The Official Guide To Medicare Advantage Leads [2020]

Are you looking for the best Medicare Advantage leads?

Perhaps your regular method of generating insurance leads has worn out, and you’re looking for new ways to sell Medicare Advantage with different sources of leads. 

If that describes you, you’re in luck!

In today’s article, I detail the most effective Medicare Advantage lead programs available.

I’ll describe each lead generation strategy we recommend based on the Medicare Advantage market you want to target.

Whether you market to the T65 Medicare Advantage market, or have an interest in Special Election Period (SEP) leads, or if you’re looking for Annual Election Period (AEP) Medicare Advantage leads, we’ve got you covered in this article!

Let’s begin!

Overview

  • Why Leads Are Important
  • My Favorite MA Lead Programs
  • Turning 65 Market
  • Annual Enrollment Period
  • What Market Should I Target
  • SEP Marketing
  • More Resources
  • Why Leads Are Important

    If you’re new to selling Insurance or if you’re considering selling Medicare Advantage, you MUST understand this…

    If you want success selling Medicare Advantage, you MUST have a tried-and-true lead generation strategy.

    And generating MA leads is different than other lines of insurance.

    With Medicare Advantage, there is far more compliance rules to adhere to regarding the sale of Medicare Advantage programs. For example, an agent cannot cold call for Medicare Advantage business.

    Because of these compliance guidelines, we rely on paid leads to sell Medicare Advantage.

    In my agency where I recruit and train Medicare Advantage agents nationally, my agents have access to scalable, affordable, quality lead programs, putting us in front of the best prospects for Medicare Advantage.

    My Favorite MA Lead Programs

    Below, I detail those Medicare Advantage marketing programs offered in my agency. I’ll note where applicable how you can access similar lead programs without joining my agency.

    Year Round SEP Marketing

    The primary strategy my agents use to write Medicare Advantage is targeting the Special Election Period (SEP) market.

    This is a year-round sales opportunity not limited to year-end season Medicare sales, and is relatively untapped compared to other Medicare Advantage lead generation strategies.

    What Is The SEP Market?

    The Special Election Period Market targets populations of Medicare Advantage clients that can move into better policies at any time of the year.

    Our primary target market are Medicare Advantage clientele qualifying for low-income subsidies or Extra Help, folks labeled as “Dual Eligible” (or D-SNP) who have both Medicare and Medicaid or have a specific chronic disease or condition.

    Our marketing strategy targets this population. Our goal is to meet with prospects, build rapport and trust, then review alternative Medicare Advantage plans that may improve their quality of coverage. 

    We LOVE this Medicare Advantage marketing strategy for the following reasons:

    Year-Round Sales

    Most Medicare Advantage markets only work in October through December. Why? The governing bodies of Medicare Advantage restrict non-SEP members to a once-a-year change during Annual Enrollment Period occurring between October and December.

    While targeting clientele during AEP is great, there’s only so much business you can write within a 10 to 12 week period of time, right?

    If your goal is a hefty book of business paying considerable renewals, switching your marketing to the SEP market makes a measurable difference. With a year-long strategy, much higher Medicare Advantage sales realized than in AEP alone are very achievable.

    1,000 Medicare Advantage Plans In 1 Year

    For example, we have an agent north of Detroit who wrote more than 1,000 Medicare Advantage plans in his first full year of exclusively targeting Medicare Advantage. This is an exceptional accomplishment that few have ever achieved. And needless to say, he worked his arse off =).

    I did an interview with them to detail is methodology for success. You can go here to review it.

    Underserved Market

    The Special Election Period market is largely underserved. 

    We’ve discovered the SEP market is full of clientele that simply do not know there are better Medicare Advantage plans available to them. Why? Part of the reason is that there isn’t as many Medicare Advantage agents targeting this market like what we see in the AEP or T65 market.

    That lack of interest is your opportunity! Offering better Medicare Advantage programs to this group is well-received. Because many are low-income and have little to no savings, they’re appreciative when we get them an improved MA plan.

    Leads Are Plentiful

    Special Election Period marketing allows us to get a consistent flow of leads, pretty much anywhere in the country. 

