Staying compliant with every rule surrounding Medicare can seem daunting. If you’re busy making sure you’re staying compliant, how will you ever have time to meet with clients and sell?
Aligning yourself with a field marketing organization (FMO) is a great way to remedy this issue, as a team of knowledgeable professionals can help you understand the rules and regulations.
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In addition to partnering with an FMO, there are simple ways to ensure you’re being compliant that won’t take up much of your time.
Collect and Retain Scopes of Appointment
Collecting a Scope of Appointment (SOA) is the easiest and fastest way you can stay compliant. SOAs are simple to fill out and only take a matter of minutes to obtain. It may seem like a no-brainer, but when times get busy, collecting it can be easy to overlook. Luckily, CMS allows agents to collect SOAs the same day of the appointment, which makes that process even easier. And collecting SOAs is not the only step; you must keep them for 10 years in an organized and easily accessible manner. If you find yourself being audited by a carrier, you’ll want to quickly access this document.
Tools like Medicareful also make this compliance step a cinch! Medicareful features its own user-friendly, electronic SOA and automatically stores them within the Ritter Platform for easy access in the future, if needed.
We suggest you become familiar with all of the standard SOA guidelines and the SOA policies of the carriers you’re contracted with.
Know the Medicare Industry News
Staying up-to-date on what is going on in the industry is also an easy way to stay compliant. You’ll be in the loop about general and carrier-specific updates and not finding out possibly months later. Imagine you submit an enrollment application for an MAPD plan but you’re unaware of the carrier’s decision to no longer offer that plan in your market. Not only do have an unhappy client, you also have to meet, quote, and take an application all over again. It might seem unlikely, but information can get lost in the shuffle if you aren’t diligently staying up to date.
By taking just five or ten minutes each week to check out press releases, carrier newsletters, a Medicare blog or even an insurance forum, you’ll be less likely to miss crucial info and updates. The Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines (MCMG) is an extremely useful resource for all things compliance. Each year, the MCMG is reviewed and updated. If you are aligned with an FMO, like Ritter, these yearly MCMG updates are reviewed by knowledgeable experts in the industry and distributed to keep agents abreast of the new compliance changes.
By taking just five or ten minutes each week to check out press releases, carrier newsletters, a Medicare blog or even an insurance forum, you’ll be less likely to miss crucial info and updates.
FMOs distribute other carrier and industry news and in many ways like emails, direct phone calls, meetings and webinars, just to name a few. If you’re already partnered with us, then you’ve experienced and benefited from our communications first-hand. If you are not partnered with Ritter, maybe it’s time to reconsider! Registering with Ritter is free and simple and will give you unlimited access to our tools, resources, and communications that will help to ensure you’re compliant without sacrificing your time.
Webinars and Podcasts
Great time-savers are webinars and podcasts. FMOs and carriers host webinars to cover new tools, explain changes in the market, help you prepare for upcoming enrollment periods, and more. Podcasts are also a hot feature used to relay helpful information and tips. Ritter offers The Friday Five podcast in which our host, Sarah Rueppel, provides a weekly list of five things you need to know about. The best part these resources – they can be viewed and listened to anywhere, so no traveling is required. Also, they are oftentimes recorded, so there’s a chance to catch them when it fits in your schedule.
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Whether you’re preparing for a meeting, marketing to your clients, solving an enrollment issue, or following up with your clients, compliance should be in the forefront of your mind. Remembering and following all of the compliance rules in this industry can seem overwhelming at times, but the methods above are surefire ways to stay compliant and leave you plenty of time to sell.