AEP comes every year – but this year, it might be a little different. The coronavirus continues to disrupt nearly every aspect of life, and this will likely continue through AEP and beyond. As a result, you will need to take extra steps to keep your clients and safe and comfortable and to comply with any state or local orders.
Know the Rules Where You Live
Although many states have started a phased reopening, increases in coronavirus cases may result in more stay-at-home orders. Keep up with the social distancing rules in your city, county and state. Also pay attention to additional recommendations for seniors, who are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection and complications.
In Texas, people are required to wear a face covering in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases. Additionally, people aged 65 and older are being encouraged to stay home when possible, to minimize face-to-face contact with others and to wear face coverings when receiving assistance.
To comply with safety guidelines and recommendations, tasks should be done remotely whenever possible. Thankfully, it is possible to help your Medicare clients remotely, and new tools are making this easier than ever.
Keep up with Your Marketing and Outreach
If the pandemic has derailed your marketing, it’s time to get back on track. There are many ways you can put yourself out there without actually going out of your house.
- Make sure your website is the best it can be.
- Keep your social media accounts active.
- Mail letters and flyers.
- As always, remember to comply with all Medicare Marketing and Communication Guidelines. These are strange times, but that’s no excuse to get lax about compliance.
Plan for Remote Meetings
If you and your clients are used to meeting in person, switching to a virtual setup may take a little planning, but it will be worth the effort.
- Check with your carriers to see who is offering remote enrollment and what remote enrollment tools they are providing.
- Talk to your clients about the communication and enrollment methods you’re using and what they’re comfortable with. Make sure they have the right equipment, such as a computer with internet access and an email account, if needed.
- You may need to provide a little guidance to help clients get used to tech if they haven’t used it before. Have some easy-to-follow instructions that you can send clients and be ready to guide them through the process. Remember to be patient.
- Don’t forget to complete your Scope of Appointment. You may be able to complete the Scope of Appointment via email. Check with your carriers for specifics.
Reach out to Your Clients
Many seniors are feeling isolated right now, and they may be worried about how Medicare enrollment issues will be handled. You need to provide reassurance.
- Reach out to your clients to see how they’re doing and whether they need anything.
- Get your retention letters ready. Make it clear that you are available this AEP, even if you can’t meet in person.