    We have several lead generation strategies we employ for our agents. Let’s detail them below. Direct Mail

    Our preferred Medicare Advantage lead generation strategy utilizes direct mail business reply card mailers.

    Medicare Advantage direct mail lead offered by LeadHeroes.com.

    Here’s how it works…

    Our agents order direct mail leads on a fixed-price basis. Currently, we charge $25 per lead.

    Agents can order one-time orders or ongoing orders.We recommend on-going orders. Most full-time agents take 20 leads weekly or more.

    The agent pays for the mailers upfront for 3 to 4 weeks before receiving replies. What the lead returns is a business reply card, complete with her personal details like address and phone number, agreeing to receiving more information on what the lead discusses.

    Direct Mail Is King

    Out of all the Medicare Advantage lead generation strategies, direct mail is superior. 

    Why is that? There are a number of reasons:

    Better Recall Rates. Direct mail is unique in that it has higher recall rates due to its level of engagement. For example, before you receive the lead, the recipient had to (a) walk to the mailbox, (b), open the letter, (c) read and consider what the mailer says, (d) possibly discuss the lead with a spouse or child, then (e) fill out the lead and walk it back to the mailbox. 

    Make no bones about it. This level of engagement requires more effort and attention than replying to a telemarketing lead or filling out an online lead form like on Facebook. Those lead generation strategies are more spontaneous in nature. The client is under pressure to answer a telemarketing call, and many online lead forms like Facebook are completely filled out, making it arguably “too easy” to complete.

    Agents agree when working Direct Mail leads, they remember filling out the cards more frequently. Plus, they are more engaged with you helping them out and agreeing to an appointment.

    Superior Geographic Saturation. With Medicare Advantage direct mail leads, you generate more leads in a given geographic area compared to alternative marketing strategies.

    Why is this important? The smaller the marketing area, the more efficient you become. You run more appointments and minimize drive time between appointments with your leads in a compact geography.

    Opportunity For Reduced-Price Or Even Free Leads. For our most productive Medicare Advantage agents, we offer lead subsidy programs to reduce your direct mail marketing cost… WITHOUT adversely altering your commission level or agent contract.

    Here’s how it works.

    As mentioned previously, new agents to our Medicare Advantage sales and marketing program pay $25 for each direct mail lead

    At the end of 90 days since starting the lead campaign, we measure the total application volume relative to the total direct mail lead generation to determine the lead subsidy. The chart below describes the required new application-to-lead conversion ratios and the level of subsidy applied:

    Medicare Advantage Direct Mail Lead Subsidy Chart

    Actual Cost To AgentConversion Ratio (Policies-To-Leads)
    FREE!>35%
    $5.00 per lead>30%
    $10.00 per lead>25%
    $15.00 per lead>20%
    $20.00 per lead>15%
    $25.00 per lead<15%

    What’s incredible about this program is the ability to subsidize some if not all of your lead generation costs! 

    Adam, the agent who sold 1,000+ Medicare Advantage plans in 2019, has his lead costs ENTIRELY paid for and has NO cap to how many leads weekly he needs (he takes 50 direct mail leads weekly).

    NOTE: If you currently sell Medicare Advantage and have a track-record of success, we may consider eliminating the 90-day production evaluation for you. Reach out to me here for more details.

    Other Direct Mail Lead Options

    If you’re not interested in joining my agency, you can utilize direct mail leads from several different sources.

    Option 1: Favorite Lead Vendors
    NeedALead is an excellent final expense lead company to work with.

    My favorite lead vendors outside of my agency’s subsidized lead program is Need-A-Lead and LeadConcepts. Both offer great customer service and a fair price to generate leads. Call both to review options. They both have Medicare Advantage lead availability.

    Final Expense Leads

    If you sell final expense and use direct mail leads, you’ll have a TON of Medicare Advantage SEP sales opportunities.

    How much? In our estimation, 70 to 80% of your final expense leads have Medicare Advantage plans. And many (if not most) are SEP eligible.

