Let’s run down a few of the best practices for success during the Medicare enrollment season, quarter by quarter!
Before getting too deep into it though, it’s important to remember that as an agent representing Medicare, your main goal should always be to help seniors. Keep in mind that our seniors tend to live on a fixed income and follow a comfortable routine, which you should mirror. Emulating clientele in this way will make your Medicare business more efficient for you and more accessible to your clients. Our elders are pen-and-paper planners with a keen eye towards the future. In serving them, you should be too!
If you work leads to boost your sales throughout the year, here’s a rough estimate of how many you should consider purchasing as the quarters progress.
[Sample] Medicare Leads Plan
Generally, the best number of Medicare enrollment leads to work per quarter is:
- Q1 – 250/agent/month
- Q2 – 500/agent/month
- Q3 – 500/agent/month
- Q4 – 100/agent/month
(Medicare insurance agents follow the year in quarters.)
During Q1, you will experience the Annual Disenrollment Period (ADP). The ADP is a government-implemented disenrollment period directly after the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) where clients who wish to disenroll from Medicare and start on a different plan can do so. This period is a goldmine for Medicare agents because it’s a time to nurture existing clients while revisiting any lost opportunities you experienced during enrollment season.
Nurture Existing Clients – You should communicate with your clients openly and often to make sure they are happy with your services and that you’re keeping up with their thoughts on their coverage. It’s also the best time to be proactive and let them know about the ADP and why it exists. Of course, agents should make sure to follow every rule to a T. You cannot solicit a client for having interest in making a change, but you can let them know that the ADP exists, what it is for, and that they can use it to disenroll if they feel it would benefit them. The client is always in control. You are merely an advisor. In addition, Q1 is also a fantastic time to work on your relationship and build a lasting bond for the future. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can even lobby your happy client for referrals.
Revisit Lost Opportunities – What happened to all the people you did not sell to during AEP? Now is the time to reach out and ask if they are satisfied where they are and if they have any questions. Even though you aren’t their agent, letting them know that you care about their happiness beyond the initial sale is the right thing to do. That client will know you are a compassionate person and that alone could always lead to future opportunities. Close no doors. Burn no bridges.
The second quarter is the time to stay in touch with your client base. Communication is key! Policy reviews, looking at life insurance, and financial planning concerns are also great choices during this time. You can find additional success by keeping pressure on your Medicare marketing and shifting to clients turning 65 and qualifying for special enrollment periods. Furthermore, Q2 is a great time to start setting appointments for AEP. Starting October 1st, you can make Medicare Advantage presentations (but cannot process enrollments until October 15). If you pack the first two weeks of AEP with presentations, you will be off to a good start on October 15th! If you work leads, now is the time to pump up your Medicare leads investment.
Q3 should be reserved for AHIP, carrier certifications, and carrier contracting changes. Do not procrastinate on the boring stuff. It’s a good idea to knock out the paperwork as fast as possible to keep yourself up-to-date, ready, and available for meeting client needs. You should have every day from October 1st through December 7th booked by the end of Q3. The difference between a successful agent and an unsuccessful one is preparation. If you prepare, you can write over 100 policies in AEP. If you don’t, then you’re lucky to hit 20!
Successful agents are busy all the way from October 1st through December 7th. After that is your time to rest, recharge, and spend time with loved ones— the important things you sacrificed during AEP. Pat yourself on the back and have a wonderful holiday! Much of a Medicare agent’s income is earned in this last quarter, so once it’s over, it’s time to celebrate!
Why Procrastination Kills
When you request a carrier appointment, the carrier orders a background check. Background checks are done by 3rd party companies and those companies have a fixed number of staff members. If you request a carrier by July, you may experience a 24-to-48-hour turnaround time. However, if you wait until September, it could be 2 or 3 weeks. Maybe longer.
Certifications are done online. That means a server is working the information and driving the certification classes. Servers get slower and crash with an overload of visitors. So, servers bog down and experience technical issues the closer we get to AEP. Additionally, once a certification is in, it needs to be verified by the carrier’s contracting staff. The closer we get to AEP, the heavier their workload.
Isn’t it easy to imagine how all of these setbacks could ruin a perfectly good selling season? Procrastination is the number one cause of agent failure during selling season. Heck, procrastination is probably the number one reason agents fail all year long! If you have the chance, write down all your tasks and check them off as you go. You will be much happier and significantly less stressed when the bell finally tolls.
We love a free tool called Trello for task management help. It is a great little utility and operates from your PC, Mac, or mobile device. Trello deals with macro-to-micro organization using Boards, Lists, and Cards, and works wonders for keeping you focused and helping you feel less overwhelmed when work piles on.
As an example, you could use Trello to make a board about a broad topic like ‘Home Projects.’
Then, inside the board, you make lists: ‘Yard,’ ‘Patio,’ ‘Garage,’ ‘Craft Room,’ etc.
Inside the lists, you make cards. So, inside the ‘Patio’ list, you may have these cards (small tasks):
- Prepare base
- Lay Flagstone
- Pots and Plants
- Hot tub
Each card can have a full description, checklist, images, diagrams, and more nested neatly inside it. Plus, you can drag and drop cards to an archive list or right click and archive them. If you’re interested, you can get Trello for free Here.
Some board, list, and card ideas for you, an agent:
- Basic Prep
- Make list of all Medicare prospects
- Order ongoing Medicare leads
- Start Calling to set appointments for October 1 for MA prospect presentations
- Start setting appointments for every day of AEP on Outlook (book solid through Dec 7)
- Get AHIP done as soon as it is available
- Get carrier certifications done as soon as each is available
- Carrier Appointments
- Change Aetna, Humana, Cigna, and UHC to Empower Brokerage now
- Plan Announcements
- Walmart Store
- Store obtained
- Rules and deadlines
- Materials needed
- Plan of action
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We hope that this information on best quarterly Medicare practices was useful to you!
Empower Brokerage is dedicated to helping you make informed decisions about your health and finances. Whether it’s through webinar training, one-on-one calls, seminars, or marketing plans, we want you to be successful!
For anything you might need, give us a call at 888-539-1633. Leave a comment below if you have any questions.