AEP might be a few months away, but it’s never too early to begin preparing. The time is now to connect with all your Medigap members and review their needs before the national call centers start making their rounds to target your Medicare Supplement clients.
The national call centers’ message of lower costs and wider benefits is one you should be spreading to your clients and prospects to defend business while identifying anyone who should be considering a Medicare Advantage plan. If your clients would benefit by a move, it should be with your advice.
Upon retiring, many people seek the simplicity, portability and guarantees that come with having a Medigap plan, thus driving them to sign up. Over time, many no longer need the portability, have reduced income, may have low claims, or want the broader coverage and preventative services offered instead by Medicare Advantage.
By implementing a plan of action that involves reaching out to your Medigap clients, you will either reassure them that they can ignore the continuous AEP advertising or set them up for a meeting after October 15th to discuss their Medicare Advantage options. Low income in retirement is a major issue, and having your clients continue to pay high premiums for Medigap, a standalone Part D, plus a separate dental plan is oftentimes a luxury many cannot afford.
As their agent, it’s important that you call to discuss their existing coverage. Focus on affordability, health, medication needs, travel, what providers they use on a regular basis, and whether they want the convenience of packaging all their health needs into a single plan. Whatever the outcome may be, your clients will appreciate you thinking of their needs before the marketing blitz in the fall.
When determining which clients may benefit from a planned meeting during AEP, chances are you’ll identify 20%–30% of your book as fitting into that category. With a Scope of Appointment and a scheduled meeting, you can discuss in detail the benefits, networks, formularies, and the cost of specific Medicare Advantage plans.
Keep in mind that when you are revising needs with existing clients and comparing Medigap to MA, you would not need a Scope of Appointment. If you know a client will want to discuss specific plan benefits, complete an SOA. It may transpire that your client qualifies for a low-income subsidy and qualifies for a SEP into an MA plan– in this instance, fill out an SOA. If their income subsidy makes them fully Medicaid-eligible, they should be referred to their county for options. Remember: if in doubt, complete an SOA.
This outreach can save hundreds of dollars for your clients while expanding your business to new customers, thus creating a major revenue stream for your agency.