Now is the time to compliantly communicate with clients and prospects before AEP. If you haven’t started, don’t wait. With everything that’s happened in the last year, your Medicare enrollees may have even more questions than usual. Below are eight ways to connect before AEP, as well as a list of compliance reminders.
Reasons to Connect
1. Communication Preferences
Check in with your clients to see what their preferred communications are. This is a good way to comply with Medicare permission requirements while respecting your clients’ wishes. Find out if they prefer phone calls, texts or emails, and whether they are on social media.
2. Tech Prep
Some of your clients will be vaccinated and back to doing things in person, but others will still be isolating. Reach out to your clients to see if they would prefer to meet in-person or remotely this year. If they want to meet remotely, make sure they’re comfortable with the technology you’ll be using, and offer to guide them through the process if needed.
3. Holidays and Special Dates
When you’re checking communication preferences, also ask about birthdays, anniversaries, and favorite holidays. Keep this information on file and send out cards at the appropriate times throughout the year.
People love thank-you cards. Sending a hand-written thank you card at least once a year is a great way to show your appreciation. If you haven’t sent one yet this year, do so now.
5. COVID Vaccine Information
Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine. If clients ask or have shown interest in the past, make sure they know the vaccine is available at no cost. If they have any questions about the vaccine and related safety issues, send them to a reputable source, such as the CDC. If they’re having trouble finding a vaccine or getting to a vaccination site, they can go to Vaccine.gov for a vaccine finder, information on getting a vaccine in their home, and other common questions.
6. General Medicare Updates
Sharing information on important Medicare updates and warnings is a great way to stay in touch with your clients. You don’t have to write much – just send the link with a short message. Make sure you’re using reliable sources, like Medicare.gov, the SSA Blog, CMS and the CDC. You can also find great information at the WAP Facebook page.
While you cannot market any specific plans or plan changes until October 1, you can send general Medicare information and scam warnings.
Not everything you send has to be urgent medical news. Also send fun updates. You should keep your messages professional – avoid anything that is religious or political. Focus on topics that are interesting to seniors, as well as tips that could help improve their quality of life, such as:
- Information on hobbies that your clients enjoy
- Travel tips for seniors
- Fitness and nutrition tips for seniors
- Health and safety advice for seniors
8. Retention Letter
This is a big one. You should start working on your retention letters now. That way, they’ll be ready to put in the mail on September 1. Head to the Marketing & More tab in the Medicare Engine for templates and compliance guidelines. You can also send your letter to compliance@WesternAssetProtection.com for a compliance check.
Always Stay Compliant!
When communicating with clients, remember these compliance tips.
- Use a 12-point font size in Times New Roman or a similarly-sized font in your retention letter and email signature.
- You are no longer required to include your hours of operation., but it’s a nice touch.
- Also include TTY: 711 after your phone number and note that the call will be answered by a licensed agent.