Will Virtual Practice Change How You Do Business This Annual Election Period (AEP)?

  • Originally published July 1, 2020 , last updated January 7, 2021
Will Virtual Practice Change How You Do Business This Annual Election Period (AEP)?

It’s safe to say that 2020 will not be going into the history books as an average year. It all started with the discovery of coronavirus (COVID-19) which was the driving force that fueled a worldwide pandemic. The pandemic changed much about daily life including the need for social distancing, the wearing of masks, reduced travel, quarantine procedures, etc. That’s a lot of change in a short period, and the year isn’t even over yet.

According to statistics put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19 increases as you age. This information goes on to detail the fact that eight out of ten COVID-19 deaths in the United States occurred among those 65 or older. Consequently, reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19 is especially important to this group.

With the majority of Medicare-eligible individuals in higher-risk groups, Medicare agents need to change how they sell in order to have a successful Annual Election Period (AEP). Essentially, Medicare producers need to be willing to meet clients the way they prefer to meet, whether that’s in person, online, or over the phone. Fortunately, Senior Market Sales® (SMS) offers multiple solutions to help agents successfully sell Medicare products while remaining cognizant of client safety concerns. Highlighted below, are those solutions.

Lead Advantage Pro®

Lead Advantage Pro is the proprietary tool from SMS that lets you take prospects from lead to enrollment in one place. In essence, this platform is designed to simplify your day and maximize your time. In addition, it works well as a means to meet clients’ needs in a compliant way while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

Ways that Lead Advantage Pro can improve your productivity during the pandemic and beyond:

  1. Agent Initiated Consumer Online Enrollment (AICOE®) and App by Email® features help you compliantly sell to socially distanced clients.
  2. Tired of going to different carrier websites to see if providers are in-network for Medicare Advantage plans? Check out the exclusive PLANS tool.
  3. Run out of supplies? You can download the application for every carrier SMS works with.
  4. Frustrated by scope of appointment (SOA) forms? See how easy it is to complete the SOA in less than three minutes.
  5. Both the Blue Button and Rx Import features allow Medicare participants the ability to share their prescription drug lists, pharmacies and providers directly with you. Once you’ve obtained your client’s permission, this list can be accurately compiled in minutes.

Medicare Insurance Direct® (MID)

Medicare Insurance Direct is a tool that allows you to help clients help themselves, thus avoiding the need to meet in-person. The idea of MID is to pair your good, sound advice regarding a client’s Medicare solution with the convenience of self-enrollment. You can use MID to match beneficiaries with available plans based on individual healthcare, prescription drug needs and estimated out-of-pocket expenses. You send a Personalized Universal Resource Locator (PURL) to your clients that take them to a micro-site displaying the states and carriers that you are properly credentialed to sell, including Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans, Part D and Medicare Supplements.

Here’s how MID works to help make sales without increasing a client’s coronavirus risk:

  1. You set up a consumer-facing web site through Medicare Insurance Direct, and personalize it for your business (your site will only show plans you’re licensed and appointed to offer).
  2. Your clients get the convenience of quoting and enrolling in Medicare Advantage and Part D plans online, at their leisure.
  3. You get credit for every sale because you have a custom URL and your agent writing number is associated with the site.

Carrier Enrollment Technology Options

In addition to SMS technology solutions, many carriers that work with SMS have their own technology options, some of which don’t even require the client to have access to the internet. Click here to view specific carrier requirements and options.

AEP Agent Central

SMS compiled AEP Agent Central as a gathering place for AEP-helpful tools, technology and resources. The idea of AEP Agent Central is to help Medicare agents save time and eliminate mistakes so that they can make more sales during the AEP season.

Your Next Step

Through the utilization of these tools and services, agents are closing sales even during these unprecedented times. With over 30 years in the Medicare market, no one has more knowledge and experience than SMS. If you’re not already taking advantage of these resources, then now’s the time. Feel free to explore additional information on the value of going virtual in today’s environment. Then, contact an SMS Marketing Consultant at 1.800.786.5566 to get started.



Key Takeaways

  • A Successful AEP despite the pandemic
  • Selling Medicare virtually
  • Selling Medicare with social distancing in mind