What a Waste: 400 Missed Referrals Caused This Broker to Rethink His Approach to AEP

July 19, 2021

Ben Sullivan came to Medicare sales as a way to help his mother after she was diagnosed with aggressive liver disease. She wanted his help to find a Medicare plan that would meet the needs of her illness.

At the time, he knew very little about Medicare or how to help her. In his research, he discovered that because of her condition and the medication she was taking, she would qualify for “catastrophic coverage” in the June after her diagnosis.

The coverage ensures she would only pay the copayment for covered drugs. Only a small percentage of people in the United States qualify for the type of coverage Ben found for his mother, and the information on it is scarce. But because of his diligence and dedication, he was able to uncover the best plan for her.

This information was a massive relief for both of them.

“It made me feel really good, and I wanted to help out more people. That was my whole goal and why I first became a Medicare broker,” - Ben Sullivan

When he officially became a Medicare broker, Ben wanted to make sure that he did that for every one of his clients.

AEP left him looking for better ways to connect with beneficiaries

He soon learned that the period between Oct 15th and Dec. 7th (Medicare’s annual enrollment period - AEP) kept him busy with current clients. Finding space to connect with possible new clients became increasingly tricky.

AEP is the only time those eligible for Medicare (except under special enrollments) have the chance to enroll for the first time or change their Part D drug plans. It’s a notoriously hectic process for both beneficiaries and Medicare brokers.

He and the other brokers could reach out to all of their established clients before AEP began, but they could only complete drug reviews during AEP. That meant that each broker had (on average) 500 clients to process.

With their focus on current clients, following up and also building new relationships with the more than 400 new referrals who reached out to them every year was nearly impossible.

There never seemed to be enough time to do both.

Being too busy hurt his clients and his sales

Medicare costs and covered benefits can change from year to year. AEP creates an opportunity  annually when people with Medicare (like Ben’s Mom) can reach out to their brokers and take a look at their coverage.

It is also the only time when those who are eligible and not currently enrolled can enroll. Knowing that and knowing that there are only 53 days between Oct. 15th and Dec 7th meant Ben had a routine that was not only back-breaking but unsustainable.

Old Routine:

  1. Bulk email your clients requesting appointments & drug lists
  2. Transfer (sometimes manually) information to current CRM & quoting tool
  3. Complete all the required individual drug reviews
  4. Analyze information from every phone call
  5. Send recommendations to every client one at a time
  6. Book appointments to explain recommendations and enrollment.
  7. Call all those needing plan changes (30 minutes (min) for each call)
  8. Enroll or change plans for each client
  9. Spend 100% of time with current clients
  10. Have NO TIME for referral/lead follow-ups

It just didn’t add up to an efficient way of doing things. Ben knew he had to find something that would help him free up some of the valuable time he needed.

Unexpected changes to Medicare.gov made things even more difficult

To top it all off, Medicare.gov removed the option to save a beneficiary’s drug list in 2019. It was a move that sent Ben and his colleagues scrambling. They needed a new way to generate an accurate list of their client’s current and past drug data, adding even more time to an already overly busy day.

Accurate drug data is crucial information agents require to create a baseline that shows a complete view of a client’s pharmaceutical history. With this list, agents have the valuable insight needed to present the best drug plan suggestions.

Without it, the time for each drug review increased significantly. Instead, each agent would have to rely on a beneficiary’s access to the data and their memory when gathering information.

Hoping to find a solution, Ben explored the many online CRM (customer relationship management) systems and enrollment platforms that were available for his firm.

An all-in-one platform that would save time and (hallelujah!) drug data

Trusty Select Pro quickly emerged as a front runner in Ben’s search because of its seamless integration with Medicare.gov’s Blue Button 2.0 technology. With it (and the beneficiary’s permission), a broker can digitally transfer a clients’ prescription, dosage, and frequency data without manual entry.

However, it was the Instant Plan and Drug Review tool that won Ben over. Instead of individually uploading each of his beneficiaries’ drug information, he could use the tool to bulk email all of them to request Blue Button 2.0 authorization. Then he could import their data in one batch, all within the Trusty Select Pro platform.

At least 30% of his time each day could be saved on drug reviews during AEP

“The connections you have with your client come under stress when you find you have no time for small talk. By batch processing my drug reviews, I could free up a huge amount of my time during AEP. It would allow me the time to discuss other plan options or even just ask them how they are doing.” - Ben Sullivan

A completely automated batch drug review process allows brokers like Ben to offer drug reviews to up to 5,000 beneficiaries at once. The new routine now looked much more manageable.

New Routine:

  1. Bulk email clients with appointment & drug lists requests (Blue Button 2.0 authorization)
  2. Run 1 automated Instant Plan & Rx Review (all 500 clients processed at once)
  3. Send Drug Plan review results to each client all at once
  4. Book appointments if necessary or if client enrolls in a new Rx Plan.
  5. Enroll or change plans for above clients on same platform  
  6. Save 30% (minimum) more time every day during AEP

Time savings meant he could provide better service. Better service meant reduced dis-enrollment, faster time-to-sale, and available touchpoints with consumers all year round. Most importantly, it allowed time to focus on:

  1. Helping customers that needed more of his time
  2. Following-up on referrals and leads
  3. Analyzing customer needs efficiently
  4. Updating beneficiary profiles quickly

Continuing to make a difference for retirees like his Mom

Ben now works as an account executive for Trusty.care. Like most of the team, Ben shares a commitment to helping retirees find affordable healthcare options. And though Ben’s mother still struggles with her condition, affording her care and medications is something she can rest easier about now knowing Ben is there to help.

Contact us to learn more about the affordable, all-in-one platform, Trusty Select Pro. It’s an online system designed to help Medicare brokers as well as beneficiaries. Ask for your Free 30 Minute AEP Workflow Consultation.

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