Medicare AEP 2021 Checklist

Episode Summary

In a recent episode of the Broker Link podcast, host Gillan and expert guest Nick Cindric provide a comprehensive checklist of tips and strategies for Medicare agents to prepare for success during the upcoming Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).

Nick emphasizes that the most critical step is to have a clear plan and strategy mapped out well before AEP begins. Don't wait until mid-October to start figuring out what you will do. Successful agents develop their AEP game plan ahead of time so they can focus on execution once enrollment opens.

A key part of preparation is researching the specific Medicare plans and carriers that will be competitive and active in the zip codes you serve. Review any new plans entering your market, along with changes to existing plans' benefits, premiums, provider networks, and more. This enables you to focus your efforts on the most viable options for your target demographic. Make sure you get contracted with the right plans for your area - don't waste time with plans that won't even be available.

Once contracted, order marketing materials and enrollment kits as early as possible. Carriers can take 3-6 weeks to fulfill orders, so agents need to request kits well in advance. Have some paper applications on hand as a backup, even if you plan to enroll most clients online. This ensures you can still complete enrollments if technology issues arise.

For marketing, look at hosting virtual events on platforms like Zoom if in-person gatherings are restricted in your state. Promote the events at least 2 weeks out to drive attendance. Another strategy is direct mail campaigns, which should be submitted 4-6 weeks before the desired mail date. Expect delays this year due to high volume.

Take time to practice using enrollment tools and paper applications beforehand so you're comfortable during appointments. The Brokerage's SimplyEnroll tool, carriers' portals, and paper apps all need hands-on experience. Don't wait until an actual enrollment to figure them out.

Nick also stresses the importance of follow-up after AEP ends. Schedule 30, 60, and 90-day check-in calls with members to ensure satisfaction, see if they need anything else, and ask for referrals. This helps with retention and getting new business.

In summary, agents who want to maximize success during AEP should:

- Develop their comprehensive AEP strategy well in advance
- Research the competitive Medicare plans in their area
- Get contracted with the right carriers early
- Order marketing materials and enrollment kits ASAP
- Consider virtual events for marketing
- Send direct mail campaigns early
- Practice using enrollment tools and paper apps beforehand
- Follow up with members after enrollment for retention and referrals

With preparation and planning, agents can help more Medicare beneficiaries compare their options and enroll in the optimal plan during AEP. This checklist covers key areas for agents to focus on to serve their clients effectively and make the most of enrollment season.


(0:00:04) - Broker Link podcast features Nick Cindric on the Medicare AEP checklist
(0:00:29) - Welcome to the Broker Link podcast where agents go to grow their insurance business
(0:01:47) - The most important thing for any agent going into AEP is having a plan
(0:03:05) - The biggest thing that I would encourage people to do initially is look at plans
(0:08:24) - You need to order your paper kits through your carrier portal
(0:13:47) - Those meetings have to be reported two weeks before or one week before
(0:15:06) - This AEP is going to be very different because everybody's doing more mail
(0:17:59) - You need to follow up beyond these enrollments 100%. I think that's important
(0:20:19) - Nick: Make sure you get this checklist done. Don't be afraid of the unknown
(0:22:13) - Join us again next week with new information about growing your business

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