A photo of a woman wearing a blue denim shirt and glasses using a tablet with a blue gradient over the top and the words Grass Root Marketing for Medicare.

Join Christy Wilbert (Medicare Offerings VP) and Karen McDaniel (Director of Operations and Compliance) for a webinar on January 31st at 10am EST to discuss successful Medicare marketing techniques and compliance.

Key Topics

  • Leads
  • Content
  • What top agents are doing successfully
  • Do's and Don'ts

Christy Wilbert: Hello everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today for our webinar. So I am Christy Wilbert, vice President of Medicare Offerings here at URL Insurance Group. I'll be your host today along with Karen McDaniel. Director of Compliance, you should see both of our pictures live there. And today it's really just gonna be a general marketing and compliance webinar to round out our January marketing month.

If you've been following along each week, we've really had some great webinars. We started out the year with Medicare Elites, with Steve I did one on grassroot marketing and then last week we had Amy Curran from Aetna do one on marketing from a carrier's perspective, and hers was absolutely fantastic.

Christy Wilbert: So I definitely recommend that you go out onto our training calendar or our event calendar. You can watch them on demand. They were recorded. Today's webinar is gonna be recorded, and next month we have some great webinars in store for you as well. We're really gonna focus the topic of cross-selling. So the first one is get your foot in the door with Medicare, and I will have Matt and Cody here from URL from our Life and Annuities team.

Join us for that one. And then the following week, group Health to Medicare. So we'll have Thomas and Elise from our group health team. And then finally we're gonna do, educational on, ancillary products. Cuz I know that's a big topic of conversation this time of year. We have Aetna supplemental that's gonna be co-hosting that one.

Okay. . So just to walk you around your screen, you should see me and Karen live, like I mentioned, you should see our slides nice and big there for you. On the bottom right hand corner, you should see a chat box. I would suggest you just go ahead and click that now. It's gonna open up the chat for you. Where you'll have an opportunity to put in your questions.

We're not gonna have any polls today. And then there's also an area for handouts. I think Karen has some great handouts there on compliance for you. So check those out, download those so you have them available. Okay. And just before we get started, I wanted to quickly touch on who URL is, in case there's some of you out there that don't work with us currently.

We are a second generation family owned and operated insurance brokerage in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Truth be told, most FMO's, you know, offer the same contracting and the same technology. So what really separates everyone is how they operate and what their business philosophy is. And our people and our relationships are really what make us stand out and make us different in the industry.

Karen's been here almost 15 years. I've been here almost 10 years. So we really, are experienced people helping you every single day.

Christy Wilbert: All right, so January, I can't believe is almost over. Today is actually the last day of January, so I hope this list is things that you've already accomplished, getting into the new year. It's really important as a business owner to take a moment and make a list of your accomplishments.

That's really important. You know, here at a business, we do that with our staff, right? At the end of the year, you have an annual review, and you go over what are the things that you're most proud of, what are the things that you need to work on? What are your goals? You should be doing that. If you don't have staff, then with yourself really reflect internally because if you're not, noticing the the areas where you can improve and do better, you're not gonna grow your business.

So we do have a blank business template. That I can send to you if you're interested in using something that we've created. We also have things that we use internally here for staff to ask those questions. If that's something you'd like to see, I'd be happy to send that to you as well. But really, January should be a big time of reflection and setting goals and looking forward in what you could do and how you're gonna get there. And that's a big reason why we've made January Marketing Month. Because we wanna make sure that we're giving you new ideas or ways to incorporate or refresh things that you're already doing. So making a plan is important. Holding yourself accountable is super important.

You know, I'm going to do this and I'm gonna accomplish it by June, and if I haven't, I need to sit down and refigure out how I'm going to get there in the next three months. And make sure that you're rewarding yourself. You work really hard, maybe there's a vacation you've really wanted to go on or something you've wanted to buy yourself, but you just can't pull the trigger cuz it's too much money to spend on yourself.

Keep little things like that to keep you motivated.

Christy Wilbert: Okay. So some of these things might be a little bit of a refresher of what we've go, gone over the past three weeks with all of our guest speakers, but I just wanna make sure if you haven't seen that, you're hearing everything all in one place today. Like I said, we're just doing general marketing and compliance.

So number one is you do have to purchase leads. And when I say the word leads, I actually mean, you know, nameless. So go out, work with a lead vendor, get name lists of people turning 65 or even older as we discussed before. You know, you're not just looking at the 65 year old anymore cuz people are working longer and retiring later.

And then, you know, personalize your marketing based off of those lists. So there are companies that do online leads. One that we endorse on our website is Benepath. There's also Quote Wizard, I believe is another one. But what that really is, is they're using key word searches, and they're picking leads based off of that.

Unfortunately, you never know what you're gonna get. Some people are researching for their parents, so you might get like a 40 year old instead of the actual person that's of age. But it's still a lead because they were looking for some individual, that's why they were looking into it. So they're hit or miss but they are exclusive if you pay a little bit more money. So I'd definitely say a good time to do those is during the aep. We have had some agents that have had great success during the AEP with those.

Old leads. So a lot of carriers or even vendors will sell their old leads. I know Benepath, for example, does. What old leads mean is that at one time a list was pulled and it, you know, has expired.

So it means that nobody ever reached out to those people. You might hear us use the word dead lead, which is an ugly word, but, if we get those from a carrier, that just means that like they're internals sales team or call center has tried to reach out to that person on multiple occasions. But at one time that person did reach out to them and that's why they're on the list.

They were just unsuccessful in reaching them again and setting the appointment. So they do, we do get those from time to time to give out to you. And then live call transfers. There are a few companies out there that will actually get a person on the phone for you and dial it to your cell phone to try to talk to them at that time that the person reached out.

Christy Wilbert: These are also pretty expensive, but they have been successful. I know that Matt and our life team, uses it for final expense and has had great success with it. So if you're interested in something like that, definitely reach out to me and we can connect you with the companies that do that.

Karen McDaniel: Good morning everybody. So those were all great, suggestions from Christy. Just a couple of compliance things to keep in mind when you are, doing any of those things. Number one, make sure that the lists that you're getting from the lead vendors are scrubbed against the do not call list, the lead vendor that you're working with should be doing that for you. Just confirm with them that that is being done. Make sure that you're keeping a copy of the business reply card that you, received back from somebody who, you know, sent it back to you saying that they're interested in hearing more about it. CMS is getting a lot more strict with, with the rules and when you submit an application, if a complaint would come back, or even just a simple audit from the carrier, they're gonna wanna see how you got in touch with that person.

So keep a, a copy of that BRC on file. Make sure, that you are applying the applicable disclaimers on the lead cards, and, you know, have those reviewed for compliance. The lead vendors aren't doing that for you. They are not submitting these cards to, the carriers are not submitted to submitting it to CMS.

So if you're working with the lead vendor, have it sent over to me, or your broker manager if it's a certain carrier you're working with, and we'll go ahead and get it submitted to CMS. Depending on what information is listed on the card, if you're listing, specific carrier names or specific benefits such as premiums, or any kind special benefits you're getting with that plan. It does need to be approved by CMS and the carrier. And a turnaround time is typically about 45 days for CMS. So the sooner you get it in, the faster we'll get it back for you. and Again, so if anything is listed, it needs to be approved from the carriers or CMS.

Christy Wilbert: Okay. Obviously this time of year is great to follow up with all of your clients as well for good retention purposes. You know, make sure they've received their card, have they used their benefits yet since it's OEP? Cuz if they're, you know, they found something out about the coverage they don't like, you can switch their plans, till the end of March or you can dis-enroll them and try to get 'em a MEDSUP.

But also it's a good time to discuss dental, vision, hearing if they don't have it, hospital indemnity plans, cancer plans, all of those things are extremely important. And I would definitely say if there's something that I need to do better this year, it is to make sure that our agent partners understand the importance of those plans.

Christy Wilbert: We definitely, you know, focus more on the Medicare side, but these policies are there to pick up where the Medicare Advantage or Medicare supplement plans really do fall off and do not provide protection. Especially, you know, when you do sell a Medicare Advantage plan, what is the big exposure for your client?

The big exposure is cancer, right? Because that's how you're gonna hit that max out-of-pocket cost or that's when you might run into network issues, for example. So those cancer plans really do protect a person. Same thing with hospital indemnity. I mean, if you're paying $0 for a plan, you can get reimbursed every single time that you're having co-payments.

That's fantastic. People on the MED-SUP, they don't have dental, vision, hearing, so that is a great,option for them. Life insurance, of course. Life insurance is something that, it's good for every single age group. If you just bought a house, if you just got a family. If you are retiring, you wanna make sure that life insurance is there to protect your family. And annuities as well, which we'll discuss more next week with Matt and Cody from the URL team.

Karen McDaniel: So all of those things you're allowed to do now after the Medicare appointment, you can send a letter out to your clients letting them know that you offer these other things. If you are holding a Medicare appointment and you have a client ask you about those other products, look at the SOA. Are those products listed on the SOA?

If it's a health related product, you can have them sign another scope and then go ahead and discuss those benefits. If it's not on the SOA you can only leave the information behind and you cannot discuss it. You can let them know that you offer it. You can give them the information and let them know that you have to set an appointment for 48 hours after the Medicare appointment.

But once they bring it up, you can leave it. But then just set another appointment to come back and discuss it.

Christy Wilbert: Okay, network for referrals. This is probably the most indirect way to do marketing, but the most important thing that you should be doing for marketing. Because referrals are everything, right? We talked about in our webinar previously that that is the unattainable goal, right? Everybody wants to get to a place where they don't really have to market anymore and they're just working off of referrals.

Here I have joined a referral group. There are a ton of them. I know I get, hounded on LinkedIn all the time to join referral groups. I know our Orion team here at URL actually joined a referral group here locally. You know, they usually meet once a week. It's. With different people in all kinds of different businesses, and they are just like-minded individuals and they help each other think of creative marketing ideas. They just spread the word on their business and, give each other referrals.

Christy Wilbert: So it's a great organization to get involved in, and it's really just your time, that you're taking up. Drop in local insurance businesses. Especially the PNC shops, a lot of PNC shops don't do Medicare, so that'd be a great partner to have on your side. And typically, you're not writing PNC business, so you can refer business back and forth to one another, and it's a win-win.

Visit pharmacies. This is a great one, and I do get calls from a lot of you in regards to pharmacies not understanding how to bill properly, and that is absolutely the case. I mean, especially if there's pace or Medicaid involved. And then a Medicare Advantage plan. You know, you can't just trust the pharmacies to understand how to bill.

Christy Wilbert: And a way to go in there and open the door is to say, you know, can I help with that? Especially with staff turnover these days, unfortunately they lose people really fast and that becomes a lot of the problem. So networking with pharmacies is a huge get. Then you do have companies that work with the pharmacies directly, which I think we're gonna go over a little bit later. So you can get involved that way as well through a carrier.

Karen McDaniel: So a couple things to keep in mind. When you're working with, a referral group, if you are coming to an agreement to do any kind of referral payments, there's a couple different ways that it needs to be handled. One, if you're referring, if you're getting referrals from, say, a life insurance or annuity insurance producer, you are only permitted to give them a certain amount.

So if the refer is a licensed insurance producer, you can only pay them the CMS approved referral fee. For Medicare Advantage plans, that's a hundred dollars. For prescription drug plans, that's $25. You can pay less than that, but the max you can pay is a hundred.

For Medicare supplements there are no, limits on that because Medicare supplements are not governed by CMS. If the Referer is not a licensed insurance producer for the states, the state rule is that you need to pay them, like a finder's fee. Whether or not a sale is made.

Karen McDaniel: So if they say, hey, I have this person, and we agreed that you would pay me referral fee, you have to pay that referral fee and then kind of cross your fingers that you make a sale. As far as leaving, any kind of information behind places, you definitely wanna make sure you're getting permission from those businesses to leave your information behind.

You just don't, don't just want to go in and just leave your flyers and business cards in business.

Christy Wilbert: Thank you Karen. Yeah. And I know you made a good recommendation before to one of our partners that was using, a referral person that wasn't in the business and we had suggested to just pay them as you would pay a vendor.

You know, you're paying for the lead instead of for the sale.

Okay, this is a big one that I've been getting asked a lot about, which I'm super proud of all of you out there that are at this point where you actually need to hire help. I know Mike Chicho, which most of you know from our conference, and he's won awards for being one of our top producers. For the first time has hired help.

He has two people I think, doing admin in his office. So if you need some people to bounce ideas off of, definitely he would be a great person to reach out to and I could put you in touch with him. He's always happy to help. But just as simply as answering the phone as people come in, organize your calendar. Because those are tedious things that when you are having back to back to back appointments you don't have time to keep yourself organized or even answer the simple questions, that your customers do have on a daily basis.

Doing mail, especially if you're doing marketing on a consistent basis, that is something that they can help with tremendously. As far as paying somebody, I did get this question from one of our other partners, we can't advise on what you wanna pay that individual. It's really just all over the board.

Christy Wilbert: I would recommend that you go on indeed.com and see what the going rate is for somebody like that. And then if you find somebody that you think is perfect for the position, you know, it's just a negotiation process. How many hours are they willing to commit to you a week, and what are you able to pay them for what they're gonna be doing? So if the person that you're hiring is not going to be selling any of the business,they're not gonna be a downline agent for you. So they don't need to become licensed and contracted and certified.

Karen McDaniel: A couple of things you might just wanna have them do, just so they are understanding, you know, what their responsibilities areis a HIPAA and compliance training. The one that we use internally is just HIPAA training.com. and I think it may cost $30 per person and it's good for two years. Another thing, is the Medicare Learning Network, the fraud, waste and abuse training. And there's also a couple of other, Medicare trainings on there.

They're free to go through. it's just quick, PowerPoint presentations and at the end you get issued a certificate. So again, if they're not discussing benefits, they don't need to be licensed and certified. Just I would have them go through this HIPAA compliance training and then the fraud waste abuse training.

Christy Wilbert: Thanks Karen. And just really quick on that topic too, if you do bring on, admin and they do such a fantastic job and you think that they should study to get their license so they assist more when they're answering calls. Or, run the drug quotes or whatever to make your life easier.

There is a great website out on our website under the licensing and contracting page and it's a course all online. So it's self-study, it's about $70. So you know, not that expensive. And they have practice questions that go through each section and then a practice test at the end that you can take multiple times.

Christy Wilbert: And we use that internally here for our staff when we bring on new people that aren't licensed. We do want everyone to be licensed here. It works every time without fail. Where're in the past, I think a lot of us did Russ Financial School, that doesn't seem to be the most successful way anymore if you're still, thinking it is. I just wanted to share that information with you.

Okay, so senior centers, this was a big one that Amy, talked about last week as well, just because it is a fantastic way to do marketing. So, I haven't said it enough. Number one way to market is, doing personalized mailers. It's that grassroot marketing.

Number two is seminars, educational seminars. Which definitely are wrapped into senior centers. This is a great place to get involved. Typically, the directors of the senior centers are held to a requirement that they have to do so many activities for the people that live there in a month. So for you to fill that need, get in the door and say, Hey, I'll bring in a cake for everybody that their birthday is this month.

Or I'm gonna bring in Bingo and go to the dollar store and get little gifts for prizes. Or I'm gonna send out, you know, birthday cards or I'm gonna do a holiday event. The seminars that I put there, of course you can do a sales seminar, you just have to do the compliance stuff.

The seminar that I actually meant was not on Medicare at all. Try to think about topics that seniors, have struggles with, like using your iPhone or using your iPad. Or setting up an email or setting up a Facebook account so they can see their grandkids. A lot of those people don't have regular visitors or family that can come in and help. Set those things up.

So if you just take a few moments to be their friend and kind of just see what their needs are, just like you do with your clients. They'll really value and appreciate that.

Okay, community events. So this is another huge one. So senior expos, I know a lot of you do that already, so kudos to you. It's a great way to get out. You will see all the carrier reps there as well. So you're out there really selling yourself instead of an insurance carrier in my eyes. There's fairs, there's markets, we just opened a Hershey market out here in Hershey. They have, farmer's markets at the farm show parking lot. You gotta think outside the box. It doesn't just have to be a senior expo. I was talking to an agent that they actually rented out the zoo the one day, and they had little people at tables sitting at different expos at the zoo, and it was like a senior day.

So really you can think outside the box. Host your own event. I'm gonna use an example Bether, she's one of our great partner agents. She has a huge event at her office with cornhole and barbecue. I know Shane Derry does that as well. So there's a bunch of agents that are doing that on a regular basis with their clients, and I know that that is great retention and they're always able to bring friends, which is a great referral opportunity. And the community sees that and respects that and wants to be a part of it. Sponsor community service. You would think it's hard things to come up with, but if you just read your mail, which is so silly. But I just got something from Lower Paxton Township, where I live and it had an opportunity to, volunteer, to clean up the parks. Which is I think, a great way to get out there and meet your community. And then also give you the opportunity to purchase a bench with your engraving on it. If you wanted to donate money for a bench, which seniors sit on benches just saying. So, you know, again, think outside the box. Just use what falls into your hands.

