Medicare Open Enrollment Season: Best Practices for Carriers, Organizations, and MGAs/MGUs

This is part of the list supported by AgentSync.

With pumpkin spice just around the corner, we can smell the arrival of the busiest time of the year for carriers, agencies, MGAs/MGUs. Yes, you guessed it, we’re talking about Medicare’s open enrollment season – Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

If you’re a carrier, agency, or MGA/MGU and you’re trying to keep up with the workload before, during, and after Medicare’s open enrollment season, don’t panic. We’re here to guide you in the best ways to ensure a successful season for you, your producers, and your customers.

Why is Medicare enrollment so high?

Medicare open enrollment is an opportunity for Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that best fits their needs.

It is important to note: At this time, only beneficiaries who are already enrolled in a Medicare plan can switch between Medicare Advantage plans. If you have questions about the complexities of the Medicare enrollment period, see our intro to Medicare piecewhich covers the who, what, when, and why of Medicare.

Efforts are being made to raise awareness of the importance of the open enrollment period and the opportunity to exchange plans. In 2021, one in eight Medicare beneficiaries — 8.3 million people — chose an individual plan during enrollment, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.. Fortunately, the number of beneficiaries taking advantage of this registration period will only increase in 2022.

Therefore, carriers, agencies, and MGA/MGUs should be ready to handle the business.

Best practices for carriers, agencies, and MGA/MGUs

Although Medicare’s open enrollment period continues to account for about 10 percent of participants, there are still millions of older and disabled Americans seeking help through Medicare exchanges. And this is not something carriers, agencies, or MGAs/MGUs can ignore.

When done right, the open enrollment period is an opportunity for these companies to prove that they are a well-oiled machine, gain traction with manufacturers, and help Medicare beneficiaries live better lives. But when it goes wrong, the open enrollment season can be confusing, stressful, and expensive.

We are of the opinion that the Medicare season should always be handled properly. Therefore, we offer you some of the advantages that will help your company to succeed.

1. Prepare for Medicare registration in advance

To cope with the influx of businesses, carriers, agencies, and MGAs/MGUs often have to onboard new manufacturers to register. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is, and should not, under any circumstances, be left to the last minute.

Recruiting new developers is always a pain. After all, manufacturers have no shortage of companies to work with. On top of that, Medicare’s open enrollment period makes recruiting more difficult because all companies that have a Medicare Advantage arm need help during this time. So the competition is great.

But the truth is, these manufacturers will only work for a short period of time. Carriers, agencies, and MGA/MGUs need the help of these producers to get through the registration period but will not have enough work to keep them busy throughout the year. Therefore, they will be raised soon before Medicare is opened and removed soon.

Hiring these new writers and overseeing the up-and-down work creates more work for existing employees. By planning for this influx of new developers, and setting up recruitment strategies and a way to predict what the ups and downs might look like, companies can set a plan for the best recruiting season.

2. Create a positive experience for developers

Medicare enrollment is annual. It happens every year. Of course, you may not have enough work to keep producers enrolled in Medicare throughout the year, but you know you’ll need them next enrollment period.

By making good information to producers from Medicare during their first open enrollment period, carriers, organizations, and MGAs/MGUs can save time and money on the recruitment process by promoting company loyalty and encouraging producers to return year after year.

Consider this: A carrier has to hire hundreds of manufacturers to manage Medicare’s opening hours. This carrier did not plan for Medicare enrollment in advance and failed to create a plan for loading and unloading. As a result, the entire developer experience is complicated, time-consuming, and confusing.

Next year, as manufacturers prepare for Medicare’s opening season, there isn’t much incentive for manufacturers to return to the same practices. Instead, they may choose to work with a competitor. Besides, the manufacturer heard from his friends that his competitor has a fun and time-saving way to get on and off.

Keeping manufacturers happy is the key to ensuring that carriers, agencies, and MGA/MGUs don’t have to start recruiting writers every time they sign up. So remember, even if these producers are only used seasonally, keeping them happy can lead to year-round success.

3. Use a licensing program to save time and avoid oversight

It’s clear that Medicare enrollment can be a very busy time for everyone involved. So, it’s not surprising that human error can disrupt entry and exit processes.

But high and low manufacturers come with several policies for each type of insurance that the manufacturer sells. The same is true for Medicare Advantage drugs. Therefore, mistakes or errors in the ups and downs can lead to expensive systems. Not a good thing, if you ask us.

Fortunately, carriers, agencies, and MGAs/MGs can avoid slip-ups by using licensing programs. Licensing software helps save time and prevent human error in production and deployment in a number of ways:

  • Fill in the gaps in the licensing process for developers during entry. This allows companies to fix licensing errors before it’s time for manufacturers to sell.
  • Reduce paperwork by digitizing boarding and exit routes. Trust us, less paper is good for your sanity, the sanity of your designers, and the survival of the environment. Win, win, win.
  • Instead of having to remember to terminate, in some cases, thousands of manufacturers, licensing software allows companies to create a deadline that makes that date last.
  • Maintain records and license information for monitoring and market testing. That way, staff won’t have to revise the notes to pull information when it’s time to take the exam.

On top of restricting regulatory actions, licensing programs have the added benefit of controlling what manufacturers do. Manufacturers want to make mounting and dismounting as easy, quick, and painless as possible. By saving data for auto-fill, developers will no longer need to re-enter basic information in multiple fields. In our experience, repeating the information form and format from year to year is one of the things that designers say disrupts their entire experience. Since licensing programs support the licensing process and cover any licensing opportunities, they can be the key to building developer productivity, driving developer loyalty, and encouraging developers to return year after year.

Are you ready to register for free?

We know how to prepare Medicare open enrollment period can feel difficult. After all, once you’re down from last year’s registration period, it’s time to start planning for this year. Fortunately, following these key steps can be a way to ensure successful registration for years to come. If you are a developer, make sure you find time to read our column good practices for manufacturers too. AgentSync can help you register for Medicare, so get a demo with us.

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