Q3 July / August / September
Now is the time carriers are starting to roll out their next year benefits and opening certifications.
Before we dive into certification, make sure to continue all the activities you have throughout the year active.
- Client Touches / Referrals
- Facebook / LinkedIn
- Professional Partnerships
- T65 Marketing
- AEP List
- Follow-Up / Prospect List
While most agents are not too thrilled to perform certifications, they are necessary to write Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. Plus, in many cases, you are certifying prior to seeing the landscape of plans of the areas you serve. We realize this may seem counter intuitive, but it is the same for everyone across the board.
Remember that you are certifying for the entire next year, not just AEP. While you may not plan on working with dual eligible during AEP, that doesn’t mean you won’t run into a couple over the course of the following year. Same with seminars. While you may not plan on doing any seminars, that does not mean you will not be invited to speak in front of a group.
You want to put yourself in a position to say yes to business because you are certified.With all this in mind, the best advice is to certify early and certify for everything available.
Many carriers will not let agents order supplies for the following year until they are certified, another reason to certify early. You want to make sure you are well stocked for AEP. There have been many times supplies go on back order at the beginning of AEP because carriers are trying to keep up with demand.
Make sure when October 15th arrives, you have the proper supplies to start writing business.
Compliance Reminder: You cannot advertise AEP or the following year’s benefits until October 1st. However, this does not mean you cannot pre-plan and have your marketing materials ready to launch on October 1st.
Now is the time to take that AEP list you have been working on all year and start to organize your approach. There are basically two types of letters to send out:
- Stay on the plan you are on
- Change plans
We have two letters you can use, one for each of these situations. Contact Senior Marketing Specialists for copies!
In the weeks prior to October 1st, you can prepare these letters for mailing. Yes, your clients and prospects will receive numerous solicitations in the mail, this is why I recommend hand writing the envelope. This will make your letter stand out and has a far greater chance of it getting opened. Start to address all your envelopes with the appropriate letters and have them ready to mail on October 1st.
If you want to do any other type of mailer, remember you cannot mention AEP or the following year’s benefits until after 10/1.
Prioritize Your List
Ideally, you want to contact every client and prospect with a call and a letter. However, this is subject to the size of your book of business. Start to identify the clients and prospects you need to call, usually the ones who are in plans you are looking to change.
If you are planning on performing seminars in AEP, now is the time to start to secure locations. Depending on your area, good locations can go fast as some carriers will secure locations for their captive sales forces.
Compliance Reminder: Make sure to register your seminars and only use approved materials.
Remember those professional partnerships you formed? Remind them AEP is coming up as well. This is a great way for your professional partners to touch their clients and keep themselves top of mind while referring their Medicare health coverage to you.
The key is to do as much as you can leading into AEP so when October 15th arrives, you have multiple marketing efforts in full force. Contact your Sales Director if you need assistance with any one of these Pre-AEP tasks. 1-800-689-2800.
Miss the first part of the series? Catch up here: