This is the perfect time to focus on your Medicare customers. The Medicare Annual Election Period is at hand.
It can be confusing for your regular and potential clients to keep the various annual election periods (AEP) straight. For Medicare Advantage/Part C and Medicare prescription drug plans there is an annual period to sign up, disenroll or change coverage for a plan. That period is October 15 to December 7.
However, if leads you are working with during this period did not sign up for one of those plans when they were first eligible for Medicare, referred to as their initial enrollment period, the AEP is their chance to make changes. Having said that, there is an exception to that general rule of thumb if the lead qualifies for a Special Election Period. (SEP)
What changes can your new and existing Medicare customers make during the AEP?
Even though your agency has sold and serviced Medicare plans for years, and frequently works with new leads, it never hurts to have good information on hand when speaking to customers. Education is a crucial part of your job.
In general, here is what existing and new Medicare customers may do during the AEP:
- Opt out of prescription drug coverage
- Enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan
- Switch from one drug plan to another
- Switch from Original Medicare, parts A and B, to Medicare Advantage
- Switch to Original Medicare from Medicare Advantage
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
It’s important to note that any changes made during the open enrolment period do not go into effect until January 1 of the following year and your customers need to know that information.
The disenrollment period is January 1 to February 14 every year and new customers and converted leads can make changes during that period such as, switching to Original Medicare, Part A and B from Medicare Advantage.
The rules and regulations and dates and timing of when to start and stop or switch plans is considered to be one of the most frustrating things older Americans have to deal with every year. With the right approach to customer service, a thorough understanding of your products and the necessary educational component for your customers as part of your smart marketing plan, you are bound to garner numerous conversions from leads and keep existing clients happy.