Here are a few reasons why periodic reviews with your clients can keep money in your gas tank and your clients happy.
Situations change, and clients may not think to call you every time – As an agent, you know that sometimes even relatively minor changes — a small decrease in income, a change in treatment regimen, seeing a new specialist — can mean big changes in what coverage makes the most sense for a client. By scheduling an annual or semi-annual meeting or phone call to review your client’s situation, you can determine if there are changes that should be made, and make sure that they continue to trust you as their agent.
Just because they have a Medicare Supplement plan doesn’t mean they can’t make changes after their initial enrollment, even as they age – In California and Oregon, clients have the opportunity to change their Medicare Supplement plan to an equal or lesser plan with any carrier for thirty days before and after their birthday every year, without having to go through medical underwriting. As carriers open and close blocks of business and rate changes take effect, this is a great way for you to make sure that clients continue to get the coverage they need at a price they’re comfortable with and that you keep them on the books. Even in states without the birthday rule, clients may be able to pass underwriting and change their Medicare Supplement plan as needed. Remember that every carrier has different underwriting guidelines and that a condition or medication that’s an automatic knock out on one carrier may be perfectly fine on another. If changing plans seems to make sense, keep looking until you find a carrier and a premium that works for the client.
Plans change every year, and your clients might not be aware of it – For MAPD clients in particular, every year can potentially bring with it plan exits, arrivals, and network and benefit changes. Just because a particular carrier made sense when they were initially eligible or during last year’s Annual Enrollment Period doesn’t mean that a year or more later, the same plan will make sense. Check in early in AEP with your MAPD clients, make sure that their plan isn’t leaving the county, that there isn’t a new plan being introduced to their area that might be a better option, and that their providers and medications are still appropriately covered by the plan they have. If not, find them an option with which they’re comfortable.
Keeping in contact with clients keeps you in their mind, and gives you the chance to uncover additional needs – Clients won’t need or want to change their Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan every year, but meeting with them gives you a chance to find out if there are new, unaddressed needs that you should be discussing. Pay attention to the cross-selling regulations, especially if you’re dealing with an MAPD client, but don’t leave opportunities for things like final expense or long term care coverage on the table.
Building relationships builds your business – The more you talk with your clients, the more trust you can build with them. If they trust you and feel like they have a relationship with you, they’re less likely to be pulled away by another agent and they’re more likely to refer their friends and family.
First and foremost, insurance is a service business. Even if it doesn’t directly lead to money in your pocket, checking in with your clients is just smart business.