Volunteering. We do something here every year to volunteer our time to the local library and other things. I think we did clean up a park. So get involved, be a part of the community. You know, I'm trying to think what else that they did something at St. Thomas Roosters as well. But get involved with the local restaurants, the local businesses, when they have events. Make sure that you're getting involved somehow everywhere you can.So seminars, educational and sales. You know, obviously the difference there is educational. You're just doing like a Medicare 101 sales is you're actually committing to a carrier and you're talking just about those carrier benefit.

Get involved with the carrier. If you find yourself that you're selling predominantly with one specific carrier, if your carrier rep hasn't already tried to snag you for certain, activities, then make sure that you reach out to them and ask to be more involved. Because typically they do have a lot of things going on.

Christy Wilbert: There's times that their internal sales team can't make certain events, so they'll pass them on to you because if you're writing business with them, they want to drive it as hard as they can. So you are just a, a golden egg for them and they wanna take full advantage of it. So it's a win-win. Sarah Ortega, who is a manager in our marketing department, and I are right now putting together a marketing thing that we're going to advertise here shortly. Because we definitely think that it is something that obviously is the way to go for any, marketing right now cuz that is the demographic using Facebook anymore and there's really cool advertising that you can do for virtual meeting. Then people don't have to go anywhere and it's fantastic.

You can do everything online. So it's really important to make sure that you have, the ability to be online and be online everywhere that you possibly can. You know, LinkedIn and Facebook, and a website, and make sure that you're putting as much out there as you possibly can. And if you're gonna pay for ad space in those markets, you wanna direct them back to your virtual office. So just something important to remember.

Karen McDaniel: So as you're doing these events, just make sure that you are paying attention to what kind of event you're actually doing. Is it an educational event where you're not talking about anything carrier specific, or even Medicare at all. If it's a true educational event, then you're just talking about, you know, a Medicare 101, or like Christy said nothing even medicare related at all. There's certain things that you're allowed to do at those kinds of events. So for instance, with educational events, you can serve meals. You can serve a breakfast if you want to, or a lunch. Doesn't have to be just like the small light snacks and refreshments that you have to only serve at a sales seminar.

You can answer any kind of beneficiary initiated questions. You can display your banner. You can have promotional items. Just make sure that you're not, you know, going over the CMS. $15, per person, value. You are able to set up marketing appointments at those events.

Karen McDaniel: You just can't have the marketing appointment at that event. Versus a sales seminar and educational events do not need to be filed with CMS or the carrier. So, you can go out and do those, all day long. If it's a sales seminar, make sure that you're filing it with the carriers and then work with the broker manager.

If there's a specific sales presentation that you'd like to do, they can provide that for you. They can also give you, some, carrier specific handouts. Tchotchkes, seniors love, the little giveaways. In my handouts tab, I do have the dos and don'ts. It kind of goes over, you know, what is the difference between educational and what's a sales seminar.

Karen McDaniel: So make sure you review that so you know what you're allowed to do at those different kinds of events.

Christy Wilbert: Okay, so the next one is advertise locally. So this is again, going back to that community. You wanna make sure that your name is known where you live. That is extremely important. That is your brand. You wanna make sure that you're advertising your brand and you're getting it out there to be seen so people know who you are.

Newspaper, it's getting less and less value out of it, but it is still there as an option. That demographic does read the newspaper. Maybe not the local paper, but I know like bigger statewide or the USA Today or you know, something like that gets read more. Magazines are a good one.

Christy Wilbert: Radio. Billboards, which I've seen a lot of billboards lately, and I'm super proud of the agents out there, that I've seen them on. So kudos to you. It's pretty cool when I'm like, I know that person with their face on it, when you drive by. Brick and mortar is a great way. A lot of you are just one man shops or woman shops, so you don't really need a brick and mortar.

You're working out of your house or your car. My recommendation to you would be that one of those friends that you made as a referral network that own an insurance company. Or that own a business locally that are in the roundabout of your small town or a really high driven road, that you ask them to put signage up, in their office.

Sporting events. If you have a local football team that gets really high attendance, make sure that you're advertising, on the field or on the scoreboard or in the little pamphlet that you get at the basketball game. Local legions. That, again, is our age demographic. So make sure that you are, advertising at the local legions.

I kind of had an epiphany the other day because I was watching a marketing webinar for seniors, for Medicare. And the agent was talking about putting out, matches with her information on it. And not many people smoke anymore. And if they do, it's like the vape things. Even the seniors that I've seen at the Legion, cuz most are non-smoking.

