The Future of Medicare Marketing

Episode Summary

A recent discussion between experts from Greenwald Research, a national field marketing organization called The Brokerage, and the Medicare insurance industry provided insights into the changing Medicare marketplace. The discussion revealed how Medicare marketing, distribution, and enrollment are evolving and the implications for consumers, agents, and organizations involved.

Greenwald Research shared findings from extensive surveys of consumers, insurance agents, and field marketing leaders. The research aimed to identify trends in Medicare plan choices, distribution models, and customer experience. Key findings show strong growth in Medicare Advantage plans, which now surpass Original Medicare enrollment. More choices and options provide greater selection but also increase complexity for consumers evaluating plans.

Many consumers express frustration with navigating Medicare choices and desire personalized guidance from a trusted advisor. Agents can serve this advisor role but face challenges as well. Carrier consolidation limits plan options and agent commissions, while the rise of electronic field marketing organizations (FMOs) disrupts traditional captive agent distribution models.

While television advertising builds general Medicare awareness, ads don't address specific consumer questions or desire for one-on-one enrollment assistance. Consumers need experts to cut through the confusion and guide them to the right Medicare solution.

The experts emphasized collaboration between FMOs, carriers, and agents to align around consumer needs for personalized Medicare advisors. Carriers and FMOs must provide the right training, resources, and compensation to help agents act as true advisors, not just salespeople. Companies that embrace this advisor-centric approach will gain an advantage as competition increases.

As the over-65 population grows, the Medicare marketplace is evolving. Key players across the industry must adapt to deliver the experience today's consumers demand - trusted guidance in an increasingly complex insurance environment. Organizations that listen to consumer needs and empower agents to serve as advisors will win in the changing Medicare marketplace.


(0:00:00) - This episode focuses on the Medicare marketing and distribution key findings of 2021
(0:00:54) - Mike Smith: We're going to discuss a recent survey on Medicare
(0:01:53) - Greenwald Research conducted research on marketing and distribution for Medicare Supplement Insurance
(0:03:30) - Greenworld Research says healthcare is the single biggest decision in retirement
(0:07:17) - Joe Namath ads have increased awareness about Medicare Advantage and additional benefits
(0:10:15) - What could be improved about marketing Medicare plans that would benefit consumers
(0:11:34) - There has been a rapid consolidation of the distribution channels for Medicare
(0:13:08) - Josh: I think consolidation is yet to happen in the insurance industry
(0:15:56) - Mike, do you have any thoughts on that kind of impact on the end consumer
(0:17:53) - Our third topic here is all around the customer experience. The consumer journey is an overwhelming one
(0:22:35) - Mike: I think carriers are being challenged because of commoditization benefits
(0:25:37) - What is the future of Medsup given that Medicare Advantage is stepping in
(0:29:27) - Part B of Medicare should include dental and vision, Josh says
(0:32:30) - Most consumers are not relying on an agent for their Medicare enrollment process
(0:35:33) - The role of agents is important. The agents think so. We had 91% saying they will continue to play a strong role
(0:36:26) - What do you think consumers need and should get by working with an agent
(0:39:38) - The value of a Medicare agent is that human factor, Edna says
(0:41:10) - Things seem to be so divided between financial advice and insurance advice for health insurance
(0:45:13) - Nearly half of those who are aging are not thinking about using a broker
(0:48:39) - How are agents evaluating carriers? How do you guys look at that
(0:51:05) - More than half of agents say they need marketing support to grow their business
(0:54:02) - Talk about where FMO's responsibility starts and ends with an agent
(1:00:40) - All right, everyone, thank you for listening. It's that busy time of year for Medicare sales

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