Month: June 2019

Why Sell Medicare Advantage – Ep. 9

In Episode 9, we talk about all the benefits of Medicare Advantage and why you should be selling it. We start by discussing the lack of dental coverage across the Medicare-eligible population. Since Original Medicare does not cover dental, many beneficiaries go without coverage. This includes over two-thirds of all Medicare beneficiaries! One way these beneficiaries could gain access to dental coverage is by enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan.

While not all Medicare Advantage plans offer dental coverage, some do. We brought on one of our agents, Simone Cohen, to discuss all the reasons she loves selling Medicare Advantage. Simone loves selling MA plans because the Medicare-eligible population is growing, many Medicare Advantage plans offer great benefits not covered by Original Medicare, she gets to help people in need, and of course, they offer great commission rates! Finally, Simone sticks around with us to share a motivational story. Want to be featured on the podcast? Share your story with us at  

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Why Sell Medicare Advantage – Ep. 9 Full Transcript

Sarah: Welcome to Episode 9 of Selling SMART with Sarah Smith….

Jessica: And Jessica Vara!

Sarah: In today’s episode… we’re going to go over all the benefits of Medicare Advantage why you should be selling it. We also discuss how few Medicare beneficiaries have dental coverage and what you can do to help!  

Disruptive Waves: 

Sarah: According to the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, almost two thirds of all Medicare beneficiaries do not have dental coverage. That’s nearly 37 million people! This means many beneficiaries are going without dental care. This can be extremely dangerous and many dental issues and diseases can cause life-threatening circumstances if not treated.

Jessica: Since Medicare doesn’t offer routine preventative dental OR any other procedures, this leaves many beneficiaries skipping the dentist altogether. Almost half of all Medicare beneficiaries did not visit the dentist last year… This is not good! Lack of dental care can cause infections, chronic pain, and undiagnosed serious health conditions.

Sarah: Luckily, most Medicare Advantage DO offer some sort of dental coverage. And since about ⅓ of all Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, they do have dental coverage. But what about all the other individuals who don’t have dental coverage and are struggling with chronic pain, or unpaid dental bills?

This brings us to our main topic for today… Why You Should Sell Medicare Advantage!

Jessica: We are so happy to have one of our agents on with us today to go over this topic with us. Welcome Simone Cohen! Simone, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

All Aboard the Knowledge Train:

Sarah: If you aren’t selling Medicare Advantage already… you should be! We are going to talk with Simone today about all the reasons that make Medicare Advantage plans great to sell!

Sarah: So Simone, since you’re an agent yourself, let’s start off with what got you into Medicare Sales!

Simone: Explain.

Sarah: Awesome. So what would you say is the main reason individuals would want to sell Medicare Advantage?

  • Medicare-eligible population is growing!
  • Total Medicare Advantage enrollment has nearly doubled over the past decade to 20.4 million in 2018!
  • Baby boomers are aging and by 2030, more than one in five Americans will be Medicare-eligible
  • You can sell all year long!
  • No cold calling or door-to-door sales
  • Help those who need it most by getting individuals the coverage they deserve

Sarah: So what do the commission payouts look like for Medicare Advantage as opposed to other insurance sales?


  • Average Commission Breakdown:
    • MA sale – $482 or $241
    • HIP average commission ($40 Mo. Premium) – $264
    • Cancer average commission ($40 Mo. Premium) – $264
    • Final Expense ($50 Mo. Premium) – $690   
  • Example Selling MA + Ancillary:
    • MA Sale = $241 
    • 35% persistency at 5 years
    • MA plus Ancillary = $1,459
    • 92% persistency at 5 years
    • Assuming 150 Clients per year at a 25% ancillary close rate…
    • MA only agent: $36,150
    • MA plus Ancillary agent: $36,150 + $45,675 = $81,825 

Sarah: We discussed earlier about how many Medicare Beneficiaries don’t have any dental coverage. Can you talk about some of the extra benefits Medicare Advantage plans may cover that Original Medicare doesn’t?

Simone: Dental, Vision, Hearing, Transportation, Telehealth, Fitness, etc.

Sarah: This goes into our mission at SMA too which is to Serve the Underserved. Do you feel like selling MA plans serves the underserved?

Simone: Yes!

Ending on a Positive Note:

Jessica: So Simone, since we have you, we always like to end each episode on a positive note. Do you have any uplifting stories you can share with us? Especially ones that involve you selling Medicare Advantage?

Simone: Tell story.

Jessica: Thanks for joining us today Simone, we appreciate it!

Sarah: Alright everyone, that concludes today’s podcast episode. You heard it straight from Simone, an agent herself. If you aren’t selling Medicare Advantage, you should be!

Jessica: If you want to learn more about how Senior Market Advisors can help get you started in the Medicare Advantage space, give us a call at 844-334-6066. If you want to be featured on the podcast, visit and click on the button that says “Share Your Story.” 

Jessica: We appreciate you joining us this week on Selling SMART 

Sarah: with Senior Market Advisors!

