Today marks the beginning of the Medicare Annual Election Period, which runs every year from October 15th through December 7th. It’s funny how it doesn’t get the same fanfare as the upcoming Open Enrollment Period in the individual market. The reason is because we’ve been doing it for a while and, for the most part, have worked out most of the bugs. And the same thing will happen in the individual market – it’ll just take some time.
For those agents who do sell Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans, you should consider selling individual health insurance as well if you’re not already. There are a lot of similarities between the two markets, which means that if you’ve learned how to succeed at one, you can very likely succeed at the other. In both cases, people are shopping for private health insurance plans that are guaranteed issue and available annually during a short enrollment period. The government has set up an exchange site for both that allows people to compare their options, but that’s not the only way to purchase the plans. After completing a required annual certification, agents are allowed to sell products in both of these markets, and most consumers still rely on the assistance of agents when trying to find the most appropriate coverage. There is some standardization to the plans, but there are also some differences that need to be explained – the plans are not cookie-cutter. And, once enrolled, most people are happy with their coverage.
While there is some overlap between the two enrollment periods (about 3 weeks), there’s not complete overlap, which means that agents who sell both products have 4 months a year to sell and then 8 months to spend all the money they make… Of course, therre’s plenty of other stuff to do during your downtime as well. If you currently sell Medicare products and would like to learn more about how to start selling individual health in the most efficient and productive way possible, click here.