The Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period runs from January 1st - March 31st.
If your client is unhappy with their current Medicare Advantage plan, they can make a switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage). They can also dis-enroll from their Medicare Advantage Plan and return to original Medicare. If they choose to do so, they'll be able to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan as well (Part D).
If they enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan during their Initial Enrollment Period, they can change to another Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage) or go back to Original Medicare (with or without drug coverage) within the first three months they have Medicare.
If your client switches to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or goes back to original Medicare with or without a drug plan, their new coverage will start the first day of the month after their new plan gets the request for coverage. An important detail to remember though, if your client decides to go back to original Medicare, they may not be able to buy a Medicare Supplement policy.
The best time for your client to get a Medicare Supplement policy is during their six month Medigap Open Enrollment Period. During that time they can purchase any Medicare Supplement policy sold in their state, even if they have health problems. This period starts the first month they have enrolled in Medicare Part B and they're age 65 or older.
There are many details to consider, before jumping off their current coverage. However, there are options if their current plan is not a good fit.
Baby Boomers love Facebook and thanks to the pandemic more seniors are hanging out on there than ever before. If you're selling Medicare solutions to seniors and you're not using Facebook as a marketing tool, you're missing out. Sharing relevant content consistently and running targeted ads is an easy and economical way to get more leads. Ready to learn more?
Facebook's advertising process is straight forward and easy to work with. You must have a Facebook business page set up first. If you don't have a business page, it's easy to get that set up too. Once you have that up and running you can start advertising your insurance services. To run an ad, you're stepped through a series of questions which will determine what type of ad you want to run. You then upload your ad content, determine the audience, the price you want to pay and the duration of your ad. Once you finish that quick process, you then submit your ad for approval and within 24 hours (sometimes even sooner) you get an email alerting you to the status of your ad. Once approved your ad runs for the length you determined and will even cross post on Instagram if you have a professional Instagram account set up.
Running targeted ads on Facebook is easy and economical.
Still unsure? Feel free to download our Facebook Ads Quick Start Guide to walk you through the process. Screen shots and step-by step instructions will show you exactly what you need to do to target a specific audience in your preferred geographic area, and it will even show you how to drill down to target leads with certain life events or interests. This type of targeting will ensure your ad is being shown to the people you want to see it.
So now that you have an ad running, when will you start seeing leads? After your ad begins running, you can track and manage leads through the Facebook Ads Manager which shows you when someone has responded to your ad. It will give you a plethora of other statistics too, but for the sake of keeping this blog post simple, we'll focus on the main goal: leads! You download them via an Excel file and the important thing to remember is that you need to login daily to check for leads. Facebook will not email you when you receive new leads. So make it a habit to login to the Ads Manager to track them and download them.
What if you don't get any leads from your first ad? Don't despair. Much of marketing is based on A/B testing. And what that means is you have to test out your ad, just as marketers do to see what type of ad content resonates with their targeted audience. The fact that Facebook makes advertising economical and you don't have to pour thousands of dollars into an ad campaign, allows you to test your ads and tweak them when necessary. Marketing has many nuances to it, and lead nurturing can take time. But if you're willing to put in a bit of effort and take the plunge, you will see proven results.
A/B testing allows you to test out your ad content to see what resonates with your audience.
Hands down, Facebook advertising is the fastest and easiest way to get leads quickly. It's not a complicated process and it won't break the bank. Buying expensive leads from lead vendors can quickly add up, so if you haven't spent the time to learn how to advertise on Facebook, dedicate a couple hours to setting up your business page, creating ad content (or if you're one of our contracted agents, we'll create ad content for you) and go through the process of submitting your first ad. You'll be happy you did once those leads start filtering in.
There's a "new" plan on the block and it has very similar coverage to Plan G. If your clients are unable to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan F due to MACRA, then you may tend to encourage them to purchase a Plan G. And that's always been a smart move. However, the differences between Plan G and Plan N are as follows:
Here's where it gets really interesting though. The vast majority of Plan N policy holders never end up paying the Part B excess charges because nearly every doctor in the U.S. (96%) who accepts Medicare, only charges the amount Medicare has approved for their services. So what does that mean? It means that your Plan N clients will likely only pay the cost-share copays and the Part B deductible.
