How to Increase Medicare Sales in 2018

How to Increase Medicare Sales in 2018With over 58 million people receiving Medicare benefits in 2017, and nearly 10,000 Baby Boomers aging into Medicare each day, the potential to increase Medicare sales in 2018 is unprecedented.1 Agencies may need to adjust their priorities to take advantage of these vast sales opportunities, but expanding your agency’s focus to include Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement (Medigap), and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans can result in a sizable increase in profits.

As the fastest growing market, the spending power of the Baby Boomers can have a direct impact on your 2018 revenue through Medicare sales. With commissions for first time Medicare buyers increasing in 2018 to $455 nationally for Medicare Advantage with prescription drug coverage and $222 for renewals, you can estimate the potential for substantial gain.2

Agencies that want the competitive edge in Medicare should revise marketing and sales strategies to prepare for consumers turning 65, Medicare recipients eligible for Special Enrollment Periods, or individuals making a change to their Medicare health insurance during the Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7) in 2018.

Consider these ways to increase Medicare sales:

Become a Medicare Expert

Medicare sales may act as a catalyst for increasing your 2018 revenue, but success will depend on your understanding of the market and your agents’ commitment to a fluid learning process that requires continued attention and annual training.

Compliance

Your agency will have to navigate the laws and regulations that govern Medicare marketing, and licensed sales agents must exhibit strict compliance with CMS regulations.  The Medicare Marketing Guidelines reflect the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans and must be adhered to in any marketing promotions, print campaigns, direct mail, or online advertising.

Trust

Selling Medicare plans for the first time? Encourage your agents to put themselves in the shoes of someone looking for Medicare insurance. Knowledge of plans, benefits, costs, and marketing regulations simply isn’t enough. Agents become trusted advisors for Medicare recipients and their caregivers. In an extremely competitive market, the most successful sales agencies have built a reputation as trusted leaders in the Medicare arena.

Expertise

Learning the best lead generation and sales tactics for the Medicare market is important, but in order to close sales successfully and retain those clients, leading to ancillary product sales and referral business, agents need to work closely with clients to help them find the right Medicare insurance plan at the right price. Medicare options, plans, benefits, and costs can be complicated, but at the core of Medicare sales success is the relationship between an agent and client. Agents need to act as knowledgeable advisors to their clients, but once they have successfully proven themselves, the potential for referral business is exponential.

Use Technology to Increase Medicare Sales

Innovative technology can serve a multitude of purposes. The right solution can streamline lead generation, management, and distribution, and can help you meet your Medicare sales goals in 2018. A comprehensive online solution can help you maintain compliance with CMS regulations, decrease cost per sale, and include a robust CRM and agency management tool.  Specifically designed for insurance carriers and brokerages, customizable online solutions can help optimize operations, automate sales and marketing, and track campaigns. Real-time reporting can change the way you manage your book of business, giving your agents more time to focus on the ultimate goal – selling.

These powerful tools will also allow you to create customer-facing platforms that can integrate a quoting engine with plan comparisons, premium calculators, and application submission capabilities.

One easy-to-use solution focusing on meeting your Medicare marketing and sales goals can change the way an agency operates. It should assist in the sales process and give your agents an edge over competitors in the Medicare space.

Get Involved In the Community

With a level of trust already built into the client relationship, referrals are one of the best sources of quality leads. How can you tap into the community of Baby Boomers and seniors aging into Medicare or looking to make a change in their Medicare coverage?

  • Develop a friendly rapport with local senior organizations
  • Participate in fundraising events, recreation center activities, and sponsorships
  • Introduce yourself to local professionals who work with seniors in your area, including financial advisors, lawyers, real estate professionals, and CPA’s.
  • Host informational events in local senior living communities or libraries

Before participating in any events or promotions, please refer to federal, state and local laws to make sure you are in compliance with Medicare-related regulations when it comes to any activities, marketing, or referral rewards programs.

Support Your Agents

Selling Medicare can be challenging, especially if your agency is branching out into this market for the first time. Having an agency’s support can relieve some of the stress on agents venturing into Medicare sales for the first time.

How can an agency make a difference?

  • Provide training and inform agents of required training
  • Manage agent certifications so they can sell specific plans in specific states
  • Contact carriers to request hosting certification courses onsite for agents to attend (when face-to-face training is required)
  • Provide toolkits and guides to help agents navigate the ins and outs of selling Medicare
  • Help interpret guidelines and protocols from CMS and carriers
  • Provide CMS-approved templates for easy marketing
  • Offer a diverse portfolio of plan types to appeal to a variety of client needs

Medicare recipients have an array of different needs, and an agent with a broad scope of products to offer will be better equipped to find the Medicare insurance coverage that is best for their client.

For instance, when first eligible for Medicare, recipients will have the option of choosing to get their benefits from Original Medicare or through a Medicare Advantage plan. Depending on the needs and preferences of an individual client, there are financial and health-related factors that may determine the benefits of one or the other. An agency that sells Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement (also known as Medigap), and Prescription Drug Plans will give their agents and their clients more options to choose from.

Take Advantage of Outsourcing

Consider the benefits of using an outside call center to funnel Medicare leads into, allowing your current agents to continue selling the other insurance products they are more comfortable with. Until your onsite agents are knowledgeable enough to sell Medicare products, you may have more overall sales success by purchasing leads and sending referrals from your current agents to the outside call center.

With Medicare enrollments increasing dramatically thanks to the influx of Baby Boomers into retirement, 2018 might be your agency’s best year to date. The potential increase in profits from Medicare sales can be worth the time and effort it takes to embrace new tactics and tools. Get started early by implementing strategies that will prepare your agents for unrivaled success in Medicare sales in 2018.


1) The Growth of the U.S. Aging Population; Seniorcare.com; https://www.seniorcare.com/featured/aging-america/

2) Agent Broker Compensation; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services;  https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Health-Plans/ManagedCareMarketing/AgentBroker.html