So my thought went right to the coasters. Most coasters are like the new beer brands. That the beer vendor will just give to the bar for free, cuz it's like cardboard trash ones. Why not be yours? Why not be your cardboard trash ones that they give to everybody that they throw out? it's just another way to get your name out in front of people. So something like that.

Christy Wilbert: Or, I don't know. If you work with a eye doctor's. How can you advertise at the Eye Doctor's office? If you're working with a pharmacy, how can you advertise at that pharmacy? Make sure that your name is somewhere with the organizations and the people that you network with.

Karen McDaniel: So when you're doing this kind of marketing, make sure that you are understanding the difference between marketing and communication. Marketing is when you're discussing or advertising a specific plan or benefits. Communication is a letter that you're sending out to advertise yourself.

If you create a piece and you're unsure of what that is, please send it to me. I will review it for compliance. And make sure that you have the applicable disclaimers on there, such as the new TPO TPMO disclaimer that just rolls off the tongue I know when we have to say it Also the disclaimer, should be at the bottom of the letter saying that, calling the number will direct you to a licensed sales agent. And if there's any disclaimers that need to go on, the outside of an envelope. Again, if there is, a carrier information on there, it has to be approved by the carriers or CMS.

And then also, again, if you're putting your signs somewhere in a business, make sure that you're getting approval from that business.

Christy Wilbert: All right, your website, this is so important. Your website can be the most beautiful website out there, but if you have nothing of value on there, why is somebody gonna go to it? Yes, you have to be Googleable. So people need to be able to bring you up as an act of business. It's very important to have your physical address listed there so that they can verify your business.

If you have no address, Google can't verify you. You wanna be able to have people write Google reviews. It's so important. Make sure that when you're meeting with clients, you're asking that of them or even following up with a text message to the Google Review link. That's something one of my doctors does, and I thought it was brilliant because it's the easiest thing to do. It took me two seconds and I wouldn't have done it if somebody didn't actually send it to me that I could just click and do it really, really quickly. and it adds so much value and credibility to your business.

On your Facebook page and in any place where people can write reviews, it's a great opportunity for conversation, even if it's not a hundred percent the best review. It still gives an opportunity of customer service and how you created the relationship out of that opportunity and how you handled it. White gloved it, should I say? It's kind of like all press is good press type of attitude.

Christy Wilbert: Podcasts have become more and more popular. I would say record your podcast and leave it up to be able to, be listened to by your clients. Small chunks of information. It doesn't need to be long, insightful, you know, and hit every topic. Maybe you're spending 10 minutes on each one. Nowadays, for some reason, if you can't press play and listen to it, or it's not, via video or hearing, people don't wanna read. They don't wanna read anymore, it's so much easier and appealing to listen or watch something.

At Medicare now, our quoting an enrollment tool. You do have a personalized URL that you can turn into a button that people can self quote and enroll and give you credit on your website. So make sure that you have all of that set up on your website as well.

The only thing I didn't hit on was the SEOs. So what that is, it gives you the ability for people to search. So if they're looking up a topic like, when do I enroll in Medicare, they literally Google that question. You have to have those words on your website, for your website to come up as a resource. So the more information that you have out there in Word format, the better.

Christy Wilbert: Social media. as I told you, we're gonna do a whole Facebook, training on the marketing because it is a whole thing. It's very important and there's so many things out there for you on it. It's crazy. When I started out, watching some YouTube videos myself and hearing about it in marketing, I couldn't believe how many opportunities there were out there. I was pretty naive to the fact, and now my eyes have been opened and I wanna share all that information with you.

You know, it's more than just creating a business page and making sure you're posting to it. We're gonna show you all the cool things, that you should be doing on a regular basis.

So same thing with LinkedIn. It's not as important, but people definitely wanna see a business out there on LinkedIn, not just you as a name. YouTube, that is becoming very, very popular for advertising purposes. So not only do you wanna have your video on YouTube, and that's something that, you did that 10 minute, answered a very valuable question about Medicare. That video is on your website. You also wanna make sure that you're downloading it to your YouTube page. You wanna make sure that people can subscribe to your YouTube. You can mark it on YouTube over other people's videos. back to your YouTube page. So a lot of cool things that YouTube offers now and YouTube event came out with its own television, network. So it's becoming more and more involved. So you definitely wanna jump on that.

