Ultimate Guide to Selling Medicare Over the Phone
Many younger Baby Boomers have used the internet for their entire adult lives, so it makes sense that 40 percent of seniors use smartphones. Since Baby Boomers readily familiarize themselves with technology, you should make your phone a huge component of your overall marketing and sales strategy. Many of your prospects may actually prefer to use their phones rather than meet face to face or use paper forms.
Selling Medicare Over the Phone: A Great Opportunity
In order to sell Medicare by phone, you don’t have to live in the state you want to sell in, you just need a license to sell Medicare in that state. That means you’ll be able to reach more people than ever before as long as you have the right skills, education, and certifications.
Selling Medicare over the phone gives you the unique opportunity to connect people with quality and affordable health coverage. People don’t want to spend time sorting through thousands of plans online. They want someone to point them in the right direction and make suggestions based on their budget and lifestyle needs.
How to Sell Medicare Advantage Plans Over the Phone
Knowing how to sell Medicare Advantage plans over the phone can be a giant leap for your business. First, you must be AHIP-certified, and then you must contract with all the carriers whose plans you want to sell. It’s smart to contract with as many possible so you can offer clients a variety of options. This shows them that you are not biased and just want to help them select the best option.
Most Medicare-eligibles will have only two enrollment periods during which you can sell to them, the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which is the seven months surrounding their 65th birthday, and the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which is from October 15 to December 07. Some beneficiaries will qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), which allows you to sell to them at any point during the year.
How to Sell Medicare Supplements by Phone
Medicare Supplements cover expenses such as coinsurance and MA plans cover medical expenses such as doctor visits. Medicare beneficiaries cannot enroll in both a MA plan and a Medigap plan, so it’s important to determine your client’s needs so you aren’t offering something they can’t use.
You’ll need to contract with insurance carriers before you can sell their Medicare Supplement plans, but you won’t need AHIP certification. However, it’s a wise choice to obtain AHIP-certification anyway so you have access to both MA and Medigap plans to provide your clients with the most pertinent options.
Medicare Supplements have 10 different levels of coverage, and each level is associated with a letter. Each “letter” offers the same basic coverage in every state, though some plans may add a few extra benefits. As long as you’re licensed in the client’s state and you’ve contracted with the carrier, you can sell a plan. You can sell Medicare Supplements (Medigap) plans at any time of the year without having to wait for the AEP, which gives you an opportunity to earn commissions all year.
How Do I Get Paid?
In order to sell any Medicare plan, you have to contract with the carrier. Once a beneficiary enrolls in a plan, the carrier will pay you a commission, and some carriers will pay out if a beneficiary renews. You don’t collect any payments directly from the beneficiary.
You can get paid faster if your clients are open to e-enrollment, because it eliminates sending paperwork through the mail. Baby Boomers who use smartphones will likely be less skeptical of digital enrollment than those who don’t, so it’s important to learn your clients’ comfort level with technology.
How to Talk to Baby Boomers
In order to effectively sell Medicare by phone, you’ll have to speak your prospects’ language. Speak confidently. Your prospect will think you’re hiding something if you stumble over words. Be polite. Baby Boomers appreciate good manners and proper phone etiquette.
Baby Boomers like details and information, which is another reason you have to be an expert in Medicare plans. You don’t want to have to continuously put a client on hold while you research their questions about plan details. Go into the meeting organized. Use a CRM to remind you when to call people.
You want to build rapport as quickly as possible with your Baby Boomer prospect. You want to be friendly and approachable, but be careful about becoming too informal. Keep your conversations professional. Ask probing questions and demonstrate that you understand the answer. Use phrases such as, “So from what I understand, you’re looking for a plan that features [insert benefit here].”
Show your clients you care. Health insurance is confusing, and if you’re patient with answers to prospects’ questions, they’ll be more likely to trust you. If your clients go into long stories about their personal lives, gently guide them back to the topic at hand. Your conversations should be intentional, but not stiff.
Word of mouth is huge among Baby Boomers. If you provide a great customer experience, they’ll recommend you to their friends and family. While you aren’t allowed to explicitly ask for referrals in regards to Medicare Advantage, your clients can forward your contact information.
Subscribe to our podcast and listen to “Episode 19: How to Build Client Trust to Make the Sale” for more information on building rapport with Medicare clients.
Develop a Script
A script is a useful tool for guiding a conversation and staying on-topic. Scripts will also help you stay compliant with CMS and your carriers.
Your script should start with an introduction including your agency’s name. It should explain why you’re calling and should get to the point quickly. To allow the client to feel empowered, ask if the caller wants to talk to you or if there is a better time to call back. Ask about your client’s current insurance plan and make notes in your CMS. Once you’ve learned what they’re in the market for, you can offer matching plans.
Speak to your clients on their level and keep things casual. They don’t understand Medicare like you do. You want your client to forget that they’re on a sales call and feel like they’re just having a normal conversation. Avoid jargon and typical sales phrases. What may look great on a one-sheet may sound forced over the phone.
Once you have a great script, commit it to memory. You should speak extemporaneously rather than reading the material. If you absolutely must read, vary your pitch so you don’t sound robotic.
Start Selling Medicare Over the Phone and In-Person With Senior Market Advisors
Senior Market Advisors provides its agents with the tools they need for success in Medicare phone sales. Not only will you get access to plans from all the major carriers, but you also get free access to our proprietary CRM. SMA provides training so you’ll be ready to provide your clients with the right information so they can make smart decisions. Our experienced marketing team will help generate leads so you can talk to more people who want to enroll. Ready to start? eContract with us today.
This post was originally published on June 4, 2019. It was last updated on November 20, 2019.