6 Tips to Avoid Rapid Disenrollment & Keep Your Clients

Learn how to limit the rapid disenrollment of your Medicare clients with these six tips from Financial Grade!
rapid disenrollment
24 Sep 2021

6 Tips to Avoid Rapid Disenrollment & Keep Your Clients

The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) kicks off Friday, October 15th, 2021, and this can be a busy time for agents and seniors alike. In September, your clients should receive their Plan Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) letters, outlining any policy changes for the following year. Beneficiaries then have the opportunity to sign up for new plans or switch to a different plan.

Moving from one plan to another isn’t always a negative, since financial or medical needs can change. But if you aren’t practicing proactive communication your clients might not just change plans. They may change agents as well, and you’ll find yourself losing clients to rapid disenrollment. So get ahead of the game by contacting your clients early and often. You’ll be more prepared if they are interested in a new plan, and you’ll increase your client retention rates. 

Prevent rapid disenrollment

Here are six best practices to help you retain clients and decrease rapid disenrollment.

#1. Learn your client’s needs

We all know that relationships are at the heart of good customer service, and Medicare recipients are no different. The more you know about your clients and their individual needs, the more you can provide them with the services and plans they’ll be happy with. Before AEP, perform a Needs Analysis that includes gathering information about their preferred providers, prescription drugs they’re currently on, and the hospitals and specialists they want to use. By taking the time up front to collect and verify this information, you’ll know which plans will work for them and which won’t.

#2. Anticipate questions and concerns

Make use of your past client interactions to anticipate the questions that might come up. For example, if you know your client is moving to another state, they may be concerned that their coverage will change and be nervous about finding a new primary care provider. Or, perhaps they’ve heard that a number of Advantage Plans are now offering OTC benefits, but don’t know whether their plan provides this. By preempting their questions, your clients get the sense that you have their best interests at heart and that they can count on you to give them clear information about topics that affect them.

#3. Make getting in touch with you easy

Give your clients options on how they can contact you—especially during AEP or any SEPs. And always follow up in a timely manner! Make sure you’re available by phone, email, text, video chat or in person. Face-to-face communication is still the preferred method of communication for most baby boomers, but that doesn’t mean that’s always what they’ll want. They should always be able to get a hold of you within a day or two when concerns arise. If they can’t, they’re more likely to look to another agent for a plan.

#4. Be up front about coverage

Each plan you sell has unique strengths and weaknesses. Unless your client is purchasing the most expensive plan you offer, they’ll likely have to make some compromises on benefits or pay a higher price tag on deductibles or copays/coinsurance. Be up front about the negatives and the positives from the start to avoid disappointment or unpleasant interactions later in the year. If you’re straightforward about the pros and cons, your clients won’t be surprised when they encounter a procedure or specialist visit that’s not covered in the way they thought. Your clients already understand that they likely won’t get everything they want out of a plan, but they should be informed about the specifics. As long as you’ve clearly presented what their plan covers, they’re unlikely to go searching elsewhere.

#5. Thoroughly explain the enrollment process

The enrollment process can be tricky for both first-time enrollees and current clients who are simply switching over to another plan within your coverage group. Make the process easier by being sure your clients have all the information they need to sign up. Reassure them that if they have questions, they’ll have access to the answers quickly. Clients can get frustrated if they run into problems with the administrative side of their plans. You can’t control Medicare rules and regulations or the systems within the companies you sell for, but you can do your best to make onboarding as streamlined as possible for your clients. 

#6. Follow all Medicare guidelines for agents

Above all, ensure you’re following all the rules for Medicare agents as far as methods of communication, how plan information must be presented, and how you can help them enroll.

Enrollment periods are always going to be your busiest time of the year, but the extra time and effort you put into helping and educating your client base now will pay off in the end!

 

 

image credit: shutterstock/winnievinzence