How To Submit An Error Free Application

If you’ve never had a client’s health insurance or Medicare Supplement Plan application get delayed, consider yourself one of the lucky few. It happens to the best of us: you submit an application for your client that isn’t filled out completely or correctly, delaying their coverage – and not only that, but your commission also gets delayed! To avoid any mistakes that lead to these delays, do the following to ensure you submit applications that will not get flagged. 

Take Your Time Filling Each Application Outclock with the time "7:00" on it

If you are submitting an application by hand, make sure you take your time filling it out as neatly as possible. If carriers have an issue reading anything on your application, you can expect it to get kicked back to you. So, make sure it is easy to read, and as straightforward as possible. Then review it with your client to make sure the information is correct, and your handwriting is clear. 

Provide Details

Carriers want the full scoop on your customer before accepting the application. If your lead answers yes to any health questions, but does not provide any further details, the application will be flagged, so make sure to be as detailed as possible when submitting an application.

Be Compliant With SOA Rules

If you’re dealing with a Medicare customer, you will need to complete a Scope of Appointment (SOA) before even meeting up with them. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that you fill out this form, whether you make a sale or not, so you know exactly what the client wants to discuss with you; if at any point the client wants to talk about something else, like a different product or service, you should fill out another form. This will protect you and your agency, and help the application process go more smoothly. 

Pick A Primary Care Physician

illustration of a faceless doctor
Make sure that you have the primary care physician listed for your applicant.

Some carriers and plans will require your customers to have a Primary Care Physician (PCP) when signing up for a plan so that they can be sure the doctor is in their network. Check to see if the carrier requires this information, and if they do, make sure an in-network PCP is on the application before submitting it, otherwise you can expect the application to be delayed. It is probably best to fill this section out regardless of whether it is needed or not, since getting into this practice can make things simpler.

Don’t Sign for Your Clients 

Maybe you have innocently signed a form for a client at some point to get things moving, or have had others sign something for you when using your card, because you just want the application process to go as quickly as possible. But if you do this, not only will it get flagged, but you could get into serious trouble since it is illegal! You should always have your client sign the application, even if it means waiting a few days.

stop watch with the word deadline and the hand approaching it
Once the application is signed, you have 48 hours to submit it, or you will be penalized.

Submit The Application On Time

No brainer, right? But a lot of agents get so busy gathering all the necessary documents that they miss the deadline. Remember, once you and the client sign the application, the carrier needs to receive it within 48 hours; any later, and you will be penalized by the carrier, and your commission will be delayed. That means you need to get all the necessary documents in order before completing the application. 

Selling insurance is what you do best, but mistakes can happen to anyone, which can mean delayed commissions and clients going without coverage. Whether it is your first time or 200th time filling out an application, make sure to go over the whole application, fill everything out completely and clearly, and have all the required documents ready. Taking your time will prevent any issues and make sure your client gets insured in a timely fashion, and you get your commission.

Educating Your Prospective Medicare Clients Pays Off

Selling insurance is not just about sales. Educating your target audience is an important aspect of a sales strategy of any agent. Because insurance policies and plans continually change, it is critical to educate your audience.

If you are selling Medicare supplement plans then you know how frequently things change. With that in mind, you can not expect clients to keep up. That is why educating seniors on Medicare supplements and other changes is key.

With new additions, changes in co-pays, changes in drug plans, varying premiums and other new additions choosing something that your audience knows is going to work for them is difficult, if not impossible. This is where you come in to advise and educate. In other words, make the process of discussing Medicare supplements one that does not just focus of how much it costs. Make it a conversation about the newest changes, what is beneficial, how it could help your clients and what would suit their lifestyles and budget.

It is important to know your product and what needs to be passed along to your potential and existing clients. Educating your clients is a smart move and it lets them know that you understand their needs and are looking out for them.

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