2021 Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is approaching quickly! If you haven’t started planning, you’re already behind. Preparing for AEP is a lot of work, but if you plan well, the benefits can be substantial. Organization, strategizing and planning achievable milestones will be the key to a successful AEP. 

 

Organize & Set Goals

Not being organized for AEP could set you up for unavoidable failure. Start planning ASAP. There are many activities insurance agents need to do throughout the year to prepare for AEP.  For example, find a planner or calendar that will work for you, and mark important dates.

It will help you keep everything organized. Write down and put your goals in place. You’ll see them daily. Go over daily what hard work you’ve put in and what needs to be done – develop a plan.

Some of the important dates you should mark on your calendar: certifications open, last day to take the AHIP, and date marketing materials need to be submitted to Agent Pipeline for review (via AgentPipeline).

 

Marketing

Marketing is essential if you want to drum up business, but it’s also tricky within the insurance space. Without marketing yourself, there would be no leads generated for qualified beneficiaries. Without qualified beneficiaries, how will you be enrolling individuals in Medicare Supplements, MAPDs, and other Medicare health plans? 

One of the easiest ways to start marketing yourself as an insurance agent, and the Medicare health plans you sell, is digital marketing (social media, blogs, websites, email marketing, etc.). Other options are print marketing, direct mail, building partnerships, among other things (via New Horizon).

 

Customer Outreach

AEP is NOT about new beneficiaries alone, but can also involve existing customers looking to switch their coverage. AEP is the one time a year most seniors can finally make changes to their Medicare health plan. Now is the time to help your beneficiaries make a change into a plan that meets their medical and financial needs.

So contact your existing clients, let them know about scheduling a no-cost annual review, and help them apply for optimal coverage. You can do it online in a virtual setting, or sit on their porch and conduct a review through the window. 

 

Cross-Selling  

When it comes to cross-selling to your Medicare beneficiaries, there are specific rules. Most importantly, you can’t sell a client more than one plan in one day, nor can you discuss more than one type of product without written consent.

You have to fill out a Scope of Appointment (SOA) form when you meet with a client. You can also use Agent Pipeline’s online enrollment tool and complete an online SOA that can be signed via email. If you are licensed and given permission to discuss other products with your customers, it can be an efficient way to expand your business. 

 

Stay Calm!

AEP is the busiest time of year for insurance agents and it can be stressful. With such an important time for business right around the corner, remember to stay calm and organized in order to perform your best. You can only help one customer at a time, so try to focus on each one and their individual needs (via TripTych). 

 

Don’t Overcommit

Having a well-thought-out schedule will keep priorities top-of-mind and prevent overcommitment. Overcommitting minimizes your effectiveness across the board. Consider the common phrase “quality over quantity” when agreeing to engagements. You want to ensure that you’re dedicating enough time to each of your clients and prospects to create a solid foundation for your relationship. Rushing from one meeting to the next will limit the information you’re able to gather (and retain). It will lower your chances of becoming their trusted advisor. Furthermore, overbooking will diminish the personal time necessary to remain healthy and productive. Overcommitment is the expressway to burnout. Do yourself a favor and commit to steering clear of overcommitment.  

 

Update your Tools

As with all things, COVID-19 changed the way you’ll sell during AEP 2021. Virtual selling will be a major shift from your traditional selling tactics for AEP. You’ll need new or different tools than you’ve used in years passed. From e-sign software (to certify virtual agreements) to blue-light glasses (to reduce eye strain), extra tools will be necessary to maintain the same level of authenticity, personalization, and productivity. Also, you’ll need to make sure your CRM tool is active and organized (we recommend one like AgencyBloc). This allows you to keep tabs on all your customers and make sure you have a clear follow-up strategy for those who don’t convert on the first touchpoint. 

 

Hubby Health provides all the marketing tools, strategy, capital and management to qualified agents in order to achieve a successful AEP. Contact info@hubbyhealth.com if you’re looking to expand your Medicare business.