    We like this strategy when recruiting final expense agents to sell Medicare Advantage with us. Why? Because keeping your lead generation strategy unaltered makes the transition to cross-selling Medicare Advantage simpler. Plus you can continue marketing and selling final expense as you cross-sell those leads interested in Medicare Advantage.

    Cross-Sell Your Book Of Business

    You may also cross-sell your existing book of business. Medicare Advantage compliance rules allow agents with existing clients the opportunity to discuss Medicare Advantage plans.

    In fact, many agents new to Medicare Advantage with books of business immediately start marketing them.

    Why is that a good idea? Clients who buy from you are likely to buy again. Think about it. They trust you! They provided their most personal information such as their Social Security and checking account information. Plus, many clients would prefer to keep their business with one agent if possible. I’ve discovered it’s a real draw for many of our clients.

    Also, you’ll experience much less stress working with current clients. The most difficult time to  sell Medicare Advantage is when you first start. You’re unfamiliar with all the details to each plan and your presentation isn’t fine-tuned yet. More reason to see more forgiving prospects like those who’ve already done business with you!

    If you decide to come on board my agency, we’ll highly recommend working your book of business as your first step into learning Medicare Advantage sales.

    Facebook Leads

    Facebook leads at the present moment are an untapped opportunity for Medicare Advantage lead generation. 

    With each passing year, direct mail response rates diminish. Lower response rates mean a higher average price per lead. However, Facebook’s lead generation platform gives us a unique opportunity to generate decent-quality leads at bargain-basement prices.

    With Facebook, we target prospects are over and under 65 years old. Remember, folks drawing Social Security Disability and SSDI under 65 many times are Medicare Advantage eligible. They make perfect prospects, and aren’t nearly as heavily marketed to as those who are 65 and older.

    Facebook Lead Subsidy Program

    Like our direct mail program, we offer a lead subsidy program for the most productive agents using Facebook leads. 

    Our starting point for new Medicare Advantage agents is $15 per Facebook-generated lead.

    However, there exists the possibility to completely cover the cost of your Facebook leads. See the chart below for more details.

    Medicare Advantage Facebook Lead Subsidy Chart

    Actual Cost Per LeadRequired Policy-To-Lead Conversion Rate
    FREE!>20%
    $5.00 per lead15% to 20%
    $10.00 per lead10% to 15%
    $15.00 per lead<10%

    Turning 65 Market

    The next year-round sales opportunity Medicare Advantage agents can explore is the Turning 65 Market (T65 Market for short).

    Here’s how the T65 market works…  

    As folks age 64 begin exploring Medicare plan options within six months of turning 65, they start to solidify their decisions on which Medicare plan they’ll get.

    A great reason to target T65 is that our prospects are forced to make a decision on which Medicare plan they choose before turning 65. Plus, most are aware that Original Medicare has significant gaps in coverage, encouraging them to opt for a plan to help mitigate those coverage gaps.

    A Crowded Market

    While the T65 market is great to target, I feel the competition is a bit more stiff than other markets like the Special Election Period eligible market mentioned earlier. 

    The main reason is that it is well-known among health insurance agents that T65 prospects must make a decision, therefore many agents intentionally target that market. 

    Plus, these prospects receive veritable truckloads of junk mail marketing, online spam advertisements, and endless TV ads. This ends up confusing and frustrating many prospects, and may lead them to discuss options with more than one agent.

    Lead Programs

    Direct Mail Leads. Just like in our SEP marketing, we offer direct mail leads targeting the T65 market. They’re $25 a piece. And just as the SEP direct mail marketing, the T65 marketing efforts experience the same advantages: better recall rates, better lead saturation, and access to our lead subsidy program, too.

    NOTE: You can also purchase T65 direct mail leads from Need-A-Lead and LeadConcepts if joining my agency doesn’t interest you.

    Facebook Leads. Same deal with Facebook leads. Refer to the SEP Facebook lead generation info above for more on why they’re a good source of leads and how the lead subsidy program with us works.

    Annual Enrollment Period

    Out of the different markets, selling Medicare Advantage during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is the most popular for agents to work.

    Why? Our government stipulates that non-SEP eligible Medicare Advantage policyholders may only switch out their plans between October and December each year.

