How to Prepare for AEP Like a Pro

With the Annual Enrollment Period quickly approaching, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re fully prepared and ready to sell.

By following these steps, you’ll be ready to capitalize on one of the best years for Medicare Advantage sales. If you haven’t already, partner with Ritter at no cost before taking your first step to access everything you need for a strong AEP.

1 | Contract with Preferred Carriers

Talk to a Ritter sales specialist or request your FREE Ritter Smart Sheet to make sure you can offer everything your clients may ask for — both products and brands. Carriers can sometimes take upwards of six weeks for processing, so don’t wait to get the contracting process started. Once you’ve filled your portfolio with top carriers, find the most competitive plans in your area with our Medicare Quote Engine. This tool allows you to compare multiple plans simultaneously, which will save you time.

Note: You must log in to RitterIM.com to use the MQE, along with other resources mentioned in this article. If you’re not already a Ritter agent, you can register today for free!

Read about the MQE OR Use our MQE to find hot plans in your market

Also, don’t forget that cross-selling can round out your clients’ MAPD plans and fill coverage gaps. Just keep in mind that CMS prohibits you from promoting non-health-related products when meeting with a client to discuss Medicare Advantage plans, so you’ll need to schedule a follow-up appointment.

Learn about our online contracting platform OR Start contracting with carriers through Ritter

2 | Complete AHIP and Medicare Certifications

Before you can sell for any carriers, you must complete annual CMS compliance training. Passing the AHIP course is the common method of compliance training, but some carriers accept other trainings, like NAHU certification. At Ritter, we keep our carrier pages up to date with certification instructions and any carrier-specific AHIP discounts or reimbursements being offered.

Note: AHIP training has been updated for 2022, so be advised that you’ll need to change your password when logging in for the first time to complete the training on the new, interactive platform.

Pro tip: Many carriers offer an AHIP discount when you certify through their online portal!

After compliance training, you’ll need to complete 2022 product certifications for each MA, MAPD, and PDP carrier you are appointed with. Some carriers may also require face-to-face training in addition to their online product exams.

You can find a list of carrier requirements in Ritter’s Certification Center!

3 | Order Insurance Supplies for Selling Medicare

Once you have passed AHIP and completed your carrier certification, a carrier will deem you “ready-to-sell.” You can verify your status with the carrier if you are unsure. If you need an agent writing number, you can also get that from the carrier as well.

Most carriers will allow you to pre-order enrollment kits for the upcoming product year. You can either find information regarding pre-ordering on a carrier’s broker portal, or you can log in to Ritter, select the carrier, and get the info under the Supplies heading on the page.

4 | Gather Helpful Carrier Information

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with each carrier you’re appointed with before AEP starts so you can save valuable time. Brush up on their online tools, phone numbers for support, and the submission processes you’ll have to follow (including fax numbers).

Additionally, please check out all of the available First Looks from carriers you’re contracted to as soon as they become available on the Ritter Platform Overview page under Carrier First Looks. Ritter makes carrier First Looks easily accessible to our agents to keep your business moving!

Pro tip: Create a spreadsheet with important carrier info in one place so it’s readily accessible.

Another thing to keep in mind, carriers sometimes host helpful webinars on how to use their online portals and tools, such as e-Apps and online submissions. So, keep an eye out for communication regarding these opportunities in the Ritter Platform’s Events section, and check the carriers’ broker portals for event listings.

5 | Start Generating Medicare Leads and Referrals

No matter if this is your first AEP, or you’re a seasoned veteran, there’s always an opportunity to expand your business.

You can boost your online lead generation with Medicareful.com, Ritter’s online consumer-facing quote tool for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and prescription drug plans. With your own personalized Medicareful link, consumers can reach out to you with the CMS-accepted request-to-contact form.

Or, maybe you’d like to take advantage of Ritter Referral? If one of your clients needs prescription drug coverage that you aren’t certified to sell, you can refer them to Ritter, and we’ll get them on the right plan. The best part is, you won’t miss out on commissions since we will give you five dollars for every referral. You’ll have peace of mind knowing they’re well taken care of, and your business is secure!

6 | Prep Your Medicareful Website

Finally, make sure your free Medicareful website has carriers’ plans you can easily enroll your clients into with the click of a button! Our new FastTrack applications allow for our fastest enrollments ever, as you can now share prefilled applications with your clients without the need for a Medicareful consumer account or a shared client record! Not only are we always aiming to add new carriers to this service, but your website also works hand in hand with our Ritter Platform CRM to centralize, streamline, and enhance your business for a successful AEP and beyond! With all of this offered to agents for free, now’s the perfect time to get started on your sales journey with Ritter!

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Ritter, as well as the carriers you are appointed with, are here to help you succeed. Think of us as your coach rather than just cheering fans. If you have questions or need help, don’t hesitate to let us know.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in September 2016. It has been updated to include information more relevant to the 2022 Annual Enrollment Period.

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