 2022 plans. Plans are still adapting to new rules that allow additional benefits, and they’re also feeling the impact of COVID. If you attended our annual AEP Medicare Conference, WAPCON, revisit carrier rollout information and be ready to view official CMS approved 2022 plans on October 1, 2021.
- Send out your retention letters, now. These letters are an important part of your retention strategy. Send them out and start scheduling appointments. You can find templates to get you started in the Medicare Engine under the Marketing tab.
- Get organized. A good CRM system can help you manage your contacts. If you have one, make sure the information is up to date. If you don’t have one, consider getting one now. Also make sure you have all the online quoting and enrollment tools you need such as the MedicareCENTER which provides our agents access to electronic enrollment options including a MAPD, PDP and Medicare Supplement quoting and enrollment tools.
- Get your marketing materials and supplies ready. Marketing materials must be ready and approved by the carrier or compliance team. You’ll also need to order kits and supplies. For supplies, go to Supplies Central in the Medicare Engine Agent Portal.
Don’t let another day pass by. Take steps now to ensure you are ready to seize the opportunity in October!