It seems like yesterday we were taking a deep breath after a unique 2021 Medicare Advantage annual enrollment period. But here we are today and Medicare Sales Specialists across the country are getting notified of 2022 MA plan certification trainings, carrier updates, and AEP marketing ideas. Time certainly flies when you’re having fun!
As we get closer to October 15, all things MA related will only get more hectic.
To make sure our brokers hit the ground running, we’ve put together a list of things to knock out as early as possible. Getting these things done early will ensure you can focus on marketing and sales instead of administrative chores when AEP kicks off.
1. Get Contracted to Sell Medicare Advantage Plans NOW
Representing more plans means you can offer more options to your clients and ensure that they receive the best plan for their needs.
If there are plans you want to represent in 2022 and you are not yet appointed with the carrier, get that ball rolling immediately. The closer you get to selling season, the more brokers there will be flooding the carriers with appointment requests. You will not regret getting out ahead of the broker contract traffic jam.
2. Complete Medicare Training: AHIP or NAHU
In order to sell during AEP, you have to complete training annually. In the past, AHIP was the go-to Medicare training provider, but this year some carriers are accepting the NAHU training.
Both training programs have advantages over the other. AHIP is universally recognized, but NAHU is cheaper, offers CE credits, and is being accepted by more carriers every day (see the growing list HERE).
If one of the carriers you represent doesn’t accept the NAHU program then you’ll need to complete the AHIP training program, so pay special attention to which carriers are accepting NAHU.
Plan Advisors brokers can review our Carrier Certification information page for complete details.
Whichever training you decide to pursue, get it done sooner rather than later.
3. Complete Carrier Specific Certifications
Many MA plan sponsors still require you to complete their specific training in addition to submitting your AHIP or NAHU certification. Carrier certification dates, discounts, and platforms vary. For complete details visit our Carrier Certification information page on our portal.
The sooner you complete carrier certifications, the sooner you can focus on AEP marketing and selling. No matter the number of carriers you choose to represent, put certifications in your rearview mirror quickly.
4. Familiarize Yourself with Online Enrollment Platforms
If there’s one thing the 2021 selling season taught us, it’s that digital enrollment tools are here to stay.
Online enrollment platforms make it easy to compare, quote, and enroll clients in Medicare plans anytime of year, but during AEP it is especially helpful to have access to these tools on-the-go and from anywhere.
Many carriers have their own digital enrollment tools, but our Broker Connect tool gives you access to multiple carriers all on one platform, helping you simplify your Medicare sales.
Whether you use a carrier-specific enrollment platform, or our Broker Connect tool, familiarize yourself with these invaluable systems. There’s nothing that will slow you down more than having to learn them on the fly during AEP.
5. Get Familiar with Broker Portals
Most carriers have online broker portals which will allow you to access plan materials, pull commission reports, submit customer service issues, and much more. Use them to your advantage and make your business more efficient.
If you wait until you’re in the thick of the Annual Enrollment Period to access these tools, you won’t have the time to learn the full capabilities available to you. So don’t wait! Familiarize yourself with them today.
We are less than four months away from the start of the Annual Election Period. Challenge yourself to get these five tasks completed before August 15, and you won’t regret giving yourself two months of breathing room and marketing prep before AEP.If you have questions or need help with any of these items, please think “Plan Advisors first” and let us know how we can help.