The use of e-applications jumped significantly during the COVID-19 lockdown, a trend which continued during 2022 AEP as agents realized the relative ease of enrolling their clients electronically. If you are still handling a lot of paper applications, you’re missing out on the many advantages this technology offers. There is no better time than the present to make the transition to e-applications – a step that will benefit both you and your clients.
Benefits of E-Applications
Some carriers are moving away from paper applications completely, accepting only e-applications. It’s likely more carriers will soon follow suit. If you want to continue to work with these carriers, you’ll need to adapt. E-applications are faster and more accurate, providing an improved process that saves time and money.
Some benefits of e-applications include:
- They are faster to complete, which reduces processing time.
- Result in fewer mistakes, since the application technology can alert you to missing or incorrect information. In contrast, errors on paper applications can sometimes be difficult and time consuming to correct, causing unnecessary delays and frustration for you and your client, especially with last-minute applications.
- Reduce the need to store paper applications and SOAs to meet CMS requirements.
- Result in fewer applications sent through the mail, therefore reducing your mailing costs and the time you spend waiting for mail to be delivered.
Switching to online e-applications allows you to focus more time on prospecting, enabling you to grow your business. Since the entire process of completing, submitting, and approving applications is quicker, you will also receive payment sooner. That means more money in your pocket in less time.
Seniors’ Expectations Have Changed
Your clients are also changing. The perception that seniors are slow to use online tools and adapt to innovative technology is no longer accurate. Pew Research Center reports adoption of online technology among older adults has grown substantially in the last decade, with 45% of Americans 65 and older using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This is a fourfold increase since 2010 – and those numbers will continue to grow.
According to the United States Census Bureau, by 2030, there will be approximately 73 million Baby Boomers – people born between 1946 and 1964 – all aged 65 or above. As younger Baby Boomers age into Medicare, this demographic will contain more people who are comfortable with online technology, because they have already used it both in their work and personal lives. More independent and self-sufficient than previous cohorts, they want to be able to access information and take care of business online. They have different expectations for their Medicare experience than their predecessors – you need to be able to meet those expectations, especially where digital technology is concerned. If you are still working with paper applications, many people in this audience will view your methods as outdated and inefficient, which gives your competitors an edge.
Work Smarter with MedicareCENTER
Agents who work with Western Asset Protection (WAP) know they are supported with the best online tools available. MedicareCenter is an all-in-one CRM, quoting tool, and enrollment platform, offered free to all WAP agents. These tools allow you to work more efficiently and better serve your clients. You can store client information and Scope of Appointments, run quotes, and enroll clients all from the same platform.
MedicareCENTER also offers CMS-compliant call recording capabilities that include:
- Inbound and outbound call recording and encryption with storage and download solutions
- Call recording storage for 10 years, as required by CMS
- The CMS-required script for the beginning of each prospect call
- Access to all your recordings, even if you leave the platform
MedicareCENTER has changed the way our agents run their business, allowing them to work more accurately and efficiently.
No Better Time Than Now
As more Baby Boomers age into Medicare, more are choosing to enroll in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. The number of Americans in a MA plan increased to 26 million in 2022 – that’s roughly 42% of all Medicare enrollees. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that share will rise to 51% by 2030.
To take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity, you need to position yourself with the right tools for success. Western Asset Protection is here to support you in reaching your goals. Contact us today to learn more.