It's That Time of Year - Open Enrollment
As another Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) or Open Enrollment season for Medicare begins, I thought I’d take a minute to separate some fact from fiction surrounding this time of year.
Fiction: I can change to any type of Medicare Plan right now and be accepted. Fact: You can change to any Medicare Advantage plan for a 1/1/2023 effective date without any underwriting. If you want to change from an Advantage Plan to a traditional supplement, you most likely need to go through underwriting.
Fiction: My client had a change in their health and are on new medications, but because of the change in their health, they can’t get a new Part D plan.
Fact: Now is the time anyone can (and should) shop their Part D plans. Anyone can make changes to be effective 1/1/2023, and there are no medical questions asked.
Fiction: This is the only time of year Medicare Supplements are written.
Fact: Medicare Supplements are written year-round. People turning 65, retiring happen 365 days a year. You can also help a client change their traditional supplement any day of the year because that goes through underwriting.
Fiction: My client can’t go through underwriting, they have a chronic illness.
Fact: Many clients can go through underwriting. It isn’t as strict as many people think. If your client can answer no to the medical questions on the application, they most likely are approved. Call us before you say no to your next client – you might be surprised!
Fiction: My client never got a Part D plan, now they can’t one.
Fact: This is the time of year anyone can enroll in a Part D (prescription drug plan). If they did not have coverage, they may have a penalty, but enroll in something now, to stop the penalty from increasing.
Fiction: Selling Medicare Supplements is difficult and not worth my time and effort. There’s no money to be made.
Fact: With all plans mandated to be the same, it is very simple to understand. Plus if you just wrote 4 cases a month (that’s 2 couples), with the strength of the renewals after 5 years your commissions could be $69,448.26! Medicare is also one of the best sources of referrals from existing clients and a top lead generator.
Fiction: Selling Medicare Supplements is a hassle. I’ve got to do all of this testing each year, fill forms out before I even see a client and now I have to figure out how to record and store my conversations!
Fact: Not true! Traditional Medicare Supplements (not Advantage plans) generally only require your health license, no scope of sale forms, and no recordings. You can talk to your client about their Medicare Supplement as you review their life insurance, talk about their 401K or their home and auto insurance.
So even if you aren’t directly involved in AEP, this is still a great opportunity to let your clients know they can talk to you about what they are seeing and hearing about Medicare. Why let them talk to another agent?