Setting Up a Sales Event – Ep. 8

In Episode 8, Sarah and Jessica talk about how to set up a successful sales event. They also discuss the recent insulin price increases and its effect on Medicare beneficiaries. Insulin prices have continued to rise, and many Medicare beneficiaries struggle to pay for their out-of-pocket costs. It’s important to understand the price increases so you can inform beneficiaries of the benefits of Part D and ultimately make a sale. If you want to learn more about insulin price increases, you can read our blog:

We also bring on our VP of Sales, Carla Woodward to explain the process of how to set up an event to generate leads. There are different types of events and each has its own compliance concerns. Carla breaks down the process for how one would set up an event whether it be an educational event or a sales event and goes over the CMS guidelines to keep you compliant! We discuss why you should set up events to generate leads, compliance concerns, how to choose an event type and venue, event preparation, how to be successful at your event, and what to do after the event.

Finally, Carla sticks around with us to share a motivational story. Want to be featured on the podcast? Share your story with us at

Setting Up A Sales Event – Ep. 8 Full Transcript

Sarah: Welcome to Episode 8 of Selling SMART with Sarah Smith….

Jessica: And Jessica Vara!

Sarah: In today’s episode… we’re going to go over how to set up a sales event! We also talk about how increases in insulin prices are impacting beneficiaries.

Disruptive Waves:

Sarah: According to the American Diabetes Association, half of Americans over the age of 60 have diabetes. Insulin prices have continued to rise, and many Medicare beneficiaries struggle to pay for their out-of-pocket costs. It’s important to understand the price increases so you can inform beneficiaries of the benefits of Part D and ultimately make a sale.

Jessica: Did you know the typical insulin users costs went from $7.80/day in 2012 all the way up to $15/day in 2016. That’s more than a 100% increase just in 4 years! This causes a huge burden on beneficiaries because insulin is on average only 30% of all diabetes-related costs. 

Sarah: These are individuals who need your help! As an agent, it’s important to understand what Medicare Part D covers so you can help beneficiaries get the coverage they need. 

Jessica: So first, it’s important to understand Medicare Insulin coverage vs. Part D coverage. Original Medicare Part B covers things like blood glucose test strips, glucose monitors, glucose control for checking test accuracy, and therapeutic shoes or inserts. Medicare Part B does not fully cover insulin. Part B only covers insulin that is needed for an external insulin pump and may be covered as durable medical equipment. Part B doesn’t cover other forms or insulin or pens, syringes or needles.

Sarah: Right, so it really doesn’t cover most of the necessary AND expensive parts. This is where Medicare Part D can come in and be really helpful. Unlike Medicare Part B, Part D DOES cover insulin, unless it’s used through an external pump. Part D also covers diabetes drugs, pens, syringes, needles, swabs and gauze, and inhaled insulin devices.

Jessica: When you’re selling Part D plans to beneficiaries, be sure to discuss all the benefits on top of what we just discussed! Some key benefits include: drug coverage that isn’t covered by Original Medicare Parts A & B, drug formularies that ensure their drugs are covered, that the Part D donut hole is closing in 2020 and the Medicare Extra Help program, if they qualify. 

Sarah: If you want this information in written form, you can visit to read more! We have also provided a link to the blog in the description.

All Aboard the Knowledge Train:

Sarah: Looking for new ways to generate leads? Setting an event in your area can be a great way to generate leads. There’s a lot that goes into setting up an event so we are lucky to have our VP of Sales Carla Woodward and our Senior Compliance Manager, Gina Angelo, with us to help you learn how to set up an event the right way and to remain compliant! Thanks for being here Carla and Gina!

Carla: Good to be here.

Sarah: Okay so let’s say I’m an agent, and I’m looking for ways to generate leads. Why would I choose to set up a sales event?


  • This is the best way to get hot leads. You’ve met them, you know their interested. There’s already a relationship thats built
  • Provides community engagement and awareness to your brand!
  • You want to let your community know that you are the person to go to for Medicare insurance questions.

Sarah: So what’s the first step of setting up an event? 

Carla: 1st step is to decide on type of event you want to do

  • Educational?
  • Sales event?
  • Formal or informal?

What we like to do is informal sales events. Business card away at informal educational event. Can’t make the sale on the spot though.

Educational event you’re just let them know something > don’t have the option to sell because its not registered with CMS.

Sarah: Okay so it sounds like there are a lot of regulations through CMS around events. Can you go over the compliance of setting up an event so agents know what to look out for?

50.1 – Educational Events 42 CFR §§ 422.2262, 422.2268(b)(7),(8), and (11),423.2262, 423.2268(b)(7),(8), and (11) 

Educational events are designed to inform beneficiaries about Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug, or other Medicare programs. Educational events:  

  • Must be explicitly advertised as educational;  
  • May be hosted in a public venue by the Plan/Part D sponsor or an outside entity;  
  • May include communication activities and distribution of communication materials;  
  • May answer beneficiary initiated questions;  
  • May set up a future marketing appointment, and distribute business cards and contact information for beneficiaries to initiate contact (this includes completing and collecting a Scope of Appointment (SOA) form);  
  • Must not include marketing or sales activities or distribution of marketing materials or enrollment forms; and  
  • May not conduct a marketing/sales event immediately following an educational event in the same general location (e.g., same hotel). 

