As the clock ticks down towards the end of this year’s Annual Election Period, we wanted to share a few more helpful hints and tips that we have received from our agents. By taking these into consideration, you can make sure to finish off AEP strongly!
Use the remaining time wisely
Time is one of the most important factors during AEP, especially in the final weeks. Take advantage of Bluetooth when driving. Reaching back out to your clients while on the road is an easy way to turn an otherwise uneventful drive into a productive one. Ideally, you would like for your client to pick up the phone on these follow-up calls, so pay close attention to the time of day you are calling. We have discovered that there are two optimal timeframes when your client will be more likely to answer the phone: between 10am – 12:00pm and between 4:00pm – 6:00pm.
Do not forget to do your homework
By now, most of you will be very comfortable with the plans you are presenting your clients. Even so, do not rest on your laurels. Think back to previous visits with clients: Were there any questions that you were unsure how to answer? Did you have to tell your client, “Let me check on that and get back to you”? This happens to all agents, but it gives you the opportunity to hone your craft and become more knowledgeable. When evaluating plan information, make sure that you pay particularly close attention to the primary zip codes you are working in. By being able to spout out the zip-code specific details of a plan to your client, you will look even more competent and confident. Here are a few details you may want to know off hand without having to view a “Summary of Benefits”:
- Co-Pays (Primary Care Physician, Specialists, Drug Tiers 1 and 2, and Urgent Care)
- Max-out-of-Pocket amount
- Drug Deductible and which Tier the deductible is assigned to
- Inpatient care, including cost-per-day for hospital stays
Your client’s Primary Care Physician matters
Your client’s current Primary Care Physician (PCP) is probably important to your client, so it should be important to you, as well. Many Medicare-eligible members are not in the mood or frame of mind to switch their PCP. So, it is important that you find a plan that includes your client’s PCP in-network. This will also allow you to narrow down the list of products that you will present to your client. Express to your clients that just because there are 10+ plans in their zip code, they do not need to review every carriers’ plan, which would be overwhelming. Instead, you and your client can focus on the plans where the client’s PCP would be considered in-network.
Do not forget about the drugs
By reviewing your client’s PCP, you will have narrowed down the list of available plans considerably. You can narrow the plans even further by taking your client’s medications into consideration. This is particularly important for Medicare Advantage plans. For example, the difference between a Tier 2 and a Tier 4 medication can be the difference between financial stability and financial crisis for your client. By carefully reviewing your client’s medications, you can help them potentially avoid the donut hole and may be able to avoid the entire drug deductible with certain plans.
Do you have any other tips that have helped you be successful? Feel free to share those in the comments. As always, The Brokerage, Inc. is interested in hearing what works for you! Feel free to reach out us with any questions, comments, or feedback. Happy selling!