Whew! You made it through AEP. Now what? Although you’re probably ready for a break – and you’ve certainly earned it – there’s a little more work to do before you can relax. Now is the time to focus on AEP follow up, confirm that everything is in place and check for any stragglers from your existing book.
AEP Follow Up
When it comes to Medicare enrollment, you don’t want to make assumptions. Make sure all of your SOAs are in order. Also check your confirmation numbers, your commission statements and your fax confirmations. This is the time to dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
It’s important to follow up on enrollments with carriers and clients. With the carrier, you want to double and triple check that enrollment went through without any discrepancies in the submission.
With the client, you want to make sure that they’re all set and see if they have any questions. Let them know that they can contact you if they have any problems. Medicare Advantage enrollees who are unhappy with their plan may be able to use the Medicare Advantage OEP to switch plans. More on that in the next section …
Check for Stragglers
AEP ended on December 7. Hopefully, you were able to enroll all of your clients by then. To make sure, check your existing book and see if there are any stragglers.
It’s possible you’ll have clients who never got back to you, who missed scheduled appointments, or who couldn’t enroll for some other reason. Some of these people might be stuck in their current plan – but some of them might have a second chance thanks to the Medicare Advantage OEP, which runs from January 1 to March 31. If a client calls you during this time panicking because they hate their plan, this is exactly the lifeline they need.
But beware – there are restrictions.
- CMS says that the OEP is only available to beneficiaries who are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in Original Medicare cannot use this period to add a Medicare drug plan or switch to Medicare Advantage.
- There are also some marketing restrictions that insurance agents need to follow during OEP. According to the Medicare Advantage Communication Requirements, among other restrictions, agents cannot engage in “activities that intend to target the OEP as an opportunity to make further sales” or “call or otherwise contact former enrollees who have selected a new plan during the AEP.” However, agents can conduct marketing activities that focus on age-ins, 5-star plans, and SEPs, and agents can send marketing materials or schedule meetings at the beneficiary’s request.
See the Medicare Advantage Communication Requirements for details.
You’ve worked hard this AEP, and you should be proud of all the work you’ve accomplished. After a little AEP follow up, you’ll be ready to relax. Just remember that Medicare success is a year-round career, and Medicare OEP is right around the corner.
Tune in next week for tips on how to tackle your Medicare Advantage OEP game plan.