Karen McDaniel: So just like everything, have your website checked, just like any other kind of marketing piece that you send out. If you're listing carrier names on there, the website has to be, approved by the carrier. Make sure you're using the correct logo. Make sure the correct disclaimers are on there.

Just send it to me and, we'll take care of sending it to the carrier to, make sure that you're okay. There is a couple handouts, I don't know why I just totally jumped off that. There are two handouts. one is social media compliance and then one is a website requirement.

Karen McDaniel: So just take a look at those and it'll kind of go over the general dos and don'ts of what you're allowed to do on social media and on your websites. And if there's any other questions, just, you know, reach out to me.

Christy Wilbert: Okay, so here I'm listing just some of the carrier opportunities that they have available to you as an agent. So, CVS store, obviously that's Aetna. You can work with them, sit in the store by the pharmacy. Walmart store. All the carriers are involved with the Walmart store now. It used to just be Humana. I will warn you, it's extremely expensive. But if that's something you wanna do, go for it. We do have a few of our agent partners that are doing it very successfully now and they do it every year. So obviously if they continue to do it, there's something to be liked about it. It is a big commitment, so I wouldn't say that if you are looking to be the top of the top producer, that that's a valuable way to spend your time.

But if you have the time to sit at the tables, for 20 to 40 hours a week during the AEP, it is a good opportunity for those that have the time. Member meetings. Most of the carriers do member meetings. I know like UPMC does them, Highmark does them. Capital Blue Cross does them, and I would definitely say that it's a benefit to you as the agent because it's helping with retention.

It's something you don't need to get involved in that the carrier is actually doing for you and keeping your client happy, and they understand all of the cool things that are available to them through the plan that they wouldn't maybe know unless they're reading all of the paperwork that comes to them.

Christy Wilbert: And everybody reads those huge thick books, right? We have so many new things, you know, like flex cards and over the counter and how do you use it. There's so much out there available to the members now. So it's great that they're doing members meetings. So how you get involved is they actually sometimes have agents sit in the back, especially during the AEP, if they're doing member meetings in case anybody wants to switch over to them, that they're not already a member.

Marketing studios. So the big carriers like UHC, Aetna, Highmark, Forgive me if I'm missing one. They have marketing studios out there, so you can actually go out there. They're CMS approved. They're all compliant, they're editable. So you just put in your photo, your name, your address, and you print it off. It can't get much easier than that.

Christy Wilbert: So if you wanna put up flyers at your local YMCA or your local legion, go out to those carrier websites. Don't recreate the wheel and have to go through the whole compliance process. Just use that. promo items. Karen had already mentioned that like, I think every carrier you can get promo items for, every single one for free.

So if you don't know how to do that, reach out to us and we'll help you do that. Co-op funds, especially before aep, the carriers are looking for reasons to give out money because they want those sales. So if you're doing something marketing wise that is gonna cost you money, reach out to me. I'll see if we do have a carrier that's willing to participate financially. And obviously URL will as well.

Karen McDaniel: I know Christy had mentioned it earlier about, the webinar we did last week with Amy, Keran from Aetna. I highly recommend going back and, and watching that. She gave just a ton of different, ideas, specifically for Aetna. If you don't market Aetna a whole lot and you wanna, maybe work with another carrier. Some of those things would still apply to the other carriers.

So when you get the time, I highly recommend going back and watching that. So just,a couple compliance updates from me. The call recordings are still in place. Unfortunately, I had gotten a few audits, at the end of 2022. I have not received any audits from the carriers yet, but every morning I walk in, I'm just expecting to get, requests for, for calls.

So, just make sure if you're not doing face-to-face appointments, that you are still recording your phone calls and, you are still using that disclaimer. l Late last month, or no, actually Late this month, CMS released their proposals for the changes for 2024.

A couple of things that stood out, that would have a bigger impact on you guys would be, the change to the SOA, timeframe rule. Christie, were you working here yet when they got rid of the 48 hour rule. Okay. So it's been at least. Eight years, that they have gotten rid of the 48 hour rule. And what that used to be was that when you were meeting, you set an appointment with a client to sell Medicare, you would have to send them the scope of appointment and it would have to be signed 48 hours. At least 48 hours prior to the appointment.

So they got rid of that and they said, okay, just have it signed. Doesn't matter when it gets signed, just make sure it's signed before you start discussing the products. Well, now they wanna bring that 48 hour rule back again, and they're saying that, they want to have zero exceptions. So even if somebody is a walk-in, you have to say, I'm sorry, I can't talk to you right now.

