Medicare clients are arguably the best clients because of the residual income they give you when they renew their plan each year. You definitely want to hang onto these customers! But once in a while you’ll have a Medicare client disenroll from their plan, which can hurt you financially, and maybe even emotionally. After all, you put in a lot of hard work to turn that lead into a customer, and if they disenroll, it can feel like a punch to the gut. But, there are some strategies that can help you prevent Medicare disenrollments.
How Medicare Disenrollments Affect Your Commission
When a Medicare customer signs up for a plan, you get a commission for that enrollment from the carrier. When a Medicare disenrollment happens, you guessed it: you will lose that commission. But losing your commission is not the only downside. If you have too many disenrollments, the carriers that you work with will begin to question your practices and whether you are signing clients up for the right reasons, or just chasing commissions. You could also run into compliance issues with carriers, which could mean losing the ability to work with those carriers.
Preventing Medicare Disenrollments
Be Clear About Prescription Coverage
Medicare Supplement Plans do not cover prescription medications, and you need to make that clear to your client so there is no confusion later on. If you do sell them a Medicare drug plan, make sure that their medications are in the plan’s formulary, preferably in lower tiers in the formulary. If their prescriptions are in higher tiers, they will have to pay more for their drugs, so make sure to go over their medications and check the formularies of each plan to help find them the most coverage and savings.
Check for In-Network Providers
One of the main reasons that Medicare customers disenroll from their plans is dissatisfaction with their plan’s network. Most Medicare beneficiaries have been going to the same doctor for a very long time, and they want to continue to do so. If the plan that you offer them does not cover their doctor or the specialists their doctor refers them to, they will most likely disenroll from the plan and use another agent to find them a plan with a better network. If you don’t take the time to find out important details like this, you can expect to lose the sale later.
When you connect with a Medicare lead, they will expect you to discuss ALL the different Medicare options that they can choose from. Do not simply offer them the top 3 plans that you think suit their needs; go over all of the plans available to them and explain what each one covers and how much it costs. Give them the option to choose a plan that suits their needs; they are probably living on a fixed income and will want to find a plan that truly fits their budget. Make sure they are comfortable with the price, including how much they will end up paying on premiums, copays and deductibles.
Make Sure They Are Aware Of OEV Calls
It might slip your mind during the sales process, but if you forget to tell your Medicare customer that they will get a follow-up call from the carrier, or an outbound education and verification (OEV) call, they could end up disenrolling from their new plan because they might be confused by the unexpected call. Make sure to prepare your client for the upcoming call and tell them what to expect from it, such as what the carrier will ask them to do.
Every good agent knows that the best way to keep your customer is to make sure they are happy, and the best way to do this is to keep a relationship going with them. Follow up with your customer to make sure they are satisfied with their plan and that they understand it. If they do not, ask how you can help, and continue to follow up with them, making sure they know they can contact you whenever they have any questions. The more questions they have that are left unanswered, the more likely they are to begin worrying that they have a bad plan. Check on your clients and answer all questions, address any concerns, and make it known they can reach out to you at any time.
If you play it right, you can have a Medicare client for a long time, meaning you’ll have a great commission for a number of years. But if you do not take the time to sell them the right plan and are too focused on the commission, you can kiss that commission goodbye later. Medicare disenrollments happen more often than you think, but they can be prevented by using the strategies we have outlined above. In the end, truly caring about your clients, and working with and for them, will lead to more success.