Now that benefits have been submitted, the emphasis is turning to Sales and Marketing. When speaking with different Medicare Advantage plans across the country, you start to hear different things about what is going to be important for Marketing and Sales this Annual Election Period (AEP) and Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Here is some of the top “buzz” we have been hearing from plans:
- Bigger marketing budgets for 2019! Many MA plans are happy with their 2019 MA products and want to take advantage of this opportunity to grab market share. We see increased spending in New-to-Medicare programs, AEP direct mail, and social media especially.
- More diverse sales distribution strategies are coming into play this year. We have seen many MA plans really diversify their sales strategies and do the following:
- Increase Field Marketing Organization (FMO) arrangements and number of contracted agents.
- Pay attention to the metrics of the telesales team and either decide to outsource this function or develop much stronger training internally, plus build a more solid process to get leads to the proper sales channel quickly instead of just sending out sales packages and delaying the sales opportunity by several weeks.
- Build web strategies to increase online sales, especially to the New-to-Medicare segment.
- OEP is back! We have spoken to several MA plans about this new/old enrollment period, and here is what we are hearing from the marketplace:
- Make sure onboarding is perfect since you no longer have nine months to change a bad first impression. Make sure prospects understand what to expect when they enroll, and meet that expectation.
- Show the love to both your new members and those you have determined are most likely to leave in the first quarter. Member meetings with food help drive attendance as well as welcome calls.
- Although MA marketing is not allowed during the OEP, there are a few different ways to ensure your name is reinforced during the OEP:
- New-to-Medicare programs – running a few free-standing inserts might be helpful
- Brand marketing TV in the first quarter
- Medicare Supplement marketing, especially in January if you have Medicare Supplement
- Ensure your agents (both internal and external) understand the OEP rules and make the most of bringing you sales during this time
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