A vital step in AEP prep involves making sure you’ll have the Medicare enrollment supplies you need to give clients. How can you ensure you’ll have your enrollment kits by October 15?
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You don’t need paper Scopes of Appointment if you use Shop & Enroll. And stocking up on paper applications for several major carriers isn’t necessary thanks to the direct enroll buttons you can activate on your own CMS-approved Shop & Enroll site. However, it can still be valuable to give your clients hard copy welcome materials for the plan they select.
Here’s what you can do to get your Medicare enrollment kits and supplies on time.
1. Know Carriers’ Medicare Supply Ordering Processes
To help ensure you get what you need before the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), you should become familiar with the process for ordering enrollment supplies for each of the Medicare carriers you represent.
Here’s what you should know or try to find out:
- When will you be able to order supplies for the upcoming plan year?
- Does the enrollment kit contain everything you’ll need? Will you need to order other items separately?
- Will you be sent a certain number of kits automatically after certifying? How is that number determined?
- How many kits can you order at a time? Do you need to request an exception (e.g., if you’re expecting a large turnout at a sales event)?
- How do you order (additional) enrollment supplies — over the phone or via email, fax, or a website? Do you need to fill out and submit a special form?
- How will supplies be shipped to you if you order them via “snail” mail?
As a national field marketing organization, Ritter Insurance Marketing collects this information for many Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and Part D carriers and makes it readily available to agents. You should be able to find much, if not all, of the info you’re looking for on our carrier pages on Docs.RitterIM.com! (Note: You must register with RitterIM.com for free and log in to view the carrier pages.)
2. Complete Your Medicare Certifications Early
Most carriers will only send or let you order Medicare enrollment kits if you have completed your required MA and Part D certifications and are considered ready-to-sell (RTS). Additionally, some carriers let agents who certify early pre-order their Medicare enrollment supplies to beat the rush and have consumer-facing materials before AEP.
If you put off certifying or simply assume your certifications are complete, it can have a devastating effect on your ability to start selling on October 15.
If you put off certifying or simply assume your certifications are complete, it can have a devastating effect on your ability to start selling on October 15. In the past, we’ve had agents assume they completed their certifications and that their kits would be sent to them. Unfortunately, come the start of the selling season, these agents usually find out that they are not RTS and need to contact the carrier or certification provider to complete their certifications. This puts them way behind schedule, and they often get stuck in the rush for enrollment kits.
Pro tip: Verify that each of your certifications is complete and that your request for enrollment kits has been received.
There’s never any harm in getting an early start in your AEP preparation. Why wait if it could make you late?
3. Pre-Order Medicare Enrollment Supplies If You Can
Want to reduce your stress this AEP? One of the best ways to do that is to pre-order your Medicare enrollment kits (if you can).
Consumer-facing Medicare materials for the new plan year cannot be distributed prior to October 1; therefore, most carriers will only start shipping enrollment kits and supplies to agents on this date. Pre-ordering your supplies before then ensures your requests will be among the first ones processed. If all goes well, you should receive your supplies with plenty of time to get organized before Medicare’s busy season.
Ritter’s Operations Support team can help you with the processing and delivery of your enrollment kit orders. It’s a definite perk to have a dedicated team of industry professionals in your corner, especially when you’re getting ready for the busy season. Their AEP-prep support is just a quick and free registration away! Once registered, you’ll be paired with a dedicated sales specialist who can connect you with the right people to expedite your enrollment kit orders.
Just remember: When you pre-order, you’re being pro-active and setting yourself up to succeed!
4. Don’t Wait Until AEP to Submit Orders
Around AEP, Medicare Advantage and Part D carriers get flooded with requests for supplies and the processing of these requests can really delay shipments. For example, let’s say you order Medicare supplies after October 1. Your delivery could take 12 days or more!
If you order supplies now (or as soon as you possibly can), you should receive what you need by the start of AEP — maybe even sooner!
If you order supplies now (or as soon as you possibly can), you should receive what you need by the start of AEP — maybe even sooner! And keep in mind, while you can’t collect an enrollment form until October 15, you can still set appointments and hand prospects and clients kits after October 1. It’s one of the ways you can maximize the first two weeks of October!
What happens if your kits get delayed or you run out of supplies? If you need a way to collect compliant permission to contact or Scopes of Appointment, Shop & Enroll can save the day (and streamline your sales)! Your own site also lets you enroll clients in several major Medicare plans online and houses Summary of Benefits forms.
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When you think about it, a lot of your success during AEP can depend on having Medicare enrollment supplies when you need them. Are you doing all you can to excel during the year’s best time to sell?
Editor’s Note: This was originally published in July 2018. It has been updated to include information more relevant to the 2024 Annual Enrollment Period.