When meeting customers to discuss Medicare Advantage (MA) plans during AEP, CMS strictly prohibits agents from discussing non-health-related financial products, such as life insurance policies or annuities. Yet savvy agents will still watch for opportunities to discuss life insurance when the time is right. One potentially worthwhile area to explore involves the Medicare beneficiary’s family members.
KNOW WHO’S IN THE ‘CIRCLE OF TRUST’
Warm-ups and fact-finding help agents get to know their AEP customers and, often, the client’s family as well — especially family members who help decide something as important as Medicare coverage. Agents must consider the influence these trusted individuals have with clients. Whether present during the AEP appointment or not, customers and their trusted family members will talk.
Embracing the concerns of the client’s family turns an AEP appointment into an opportunity to make a good impression on the extended family and establish trust. Think of the possibilities! Everyone in that inner circle will likely have life insurance needs of one kind or another. And many decision Helpers will be approaching the age when they too could benefit from the expertise of agents who serves older clients.
THE BEST CUSTOMER IS AN EXISTING CUSTOMER
New MA clients should top agent lists of life insurance prospects. The question is when and how to raise the subject.
Medicare coverage can be complicated. Compliant agents set up follow-up appointments to ensure their clients are happy with their chosen plans. A good opportunity to bring up life insurance may come up during follow-up appointments. Agents may introduce final expense plans by pointing out that this type of coverage may cover funeral and/or burial expenses not covered by a Medicare plan. If beneficiaries request information about different plan types than they previously agreed to, agents will be required to complete a new scope of appointment.
Or maybe bring up a family member who was central to earlier conversations. For instance, an agent might ask if the daughter involved in the MA decision would also lead when making “final arrangements” for the customer. If so — and if the need exists — suggest a final expense policy to save that loved one from out-of-pocket costs during what will already be a difficult time. Or maybe the agent learned about other family members that the MA client would want to protect.
Success during AEP is crucial to business growth for agents. Fortunately, it isn’t a one-and-done opportunity. Agents will set themselves up for success – not only during AEP but for many years to come – when they respect the wishes and concerns their customers have regarding family members.
Life is good! Sell it!
By David Paul, National Sales Director, Simplified Issue Life
Study Finds COVID-19 Spurs Greater Interest in Life Insurance
Nearly one third of consumers (31%) say COVID-19 has made it more likely they will purchase life insurance within the next 12 months, according to initial findings from the 2021 Insurance Barometer Study.
The study, conducted jointly by nonprofit industry trade associations LIMRA and Life Happens, finds Millennials (ages 22-40) seem to be most influenced by the pandemic when it comes to coverage. Forty-five percent of Millennials said they are more likely to buy life insurance due to COVID-19 than Baby Boomers (15%) or Gen X consumers (31%).