Medicare agents are starting to get that feeling of excitement that happens just before the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) begins on Oct. 15th. You’re likely also feeling a little bit nervous that your growing list of AEP to-dos will never get done in time.
It is notoriously the most hectic time of the year for Medicare agents.
Relax! With the right technology, you'll be able to stay on top of your tasks and get through AEP unscathed AND thriving as well.
New and veteran health insurance agents agree that a few specific items consume the majority of time during AEP. They include:
That’s a lot to manage. But you can help your current AEP clients more efficiently and make time to follow up on leads and new sales when you use the following tools.
For Medicare agents, the past year has been challenging as so many seniors were reluctant to leave their homes during the pandemic. Out of necessity, seniors quickly became more comfortable with video conferencing, are continuing to use it.
A 2020 Michigan State University poll on healthy aging said 64% of retired people polled feel very or somewhat comfortable with video conferencing technologies, up from 53% in 2019.
One of the most popular is Zoom, which provides easy-to-use video communications. But did you also know that it allows for an online space for phone conversations, webinars, and chat too?
Webinars and group conferences can eliminate your needing to repeat the same thing over and over to different people individually. Zoom lets you show what's on your screen to everyone else on the call, seamlessly pass control of the meeting to another person, and record the call as a video.
How it works: Zoom's core products are the audio and video conferences that allow two or more people to communicate online.
Watch an overview here.
Zoom Meetings happen in the Zoom app or via the Zoom website. A paid subscription isn't necessary to start using it. If someone else invites you to a Zoom meeting, you don't need a subscription at all. You just follow the instructions as laid out in the email.
You'll need a Zoom account to start a Zoom Meeting of your own, which you can create for free. Go to the Zoom website and simply sign up. It's free to do. It's located at the top of the homepage with instructions.
Once completed, you'll be able to start your meetings though you are limited to 40 minutes at a time.
Pricing: Free option (limited). Tiered pricing and usage plan available
Transition/Learning expectations: Zoom is well regarded as a reliable, high-quality conferencing tool that works quickly and effectively. Most people will encounter Zoom simply through a meeting that has been set up by someone else. Zoom provides a searchable support page on their website.
Both Apple Reminders and Google Tasks are get-things-done apps for managing your to-dos. Both apps are available on your preferred device (apple or android) and online (web-versions you can access on PCs).
"Automating some of my tasks or reminders really helps me out a lot. It's especially useful when I have a lot going on. Those automated reminders ensure I don't let anything fall through the cracks." - Clayton Bowen, Head of Customer Success, Trusty.care
Top features included in both apps:
Apple Reminders has more built-in capabilities but operates outside of your calendars.
Google Task List is limited in its functionality but can be incorporated into your calendars.
How it works: Both apps have uncomplicated design and function. They have one screen which works as your homepage and working space.
Apple Reminders offers more intuitive organization. Its workspace is divided into two columns. It has a sidebar for navigating through the app, and your reminders appear on the more central column. You can see everything in the app at once.
In Google Tasks, you can only view one list at a time. This is something that will work great for minimalists. If you don't like too much information on one page, you might prefer Google Tasks' approach. The three-bar icon lets you access all the lists in your app (bottom left corner). Both the user interface options will work. It depends on your preferences.
Transition/Learning expectations: Apple Reminders and Google Tasks are both straightforward apps. Your preference depends on whether you prefer Apple or Google.
Quote, enroll, and save client data without all the administrative burden that comes with it. Trusty Select Pro is an all-in-one Medicare sales platform that uses automation to your advantage, allowing you to compare and evaluate up to 5000 beneficiaries' plans in minutes.
"The connections you have with your clients come under stress when you find you have no time for small talk. By batch processing my drug reviews, I free up a huge amount of my time during AEP. It allows me the time to discuss other plan options or even just ask my clients how they are doing." - Ben Sullivan
Other professionals currently using it say it can shave 30% off AEP administration time and, in some cases, much more. And by allowing views of all Medicare plans (MAPD, SNP, MS, and PDP), it's also a tool that helps improve Medicare sales growth.
Along with those capabilities, it works as a customer relationship manager (CRM) for your client's relevant healthcare data, including creating a saved space for their drug lists.
Watch an overview here.
How it works: With the seamless integration of Medicare Blue Button 2.0 technology, you're able to quickly onboard and transfer each of your clients' digital data with a click of the mouse.
Once your beneficiaries' information is transferred into the app, you're now able to:
Most agents who are currently using it access its features way before AEP even starts. Sending bulk emails and Blue Button 2.0 authorization requests can begin as early as July.
Pricing: Low monthly costs with no transaction-per-enrollment fee
Transition/Learning expectations: With an entire library of how-to videos available through Trusty.care University, learning each feature and onboarding your clients will be a snap. If that's not enough or you prefer a more personal approach, they also offer one-one guidance.
Calendly is an app for scheduling appointments, meetings, and events. Its goal is to eliminate all the back-and-forth when trying to coordinate times to meet. Rather than email chains and playing phone tag, you can send your availability with a Calendly link even to those who don't use Calendly.
The app makes it easy to schedule appointments while respecting everyone's schedules.
"The costless version of Calendly is the best thing about the platform because I can access its important features without shelling out money. I also like that it can integrate with my personal calendar so I can keep track of my business and personal appointments and avoid conflicts."
- Kristina, FinancesOnline Reviewer.
[embed video how to: https://help.calendly.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000234614-Video-Tutorials]
How it works: For individuals, invitees select a meeting slot from your schedule. They only see the times you're available and only the length and type of meeting you want to have.
For businesses, you can offer sessions that are a few minutes or a few hours for one invitee or a group. Automated round-robin, first-available, or geography-based assignments let you easily divvy up meetings in any way that works for your team members.
Pricing: Basic, free option. Premium, $8/month. Pro, $12/user/month
Transition/Learning expectations: A well-organized help center can answer most of your questions and provide how-tos for all features.
The point of technology is to make our lives easier and more productive. Since time is a particularly precious resource during AEP, agents should use the best tools that get the most bang for their buck.
Quoting faster, following up on leads easier, and meeting the needs of the beneficiaries is your first priority. By investing in the right tools now, you're setting your business up for a successful AEP this year and many years to come.
Learn more about how Trusty Select Pro can be a part of your AEP season. Schedule a no-obligation demonstration or call us for more information.