Brokers who have come through a successful AEP and are reaping the benefits of their hard work may be tempted to take their foot off the gas during OEP, but they would only be missing opportunities to develop an indispensable relationship with their clientele. OEP is a prime opportunity to offer value to your book of business and generate new commission opportunities via Medicare Supplement Insurance plans.
You are likely aware of the restrictions brokers face during OEP (but if you need a refresher on OEP restrictions, download our OEP cheatsheet). While they may seem inhibitive, these restrictions present opportunities to set you and your agency apart from your competition.
OEP is an opportunity for beneficiaries on Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to change to a different MA plan or to switch back to Original Medicare. Chances are if a clients requests to switch to an Original Medicare plan, they may need a Medicare Supplement plan to alleviate gaps in their new coverage.
What are the benefits of offering a Medicare Supplement Plan to your clientele:
- Medicare Supplement plans cover any holes left by the traditional Medicare Parts A and B plans by paying for the things that A and B don’t cover like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. This gives beneficiaries the peace-of-mind that can be hard to come by when living on a fixed income.
- Medicare Supplement plans can be more budget-friendly. Where a Medicare Advantage plan may have been too rich in unneeded benefits, the right Medicare Supplement plan may be the perfect option to meet a beneficiary’s budget and health needs.
- Medicare Supplement plans are federally-standardized making it a sure-fire way to ensure your client gets the coverage they need.
- Renewal of Medicare Supplement plans are guaranteed, even if your client has health problems. As long as they are paying their premiums they will be covered.
Brokers have much to gain by adding Medicare Supplement plans to their portfolio:
- Medicare Supplement plans can be sold year-round, giving you additional opportunities to generate commissions during OEP and over the spring and summer months. Veteran brokers know that offering value to your clientele throughout the year is a key component of building a successful business as a Medicare broker.
- Many carriers offer “per enrollment” bonuses and incentives to brokers who actively enroll beneficiaries into new Med Supp plans. Humana, for example, offers a variety of bonus programs based on your state. You can see which Humana Med Supp bonus program you’re eligible for here.
- Offering a portfolio that includes Medigap plans makes your relationship to your clientele indispensable. Your goal should be to develop the kind of relationship with your clients where you’ve become indispensable to them, offering them value and options no matter their circumstances or season of life. This includes beneficiaries who enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan during their ICEP but want to downgrade to simpler Medicare Parts A and B plans. The ability to offer the right Medicare Supplement policy is the perfect move in these instances.
The key to offering Medicare Supplement plans to your clients is to understand their health needs, budget, and personal tolerance for carrying multiple cards and paying multiple premiums.
Additionally, rates vary by ZIP code, age, gender, marital status, and tobacco use, but with 10 plans options to offer, ideal coverage can be found for any beneficiary.
As you strive to offer exceptional service to clients during this OEP season, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest carrier Medicare Supplement updates and news. Humana, for instance, has improved their competitive position with Medicare Supplement in many states these last few months. If you haven’t already, download this guide to make sure you’re using the right Humana Med Supp kits with the right applications and that your supplies are still approved for use.