50.2 – Marketing/Sales Events 42 CFR §§ 422.2268(b)(1-5), 423.2268(b)(1-5) 

Marketing/Sales Events are designed to steer or attempt to steer potential enrollees, or the retention of current enrollees, toward a plan or limited set of plans. The following requirements apply to all marketing/sales events:  

  • Plans/Part D sponsors must submit scripts and presentations to CMS prior to use, including those to be used by agents/brokers;  
  • Sign in sheets must clearly be labeled as optional;  
  • Health screenings or other activities that may be perceived as, or used for, “cherry picking” are not permitted;  
  • Plans/Part D sponsors may not require attendees to provide contact information as a prerequisite for attending an event; and  
  • Contact information provided for raffles or drawings may only be used for that purpose.

Sarah: Okay so I’ve decided what type of event I want to do. Can you give some tips on good spots to actually have events?

Carla: All types of events. Go to food banks, senior centers, community events, county fairs, music festivals

Sarah: So I have my event type and where I want to host it. What’s next?

Carla: Once you decided on type, file with the carrier

Each carrier is different. Each carrier has specific time frame. Most need within 9 days to 2 weeks to file. Some don’t need anything. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask your local market support because they should be able to help.

Some carriers require you to do extra modules in their training. They may have to do this before the event. Take some sort of additional online class 10 minutes. All info is housed on the carrier portals. 

Sarah: What do I need to bring to the event to be successful?

Carla: At SMA we’ve put together a checklist. Depending on event type, have a table, tablecloth, stuff to make table look flashy. Banners, rack cards, business cards. Quick informational giveaways. Swag to attract people to come over.

We do water bottles. Order labels with your info and brand on it. Stress balls, pedometers, other things. Reach out to the carrier or your local market support to see if they can provide you any giveaways. Benefits of partnering with SMA is we often times will co-op this with you. Segue to talk about storefront. See all the amazing giveaways we give at events. We can customize that.

Checklist: only carrier information you filed with can be displayed. Can file with multiple carriers. You are there to represent the carrier you filed with. You can keep everything generic if you want and file with all the carriers you represent. Agents do it in all different ways.  It’s up to you.

Doing Medicare 101 presentations, educate them on why you should eat super foods etc.

Make sure you have business reply cards there. We are successful at larger events where they may not be thinking about talking to you on the spot, they can fill out for more information. Important to point out that you can not ask them to fill one out or make them fill it out. Lets them get back to the reason they are at the event but still get more info from you later.

Sarah: How do I get people to come to my event? Can I market the event?

Carla: You want to drive traffic to your table. CMS allows us to do a giveaway of less than $15 per person. At SMA we raffle something off. Sometimes it’s an echo dot. As long as the event has. Large event you can roll the $15 per person into one large gift. If there are only a few people at the event, you may also want to bring something smaller. Select door prize later to remain compliant.

Senior center may be supposed to have 1000 people at event but only 4 show up. You need to make sure you have the correct giveaway.

We typically take first name and phone number. We call them to get their address to send the prize to them. We keep giveaways completely separate from BRC and those BRC’s are completely optional.

Sarah: What do I do once the event has ended?

Carla: Make sure you collect all business reply cards at the end. If carrier has follow-up paperwork that you need to do after the vent. Reach out to carrier to let them know how it went, how many BRC’s you collected. 

Sarah: What do I do with the BRC’s? Is there compliance concerns there in how I go about contacting them?

Carla/Gina: You can call individuals who have given permission for a plan or sales agent to contact them (examples of permission include filling out a business reply card, emailing the Plan/Part D sponsor requesting a return call, or asking a customer service representative to have an agent contact them). Also, make sure you retain this documentation. The norm is the current plan year PLUS 10 years.

Note: Permission applies only to the entity from which the individual requested contact and for the duration and topic of that transaction

Sarah: So if any agents listening out there want to learn more about setting up an event, how can they reach out to you? 

Carla: Part of SMA’s support is we can walk you through a successful event! You can call me or email me.

Ending on a Positive Note:

Jessica: So Carla, since we have you, we always like to end each episode on a positive note. Do you have any uplifting stories you can share with us?

Carla shares her story about an event that seemed like it was going to fail, but ended up being successful and a great time!

Sarah: Alright everyone, that concludes today’s podcast episode. Lots of amazing insight from Carla about setting up events to generate leads!

Jessica: If you want to be featured on the podcast, visit and click on the button that says “Share Your Story.” Want to learn more about Senior Market Advisors? Visit us online or give us a call at 844-334-6066.

Sarah: We appreciate you joining us this week on…

Jessica: Selling SMART

Sarah: with Senior Market Advisors!