*Agent Use Only. Not For Use With the General Public*
Welcome to the 2023 AEP for CY2024 enrollments, which lasts from October 15-December 7. We're ready for another great AEP season!
As everyone knows, it's been another year of a lot of disruption on many fronts.
I'd like to talk a little bit about some of the highlights in my mind, including lots of compliance changes, increasing OTC benefits, broadening of D-SNPs, and the push with Health Risk Assessments (HRAs).
Compliance is the hot button issue for all of us. I think the biggest change on all of our minds this AEP is the 48-hour Scope of Appointment (SOA) rule.
Note: Please download this compliance guide – it's a great resource for you with all the 2024 updates at your fingertips.
At this point, you probably already have your own system down, but I'd encourage you to have your clients sign an SOA every time you see them. That’ll alleviate the need to wait 48 hours in the future as SOAs are valid for 12 months.
Not that we want to confuse the clients, but the rules have changed to the point where we have to think in advance like that.
Also, get familiar with the exceptions.
You must obtain an SOA 48 hours prior to a personal marketing appointment unless it is the last 4 days of an individual’s valid enrollment period or the individual initiated an in‑person walk‑in meeting.
MedicareCENTER has a timer in place to help you as well, so make sure to check out that new feature if you haven't already.
SOAs aren't the only change for 2024 marketing, so I'd highly encourage you to watch this webinar replay with compliance expert, Chalen Jackson.
I think people are glad they’re not looking at Joe Namath or Jimmie JJ Walker on TV anymore.
I’m still seeing some things on TV that I’m surprised are allowed to be there, but overall, it's getting better.
I’ve been seeing star ratings that are trending up overall, and that’s always good news.
Part of that star rating is consumer satisfaction, so anytime things are improving for the consumer, that's always good news for all of us.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Benefits
We're really seeing a migration of ancillary benefits moving to Over-the-Counter (OTC) benefits. And of course, dental benefits are still very important to everyone.
Transportation, healthy foods, flex cards with Dental, Vision, and Hearing (DVH) allowances on it – these are some of the drivers that people are looking at.
I just saw a comparison of several PPO plans out of Indianapolis, and we have carriers like Zing offering $788 in OTC benefits, $700 in DVH benefits on a flex card, $660 in healthy food and utilities, and 12 one-way trips.
The combined annual flexible benefit purse with that product is over $2,100. It's like nothing we've ever seen before.
A couple I just saw have Medicare Advantage products. The wife talked highly of the OTC benefit that’s been beefed up a little with Aetna.
The add-ons we're seeing with MA plans are very robust, and they continue to increase and expand each and every year.
We're seeing a clear broadening of the Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) market across the country.
These plans are for people on the lower income side of the strata that are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. These plans are really beefed up, and they're getting a lot of funding and support from the government.
Health Risk Assessments (HRAs)
There's a push with Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) right now. Most companies are actually paying brokers to fill those out in a timely fashion.
UHC has a 30 day window and Aetna has a 3 day window as examples.
The bottom line here is agents can be paid to produce this HRA on a timely basis, so I'd encourage you to do that this AEP.
There are some big updates to MedicareCENTER for this AEP, all thanks to Ask Integrity, a new, AI-powered digital assistant for agents:
- Call Summary Feature: Did you know you can get in-depth Call Summaries from previous client calls, delivered on-demand before your next appointment?
- In-the-moment AI Prompts like Specialist Recommendations personalized to client history and preferences, so you can find the right plan for each situation
- Secure Client Data Storage that gives you and your clients peace of mind
- Client Information Summaries to help you to know every client better, no matter how long you have worked together
There have also been some updates to help you stay compliant, including:
- SOA form guidelines, 48-hour rule tracking and exception management
- A Pre-Enrollment Checklist script to be read over the phone to prospective clients
- Automatic inclusion of new TPMO language and carrier statistics on an agent’s PlanEnroll Personal Agent Website
- Messaging that uses PlanEnroll branding to adhere to CMS requirements for allowed domain names
Learn more about MedicareCENTER here.
The initial response to the beginning of the AEP is really positive. Carriers are encouraged by initial numbers coming in, and I expect this fall to be our best AEP yet.
Contact us if you have any questions about MedicareCENTER or any of the products we can offer our clients for 2024.