Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Open Enrollment, Annual Enrollment. There are so many buzz words associated with Medicare insurance sales that it is often difficult to differentiate what it all means. One of the most confusing things to understand as an agent, let alone as a consumer, is what the difference between AEP and OEP is.
We are quickly approaching Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for Medicare Advantage plans, not to be confused with Open Enrollment Period (OEP) that is correlated with Medicare Supplement plans. AEP is an 8 week period from October 15th through December 7th where consumers can sign up for Medicare Part D and/or Medicare Advantage plans.
OEP and Medicare Supplement plans (aka Medigap) is a little more complicated than AEP. OEP is a six month period from the beginning of a consumer’s Part B effective date. This is when a consumer can receive coverage without any health questions being asked. There are a few circumstances that would begin an OEP including:
- -Particular circumstances for someone on disability before their 65th birthday
- -An individual’s 65th birthday
- -Retirement and therefore loss of current group health plan after the age of 65
Once an individual has timed out of the six month period, they forfeit the opportunity to buy a Medicare Supplement plan without any medical questions being asked. A consumer can sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan after that six month period, but they will be subject to health questions that could disqualify them for coverage by some insurance companies.
This graphic from boomerbenefits.com easily explains the differences we have explained above. We recommend using this to help engage and explain the difference with your clients searching for information on their Medicare options.
Medicare insurance is an incredible investment for new agents or agents looking to expand their product portfolio, but it is exactly that; an investment.
Through our research and discoveries with our long term clients, we have found that Medicare consumers are likely to remain on an agent’s books for upwards of 8 years. Though forming a client book will happen over time, lead services are a great way to guide consumers your way over a local competitor. While the marketing costs may be higher than referrals, the volume of potential clients is immediate, and the return over that consumer lifecycle pays for itself.
When you are ready to increase your typical Medicare Supplement volume with exclusive leads, give us a call, because together we succeed!