The Top Five Challenges for Medicare Agents - Western Asset Protection
Top Five Challenges for Medicare Agents

The Top Five Challenges for Medicare Agents

Being an independent Medicare Agent can be a rewarding career, both on a personal and professional level. You are your own boss and in full control of your career development, work schedule, and earning potential. But just as a career in Medicare sales brings opportunities, it also brings challenges. You work in a constantly changing environment, meaning you must be willing and able to adapt to succeed.

Challenge #1: Compliance with CMS Regulations

Medicare is a highly regulated field, closely overseen by CMS. The marketing rules and Federal Register (Chapter 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations Parts 422 and 423 ) are in place to prevent fraud and deceptive marketing practices. CMS updates its regulations on a yearly basis, so it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what is changing to remain fully compliant. These rules impact every aspect of your business – from contacting and meeting with clients to recording your calls and how you market your business. Agents who are non-compliant with CMS rules may face corrective actions, retraining, and monetary penalties, and it can also lead to the termination of carrier contracts or license suspension/revocation. Compliance should always be top of mind as you conduct business.

Challenge #2: Technology

Technology is constantly evolving. This represents both opportunities and challenges for Medicare agents, impacting everything from your productivity to your client interactions and marketing strategies. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you if you struggle to keep up with technology. These range from online tutorials to classes at local colleges and adult learning programs in your community. Don’t let discomfort with technology become a detriment to your success. Be sure you can comfortably navigate the following:

  • Carrier Online Quoting and Electronic Enrollment Tools – These tools improve accuracy and offer expedited processes, such as making applications easier to submit and track. Many carriers no longer accept paper applications and require you to use their e-tools.
  • CRM Tool – Your CRM will keep you organized and help you provide better customer service. It helps you manage your business with automated workflows that track policy types, carriers, and renewals. It does this by storing notes and documents, contact information for prospects and clients, and enabling you to schedule reminders for meetings and other activities. However, as your CRM is only as good as the data you provide, you need to know how to use it effectively and keep information up to date.
  • Online Marketing and Social Media – To reach new prospects and stay in touch with current clients, you need an online presence, which may include a website, social media channels and an email marketing platform. It’s important to know how to market your business effectively.
  • Meeting and communication tools. – Customers want options. Some may prefer to meet with you over a video conference instead of in their homes. Others may prefer to receive information via text instead of email. As an agent, you must adapt your approach to meet the needs of your clients.

Challenge #3: Building Expertise in the Products Your Clients Want

You want to build year-round revenue opportunities for your business, but you need to do this strategically. Add products to your portfolio that fill a need for your clients but be careful not to take on too many new products at once and spread yourself too thin. Take the time to research which products and carriers make sense for you and your clients.

In addition, you must know your products inside and out, including what has changed for the current year. This allows you to be certain you are offering the right product to the right client at the right time. You should be able to answer all your clients’ questions and ensure they won’t face any surprises. Building your product knowledge takes time, but it will help you feel more confident and, in return, build your clients’ confidence in you. When your clients trust your guidance, you will build long-term relationships and increase your referrals.

Challenge #4: Inertia

As a Medicare agent, you have to be self-motivated. This may involve waking up to an alarm every morning, setting aside time for prospecting every day, and ensuring you connect with every customer on at least a quarterly basis to cultivate strong relationships. Medicare agents also must schedule plenty of professional development time so they can learn best practices.

Activity is key. Inactivity leads to failure. While it seems simple, most self-employed people will tell you that staying productive requires immense self-discipline. Inertia is likely the top reason so many independent agents fail.

Challenge #5: Having the Right Support System

Facing these challenges may feel a little overwhelming. The good news is you don’t have to face them alone. When you join the team at Western Asset Protection, you join an FMO dedicated to your success. You will have full access to:

  • The top carriers and best plans in the marketplace
  • Industry-leading tools and resources
  • World-class trs
  • agentdda
  • Marketing support
  • Compliance support
  • Expert staff offering unparalleled service and support, no matter where you are in your career

Don’t wait to elevate your career. Contact us today.