Let's dig a little more into the Plan G vs. Plan N discussion. Due to MACRA, Plan G is now available to customers with 6 out of the 7 Guaranteed Issue rights. This will increase the pool of high-cost policy holders and place more and more pressure on insurance carriers to raise their premiums to cover those costs. Last year was the first year of newly eligible clients with this many Guaranteed Issue rights for Plan G, but every year that will steadily increase as more and more people age into Medicare. So what does this mean? It means Plan G premiums will likely increase faster than those of plans with fewer Guaranteed Issue rights, such as Plan N.
So, to wrap this up. If your clients purchase a Plan N, they will have identical coverage to Plan G, their premiums will likely not increase as quickly as those who have Plan G, and their out-of-pocket costs will be the Part B deductible and any copays they may incur. It's clearly a win/win! Consider offering Plan N Medicare Supplements to your clients; explain to them the cost differences, and how in the end, Plan N will be their better option.
Questions? Reach out to our Medicare gurus, Cassandra and Derick for more information.
Cold calling isn't dead, and although it may get tiresome, it's still an effective way to grow your client base. Below are our best tips for cold calling Medicare eligible prospects. Remember to be mindful of their time, and don't be pushy. No one likes a sales-y approach. Introduce yourself and explain why you're calling and how you can educate and assist your potential client.
If you're just starting to sell Medicare Supplements and have questions about who you should sell to, let's review our list of ideal candidates who would benefit from purchasing a Medicare Supplement policy from you.
When you're talking to your clients about Medicare Supplements it's important to ask them questions about their health and lifestyle. Ideal candidates for Medicare Supplements don’t want to use network doctors, and they want the freedom to go to any hospital or doctor that accepts traditional Medicare. They typically want to know their costs every year, and don’t want to deal with copays and coinsurance.*
Many ideal customers live in rural areas where Medicare Advantage plans and networks are limited. Having the ability to go to any doctor or hospital that accepts traditional Medicare is a huge draw for many people, which in turn makes them great Medicare Supplement candidates. Typical Medicare Supplement policy holders prefer having original Medicare, and would like to save money on their prescription drug plans.
Some of your clients may have health issues, but if they purchase a Medicare Supplement policy during their open enrollment period, they have the choice to pick and choose which plan they'd like without having to go through any underwriting. This open enrollment period occurs three months before they turn 65, the month of their 65th birthday and three months after they've turned 65.
Many typical Medicare Supplement policy holders have higher incomes and enjoy traveling. They want to have flexibility with their coverage, and enjoy having the ability to take their policy with them while traveling.
*Some Medicare Supplements do have copays and coinsurance.
Some of your clients may receive lower premiums.
Your clients may receive lower premiums if they:
What is MACRA? And how does that effect Medicare Supplement sales?
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is a bipartisan legislation signed into law on April 16, 2015. This legislation changes how Medicare pays physicians who provide care to traditional Medicare beneficiaries. And what does that mean for you, the insurance agent?
It means Medicare Supplement Plans C, F and High Deductible F are no longer available for newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries. However, clients who already have these plans will be grandfathered in, and will continue to be able to use their existing policies or even change their policy to another Plan C or F in the future, if they choose.
Newly-eligible clients are those who first become eligible for Medicare due to age 65, disability, or end-stage renal disease on or after January 1, 2020. Newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries will have to choose from other Medicare Supplement plans which include: A, B, D, G, K, L, M and N.
Plan G continues to remain a popular Medicare Supplement plan, but you can review the differences below.
Plans C and F will NOT be options for Medicare beneficiaries who turn 65 on or after January 1, 2020.
*Plans F and G have high-deductible options in some states. If your client chooses this option, they must pay for Medicare covered costs (coinsurance, copayments, deductibles) up to the deductible amount of $2,340 in 2020 before the policy pays anything.
**After your client meets the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, the Medigap plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
***Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in admission.
Nearly 11,000 people turn 65 every, single day. Clearly, there is no shortage of Medicare Supplement prospects. Before discussing different plans with your clients, be sure to ask them questions about where they plan to live if they're retiring, if they have health issues, whether or not they're still working and have employer based coverage or spousal coverage. Asking these important questions will help you when you review the different plans available to them, guaranteeing a Medicare Supplement that provides the best coverage and price for their needs.
Need more info? Download our Medicare Supplement Kit to learn more!
Carolyn Portanova is the Director of Marketing at The Brokerage Resource and has been with the firm since 2012.