Come Dec. 7 – the date AEP ends – many agents and advisors will take some well-deserved time off to recharge and reconnect with family and friends. But smart agents and advisors know that another important enrollment period starts on Jan. 1: the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP).
It’s a simple step during the AEP process to ask clients the best ways to contact them for follow up. Make a note if they prefer a phone call, email or postal mail. Confirm and document their contact information and respect their decisions. Insurance professionals ensure their clients have the best coverage by keeping the lines of communication open. Developing a follow-up system is the best way for agents and advisors to make sure their client’s plan is working for them.
Agents and advisors also need to follow through with their commitments. Some insurance professionals think the burden is on clients to contact them if there are issues with a plan. Agents and advisors shouldn’t risk losing clients due to poor customer service and lack of follow up.
Check in with clients to ask if their current plan is filling their needs.
Did they receive their new plan I.D. card?
Are there any transition of care problems?
Do they want to review plan benefits?
OEP, which runs from Jan. 1 to March 31 – is the time when Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in MA plans have the opportunity to make a one-time election to change their coverage. The change will take effect the first of the month after the plan receives the change request.
During OEP, the beneficiary can:
Switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage).
Disenroll from the Medicare Advantage Plan and return to Original Medicare. The beneficiary will be able to join a Part D plan.
Agents and advisors need to be keenly aware that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has put in place rigid rules regarding the communications they can have with clients about OEP.
We are in the business of providing exceptional services to agents and advisors. It’s more than products and services. It includes giving you the valuable insights – such as contacting a client to make sure their plan is working for them. And, if necessary, use OEP as the time to help your clients change plans.