Karen McDaniel: You have to sign this. And then, you can come back in in 48 hours and then we can discuss it. The only upside to this that I can see is that, not only would smaller independent agents and agencies have to abide by these rules, but the call centers would also have to agree by that rule. So I think it would be very difficult for call centers to have people call and then say, okay, you know, have this signs and then, you know, electronically and then call back in in two days.

I have a hard time believing that people are going to wanna do that and they're gonna call back and they're gonna get somebody completely different. So I think right now is the opportunity to take the time to make sure that, you make yourself the local expert. And that people know that if this in fact goes into effect. That they know that when they come back in 48 hours, it's actually gonna be you that they're talking to. It's not gonna be somebody else on the phone. They have no idea who it is. So that's the only kind of upside I can see to that. another good thing is they want to provide clear guidance on exactly what calls need to be recorded.

Karen McDaniel: Right now it's every call needs to be recorded. A proposal in there that they wanna say that only the sales call will need to be recorded. So the appointment call doesn't need to be recorded. Any follow-up calls don't need to be recorded unless that follow-up call turns into a resale for a different product.

The permission to contact or timeframe for a lead would expire after a certain amount of time. Right now it's kind of open-ended. You get a lead and you can kind, call them whenever. Now they want to say it's gonna be six months, and once that six months is over from, I don't know if it's the date that they sign it and send it back or the date that you have it in hand.

Once that six months is up, you are no longer permitted to reach out to that lead. Another thing is a pre-enrollment checklist. I know some carriers did include that. I know UPMC was one of them. They did include in their enrollment packet a pre-enrollment checklist to make sure that you are going over the correct things that you should be going over while you are, at the appointment or on the phone.

We did create a pre-enrollment checklist. It's a little more comprehensive than a lot of the carrier ones, so that's also in the handouts. Take a look at that. So make sure you're going over the correct things. CMS wants to make sure that the carriers have to provide you with a pre-enrollment checklist going forward.

So we usually don't find out about whether or not some of these rules are going into effect until early summer. But right now the public comment is open until February 13th. So if you just Google CMS proposed rules for 2024, and then you look for the Federal Register website, there is a box there that you can open up to submit a formal comment on the proposal.

Karen McDaniel: You can have at'em. Let them know exactly how you feel about all these changes. Go back to the old ones, go back to, no recordings and smaller agencies and agents. It's very difficult for people to, pay for some of these recording capabilities in the storage and that the seniors, don't like it. They don't want their calls recorded, so you just spill your guts . You have until the 13th to do that.

Christy Wilbert: Well, and Karen, to me, you hit the nail on the head. I mean, our initial reaction with the SOA coming back with the 48 hour rule, it's like, why? When all the calls are recorded? Anyway, what is this gonna do?

But, CMS's goal, and they've made this very transparent, is to slow down the call centers. It is to help the agent actually, even though it doesn't always come off that way. For them to say, okay, recording everything didn't work. We're gonna scale that back a little bit and we're going to bring back out this SOA 48 hour rule to help the independent agent and harm the call centers.

Karen McDaniel: Correct? Because once they took away that 48 hour rule, that's when the uptick in call center Medicare Advantage sales skyrocketed. So if that SOA rule goes back into effect, I think we're gonna see them shift back to Medicare supplement. And then hopefully once that happens, complaints go down, then the call recording will hopefully just go away completely.

So if we can deal with the 48 hour rule for a little bit, you know, a temporary inconvenience for hopefully a bigger, better outcome for no call recordings, you know, fingers crossed that's what happens.

Christy Wilbert: Agreed. We'll remain optimistic over here.

Karen McDaniel: Yes. But comment, comment, comment, comment.

Christy Wilbert: Yes, please. And, and not to us, to CMS.

Karen McDaniel: Yes, to CMS. I've submitted mine so you have to go ahead and submit yours.

Christy Wilbert: Okay. The last thing we have on here is, believe it or not, we're already scheduled for our AEP conference. It will be at the Hershey Lodge. It is a Thursday, August 24th. We'll have all the carriers. We will have a keynote speaker, somebody exciting for you.

We're gonna try to spice things up with a little more one-on-one interaction with some of our agent instead of doing an agent panel. I hope you come and join us. You can already register, I believe, on our website, but I'll double check that. But thank you so much for joining us. I don't see we have any questions that are already been answered, and so we'll see you next week.

For "Get your foot in the door with Medicare". Bye bye.

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