As an insurance agent, there are plenty of dates, important events, and tasks to keep track of. That’s why we’ve created a calendar for the ACA agent who is looking to maximize their sales and grow their business.
This planner will help you keep an eye on the big picture and keep track of day-to-day tasks. Follow these suggestions to stay organized.
Select the Tools to Help You Succeed
Every small business owner, like yourself, needs tools to help them succeed. Planning ahead and staying organized is critical to achieving your goals. Our calendar will guide you through important stages of the year such as contracting and certification, as well as the Open Enrollment Period (OEP)!
Quarter One Focus: One Season Ends, Another Begins
The beginning of the calendar year is a time to celebrate and wrap up business from the OEP. In January, clients who have completed their applications and paid their first premium can expect to start receiving coverage. The OEP ends this month and clients will be unable to make changes.
Reflect On Your Goals
We recommend taking time during the first quarter to look back on your sales and compare them to the goals that you established before the OEP began. Your goals should follow SMART guidelines: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Consider establishing goals that meet all of these in order to evaluate your success following the OEP.
Some questions you can ask yourself when evaluating your success include:
- Was I able to achieve the number of sales I wanted to meet?
- Was I able to connect with any new clients and help them find the affordable health care coverage they need?
- How many new ACA clients did I obtain?
- Was I able to find a supplemental insurance plan or product for my clients that needed them?
As you plan your year, remember your goals. Use our sales calendar to keep track of progress towards your goals and your accomplishments throughout the year. We’ve included a note section for you to add appointments or write in your goals.
Refresh Your Marketing Strategy
Quarter one is also a great opportunity to refresh your marketing strategy. We’ve previously gathered suggestions for ACA agents to connect with their local communities in order to better market themselves. Think about your primary audience (individuals under age 65, economic status, health needs, etc.) and consider how to connect with them in order to discuss coverage options.
A new year brings new opportunities. The ACA OEP ends for the federal exchange and most states on January 15. New coverage begins January 1 for most beneficiaries; but, those who elected changes December 16 to January 15 and have paid their first premiums will see their new coverage start February 1. With the anniversary of the ACA on March 23, now’s the perfect time to reflect on your ACA sales goals, establish new ones, and update your marketing strategy.
Quarter Two Focus: Your Clients
Add Supplemental Coverage Options to Your Portfolio
In Q2, pay extra attention to your clients. We suggest adding supplemental coverage options to meet the needs of every client in your book of business. Additionally, April 15 is tax day and the last day for clients to report premium tax credits. Read how to walk clients through this when filing their annual taxes.
This special day is noted on your calendar. Feel free to add your own significant dates! Have an important appointment or event? Add it in to help you remember!
Although ACA plans cover 10 essential coverages, supplemental coverage options such as adult dental and vision plans can be great additions to your portfolio to offer clients the coverage they may have been used to with other health insurance plans. Connect with your clients during this time of year and discuss the coverage they need and what their options are in your local market.
When searching for a supplemental insurance plan, consider their current health status, how many family members need coverage, and if there are budget restraints. Remember, clients must enroll in marketplace dental coverage at the same time as a plan with a qualifying enrollment period such as the OEP. Other forms of supplemental coverage can be sold year-round and can be a great way to generate sales during the year.
We’re also highlighting May as Mental Health Month; one of the benefits of a marketplace plan is that mental health services are covered. In June, we highlight LGBTQ+ pride month. Similar to mental health benefits, gender-affirming care and preventative services are covered under the ACA. For transgender clients, check the complete terms of coverage that are included in the “Evidence of Coverage,” “Certificate of Coverage,” or contract of insurance to verify if gender transition services are covered. These protections can vary by carrier. The ACA prohibits discrimination based on sex or gender.
As the second quarter ends, we celebrate National Insurance Awareness day. Health insurance is critical to most individuals, we celebrate the contributions you make to their wellbeing as their trusted agent.
Quarter Three Focus: Preparation Is Key!
Certification and Training
As we inch closer to the busy season, it’s important to start preparing for the OEP. State and federal training is typically released this time of year; keep checking the Ritter blog for updates. We’ve also answered a series of FAQs surrounding this topic to help agents know what to expect and how to prepare. After completing certification and training, we recommend making sure you’re contracted with carriers in order to be ready-to-sell. This can seem overwhelming, so follow our [pre-OEP prep guide](/documents/oep-ready-to-sell-checklist.pdf “Pre-OEP Ready-To-Sell Checklist”) to make sure you are caught up! You can also explore all the steps to properly prepare for OEP in another one of our posts!
Join Us at the Summits
We also host our annual Summits during this time of year! These events are excellent opportunities to network with other agents and carriers and learn about the upcoming plan year’s updates and additions. During the Summits, we share industry trends, advice about how to leverage your marketing strategies, and opportunities for education credits!
This one-of-a-kind event series is a great way to learn about products and plans while learning something new!
On July 10, we celebrate chronic disease day, acknowledging those with chronic diseases. The ACA offers coverage for those with chronic diseases and offers services to prevent disease progression. All marketplace plans are required to cover pre-existing conditions.
Quarter Four Focus: Crunch Time!
Build a Pipeline
As the OEP approaches, it’s time to start focusing on your sales! Meet with your clients for the last time and collect all the information you need to complete their application. Agents who are also selling Medicare plans will also begin to sell October 15 when the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) begins. These two lines of business can maximize your sales and allow you to transfer your clients to Medicare when they’re ready.
It could also be a special time to guide your marketplace clients to their first Medicare plan after the 65th birthday.
Medicare beneficiaries must:
- Be residents of the United States
- Approaching their 65th birthday
- Eligible for Social Security retirement cash benefits
- Individuals under 65 must have certain disabilities or have received Social Security Disability Insurance checks for at least 24 months
On November 1, the ACA OEP begins! It’s the most important time for agents to help clients select and enroll in a plan. Most clients should aim to enroll in coverage by December 15 to have a January 1 effective date. Remember, clients must also pay their first premium in order to start receiving coverage.
You can enroll clients directly through the marketplace or use an enrollment platform like HealthSherpa.* As a Ritter agent, you have free access to an account to track applications and upload documentation while saving time! When you connect with Ritter on HealthSherpa, you’ll have access to plan comparisons, subsidy evaluations, and the opportunity to share leads.
If you’re an existing agent and want to link your account with Ritter Insurance Marketing, use the following steps.
- Log in to your HealthSherpa account.
- Click the Settings tab.
- Enter Ritter’s FB05 code in the Join Agency section.
- Save this information.
*HealthSherpa is currently only available for enrollment in states that utilize HealthCare.gov.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Clients who are insured with a marketplace insurance plan can receive cancer treatment and follow-up care as part of their insured benefits. Additionally, November is National Diabetes Month, and these supplies are covered as well. As our last highlight of the year, we recognize National Adoption Awareness Month. Did you know that if your client has adopted a child, they qualify for a special enrollment period? Keep in touch with your clients about recent life updates to see if they qualify!
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Our Busy ACA Agent’s Sales Calendar can help you keep track of these special dates, important anniversaries, and key events throughout the year. Register with Ritter to have access to all these tools and our full sales support team, library of guides and eBooks, and more!