Preparation and Adaptability Keys to Insurers' Success For Upcoming Medicare Advantage Annual Election Period
Sep 28, 2021, 13:55 ET
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C., Sept. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As the Medicare Advantage industry heads into a second Annual Election Period (AEP) under the shadow of the pandemic, preparation and adaptability will be key to insurers' success, says Patrick Phillips, CEO of Cavulus, a leading provider of technology in the sector.
"While most states have dropped Coronavirus-related restrictions, Medicare Advantage (MA) plans should remain prepared for a dynamic AEP since guidance can change rapidly", said Phillips.
"MA plans submitted AEP marketing material to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for approval in the summer and evolving circumstances may prompt changes to marketing messages", according to Phillips. He points out that throughout AEP (October 15 - December 7), insurers must clearly communicate what enrollment mechanisms are available at any given point including in-person office hours, home visit options, public seminar schedules as well as any unique Covid protocol".
The Cavulus CEO believes another key preparation is re-engagement with independent sales agents. "Most insurers had no choice but to operate remotely last year, and conduct all marketing and sales activities by phone or web. As a result, agents who primarily work with potential members at their kitchen table were sidelined."
"Looking across our Medicare Advantage client base, independent agents account for as much as 50% of AEP member growth for a plan," states Phillips. "Savvy insurers should bring their top performers back into the fold in some capacity and make sure broker resources and enrollment processes haven't gathered any rust in the past year and a half."
Phillips is also currently encouraging plans to reactivate their community relations initiatives in a responsible manner. "Nearly all places where Medicare beneficiaries socialize were closed in 2020. It's important to have a connection to these spaces. There's nothing like word-of-mouth -- especially for smaller regional plans who take a more grassroots approach to marketing."
ABOUT CAVULUS - Cavulus is a technology driven specialist in Medicare Advantage insurance solutions. The Cavulus Cloud-based Medicare Advantage Platform (Cavulus MAP™) unifies marketing, sales and enrollment operations, and is utilized by many of America's top insurers, including several BlueCross/ BlueShield companies, UPMC Health Plan, Johns Hopkins, Lumeris and United Healthcare. For details visit: www.cavulus.com.
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