LIS is a federal program, commonly referred to as Medicare Extra Help, that helps Medicare beneficiaries pay for their prescription drugs. The program is designed to help beneficiaries who do not qualify for Medicaid but still need financial assistance. Social Security tells us that beneficiaries with LIS save an average of $3,900 per year on their prescription drugs. That means that people can pay about $2 for a prescription instead of, say, $40.
Most LIS-eligible beneficiaries don’t even know that they are eligible for Extra Help. You can help your existing clients better afford their health care by helping them apply for LIS. You can also encourage new leads to apply, giving them an opportunity to refer back to you later to purchase a new plan.
The LIS program provides tremendous support for prescription drug coverage for clients with Part D and Medicare Advantage plans. LIS provides:
A senior is eligible for LIS at 150% of the Federal Poverty Level with (2017):
Income ($18,090/yr individual, $24,360/yr marital)
Resources/Assets ($13,820 individual, $27,600 marital)
The best way to find seniors that need help applying for LIS is by going to them. Talk to event coordinators and owners at senior living and recreational centers as well as banks, malls, community events like fairs and farmers markets, etc. to see if you can host a table or booth. By helping seniors apply for LIS, you won’t make any direct sales but you’ll build relationships which can become very strong leads.
IMPORTANT – You must register your event as an “informal sales event” with CMS. Even though you won’t be selling at the event, you won’t be able to collect lead information and permission to call without classifying the event as such.
When you pitch to event coordinators, remember to discuss what they can gain from hosting your event. If seniors can save hundreds on their prescription drugs with LIS, they can better afford their rent and leisure. The only thing the vendor will have to do is hold a sign up sheet, if you have one. Sign up sheets are a good idea to prevent seniors from all coming at one time and having to wait in a line, but CMS compliance states that you cannot hold a sign up sheet. The vendor, however, can do that for you.
When seniors come to your events and fill out applications, ask them to fill out lead cards as well, giving you permission to call them later to discuss their health plan. Additionally, make sure to follow up with your attendees after about a month. Ask if they received their LIS application response – if they were approved, then help them proceed by setting up an appointment with them. Ask them to agree to a Scope Of Appointment so that you can discuss their plan in that appointment. If they were not approved, let them know that you can help them make changes to their plan during OEP.
With LIS, you’re helping clients save money in a way that they had probably not even heard of before. You won’t make an immediate profit, but you’ll be building solid relationships with new clients. If you can save your clients money before you’re even earning commissions from their plans, they’ll trust you more later. You can become their Medicare contact for questions, concerns, and plan changes.
What are you waiting for? Contact your local senior facilities and event coordinators now, so you can simultaneously help seniors and grow your business.