Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period—the 54-day period where Medicare enrollees can elect new coverage for the plan year—is right around the corner. As a new Medicare sales agent, the volume of new and existing client contacts, inquiries, and appointments can quickly become overwhelming. Even among veteran health insurance agents, AEP burnout is common. Since the best practice is to contact all your existing clients (even if just sending a postcard), you need to manage your time efficiently. Use the agent-approved tips to maximize your sales and your sanity.
Tip #1: Get Organized
Organization is crucial to a successful AEP. Make sure your existing contact lists are scrubbed and up to date, and know which clients are in a plan that is changing its benefits. These clients will be the top priority because they will need to review and probably switch. Verify the contact information and logins for the carriers you will be working with before the enrollment period begins.
You can also save time by making sure your desk and computer files are organized. Come up with a system for saving files and stick to it. Finally, consider using appointment software to make scheduling and tracking appointments easier.
Tip #2: Get Certified
CMS requires agents selling Medicare products to complete compliance training annually. In addition, each carrier requires you to complete a certification before you start selling. Certifications take time, so be sure to put them on your calendar well before AEP starts. Plan to have everything done in advance, so you are ready to sell on October 1.
Tip #3: Study Hard
Insurance companies release their plan designs for the following year in August or September. As an agent, this extra time to review the new options is invaluable. Take advantage of the preview by studying the offerings available. Look for particularly attractive features and plans that offer more benefits than others in their price range. Knowing the plan features lets you identify which plans to focus on and learn which ones are best for certain services.
Tip #4: Take Care of Yourself
Diet, exercise, and rest are among the first things to be neglected when business is busy, but they are vital to performing at your best. Stock your fridge with healthy snacks and add workouts to your schedule. Getting plenty of sleep and drinking more water will support your body so you can give your clients the best service possible.
Tip #5: One Thing at a Time
When you have a lot to do, looking at everything you have coming up is easily overwhelming. Focus on the current day and the current client. Never allow future commitments to make you stressed (or worse, distracted) during appointments. One way to do this is to make sure you complete all your tasks for the day each day. Falling behind can put you in the position of scrambling, and once you are behind, it can be nearly impossible to get caught up again. By staying on top of your daily schedule, you can give yourself the best chance at a successful AEP.
Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period can be a stressful time for agents. Staying organized, strategic, proactive, and healthy will set you up to handle the pace and ensure your clients get the attention they deserve.
How Do I Learn More?
To learn more about building your career as a Medicare sales agent, contact the specialists at American Senior Benefits. Our seasoned insurance agents will happily share tips, tricks, and advice to help you grow your book of business.