One of the more common questions agents get asked from their Medicare clients is “what is the Medicare Part D late enrollment penalty?” It is fairly easy to explain that if a Medicare member spends more than 63 consecutive days without having Part D or creditable drug coverage, they will be required to pay a late enrollment penalty should they choose to enroll in a Part D plan in the future. The typical follow-up question is “will I have a late enrollment penalty?” This is also usually pretty easy to answer, assuming the agent asks the proper questions of the client and the client responds with accurate answers about prior coverage.
You spend a lot of time and effort during the AEP marketing and enrolling Medicare beneficiaries. Make sure that you also spend the proper time and effort submitting error-free applications. We have identified the six most common errors that cause enrollment applications to pend. They are as follows:
During the Annual Enrollment Period, it’s easy to get caught up in growing your book of business and increasing that residual income stream. Make sure that your pursuit of new business does not cost you what you’ve already found.
If it’s been too long since you’ve reached out to that client you wrote on a Medicare Advantage Plan three years ago, you may want to consider giving them a call. Ask them if they have taken a look at the 2013 benefits for their current plan. Ask them if they’d like you to review it with them. Is there a new plan in their coverage area that will better fit their needs? Are they even interested in looking?
Whatever the answer, remember that by reaching out you are accomplishing some important things:
1) You are letting your client know that you’re still in the business of helping and guiding them.
2) You are protecting your book of business.
3) You are protecting your residual income stream.
This process may seem obvious to the veteran agent. But even the most seasoned insurance salesperson can get a little comfortable and start to take their loyal book of business for granted. When you’re thinking about how to fill your time leading up to (and during) AEP, remember that those clients you helped three and four years ago still have eyes and ears. They still have mailing addresses that are being bombarded with offers from other plans and agencies. They still have TV sets advertising the latest and greatest in Medicare coverage options. A simple phone call or 15 minute appointment could ensure that your client remains your client.