Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP) starts on October 15, but insurance agents need to be ready before then. Although enrollments cannot occur until October 15, agents can discuss plan information with clients beginning on October 1. Take these 10 steps before that date to make this AEP as productive as possible.

  1. Complete your AHIP training. This is a good review of key Medicare compliance rules. It’s also required by most carriers, so don’t put it off.
  2. Get your certifications completed. You can’t sell plans without taking this step, so this is essential. Make sure you’ve got the top carriers in your region covered and look for new carriers that have entered your area.
  3. Review your list of current and prospective clients. AEP gets busy, so you want to be as organized as possible. Use a CRM or other system to keep track of this information.
  4. Get permissions and preferences. CMS regulations require agents to get permission before contacting a beneficiary by phone. You should also find out whether your clients and prospects prefer to communicate via call, text or email. Keep track of this information.
  5. Check your tech. Important tech tools to consider include anything you’ll use to quote or compare plans, enroll clients, and meet remotely. If you had any tech problems last year, consider how you can improve this year.
  6. Get your marketing supplies from carriers. Make sure you have all the materials you’ll need for a great AEP.
  7. Print out more business cards. You always want to have business cards on hand – you never know when you might need one. Give extra cards to your clients so they can share them.
  8. Start scheduling appointments. Medicare beneficiaries get their Annual Notice of Change during September. They might contact you with questions at this time. You can’t discuss plan information yet, but you can start getting appointments scheduled for October.
  9. Update your website and social media. If you haven’t updated your website in a while, this is a good time to do it. Make sure all the information, including your contact information, is accurate and current. Check any links and social media buttons to make sure they still work. Try to post to your chosen social media platforms regularly. For ideas of content to share, check out the PTT social feeds:
  1. Finalize your plan. You may have a sales goal in mind, but don’t just focus on that number. Think about the tasks you need to complete every day, every week to reach that goal. Mark your calendar with reminders for when you need to follow up with clients or complete other key tasks. Also consider how you can reward and motivate yourself. AEP can get hectic, but it’s your time to shine.