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Medicare OEP: 5 Things Brokers Should be doing

January 20, 2021

Another busy Medicare Annual Enrollment Period has passed, you’ve enjoyed some holiday time with your family, and now it’s time for the Medicare OEP!

The Medicare OEP, or “Open Enrollment Period,” runs from Jan 1 – Mar 31. This period allows Medicare Advantage members to change plans without having to wait until next year’s AEP. 

Stay in compliance with CMS guidelines

You might be thinking about how big of an opportunity this could be for you. 

After all, it seems like another AEP, right? 

Think again.

The Medicare OEP gives Medicare Advantage members an opportunity to switch if, for example, some of their doctors turn out to not be in the network or maybe the plan benefits or copays were not clearly explained.

Remember: CMS dictates that you cannot market the OEP or the option to change plans to prospective Medicare clients. If you mail out a postcard advertising the OEP to a list of Medicare prospects, you are breaking the rules. 

So what can and should you be doing during the OEP?

1. Follow up with your book of business

You probably reached out to your clients at the start of AEP to offer an annual review or remind them you’re here if they need you. It’s also good practice to communicate with them after AEP and mention that you can change their plan in Q1 if the need arises.  

If they have buyer’s remorse, this is your opportunity to address their concerns. Utilize the OEP to put them in a plan they might be happier in.

Calling clients during the Medicare OEP.

Remember that there are call centers and online insurance brokers who are contacting your clients to offer additional coverage, lower their premiums, etc.

If your clients trust that you are there to support them, they are much more likely to ignore those solicitations and reach out to you instead.

2. Ask for referrals

This goes hand in hand with following up.  

Always take the opportunity to remind your customers that you would love and appreciate the opportunity to help their friends and family as well.  

Remember: those referrals must call you first.  

You are allowed to tell people about the OEP in conversation. You just can’t put it in print if they are not already your client. 

3. Get organized

Sometimes, the craziness of AEP lends a hand to not staying perfectly organized with your applications, SOA’s, notes, etc.  

This is the perfect time to get on top of updating your CRM (or getting one if you don’t already have one). Your CRM will be the machine that houses all of your client’s data, including SOA’s, birthdays, drug lists, etc. 

Set up your CRM during Medicare OEP

Consider setting up email marketing campaigns to provide ongoing education to your clients, happy birthday messages, and anything else that brings them value.

4. Check your commissions

MAPD carriers don’t pay AEP commissions until after Jan 1st, and it’s not unheard of for there to be some mistakes or missing payments.  

You should audit your commission statements along with your book of business to make sure you’ve received everything you earned.

If your client data is properly organized in a CRM, you can quickly determine whether or not you have received the correct commission payments with the click of a button.

5. Plan Ahead

Take note of the lessons you learned from the previous year and AEP. 

What worked and what didn’t work?

Are you going to host sales or educational meetings, expand your network of provider partners, or launch any new marketing initiatives this SEP? 

Conclusion

If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward. 

Make sure you read how to put together your Medicare Business Plan and let us know if you need help along the way!


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