    Incidentally, this enrollment season is jam-packed with heavy loads of direct mail, online PPC ads, and television commercials promoting AEP. Ad response rates are higher. And there is a greater “open-mindedness” to exploring other Medicare plan options.

    Unlike Medicare Supplements whose benefits are the same between carriers, Medicare Advantage carriers all have different co-pays, deductibles, and networks. Plus, these plans may change year-to-year. Newer plans regularly enter many markets which may provide more benefit.

    Point is all of these marketing and new and changing Medicare Advantage program roll-outs make the AEP season a very important time to sell. 

    Lead Programs

    Annual Enrollment Period lead program options are identical to those mentioned earlier. 

    In my agency, our “bread and butter” Medicare Advantage marketing efforts focus on direct mail and Facebook leads. We can develop plenty of leads to keep our agents busy. Plus, agents have access to the same lead subsidy programs for superior production. Review that information above in the Special Election Period section if you missed it.

    What Market Should I Target

    First, my intention for this article was to describe the best marketing opportunities for Medicare Advantage. I want you to have a clear picture of your options to develop a road-map on how to accomplish your income and production goals using tried-and-true lead programs.

    But how do you choose the best Medicare Advantage market to target? 

    Here are my thoughts…

    SEP Marketing

    We want most of our agents to double-down on Special Election Period Medicare Advantage marketing. Doing so provides year-round sales opportunities, and is a perfect fit for the typical Medicare Advantage agent we recruit, with a background in selling final expense

    Those with a final expense background have easy access to an existing book of business, which makes getting started with Medicare Advantage a bit easier as most of a final expense agent’s book is SEP eligible.

    SEP Market Drawbacks

    If there is one big drawback to selling the SEP market, it’s that the governing bodies prorate first-year commissions based on the policy’s effective date.

    If you write a Medicare Advantage plan with an effective day of July 1st, you are prorated half of the typical $225-ish commission, since the policy is in force only 6 out of 12 months of the current year.

    Diminishing first-year commissions is a big reason why we offer lead subsidies to our most productive agents

    The first few years of selling Medicare Advantage is the most difficult. Cash flow is low, making it harder to cover marketing costs while maintaining a high return on investment.

    However, this changes after several years of consistent effort. You’ve written hundreds of policies and are receiving a considerable renewal stream of income. At that point, first-year profitability on newly-written Medicare Advantage plans matters less.

    Turning 65 Market

    The Turning 65 Market is most appropriate for those agents interested not only in selling Medicare Advantage, but also in selling Medicare Supplements. Additionally, this market is simpler to experience success if you have an intimate, intuitive understanding of how Medicare works.

    Let me explain.

    Medicare Plan Options Really Matter

    If you’re selling to the T65 Market, not everyone will buy a Medicare Advantage plan. Some will choose a Medicare Supplement plan instead.

    So, if you exclusively sell one type of product as opposed to offering both, you’ll lose many new sales opportunities.

    Understanding Medicare

    Before diving into the T65 market, have a deep understanding of the inner workings of Medicare. Why? This is the first time they have owned a Medicare plan.

    Your T65 prospects are literally buried in a sea of Medicare plan junk mail and television advertisements. And it’s likely that the number of ads extolling the virtues of each plan causes our prospects confusion and doubt. More options means more confusion, and confused prospects have a harder time of buying.

    The ability to explain and simplify how Medicare works will aid you tremendously in capturing more of your T65 prospects. You’ll close more appointments and create happier clients.

    Drawback To T65 Marketing

    With the T65 market, you may experience a higher percentage of multi-call sales presentations.

    Because of the inundation of advertisements received, some prospects put off buying, wanting to review other options before making a decision. Or, knowing they have several months before having to decide on a plan, they exhibit a bit of procrastination.

    Unlike the T65 Market, both AEP and SEP markets are almost always one-call close scenarios. And running a one-call close business means more sales volume opportunity than a multi-step sales call model.

    Annual Enrollment Period Marketing

    All agents should heavily market during AEP in addition to either marketing year-round for SEP or T65.

    With the level of Medicare promotion at its highest all year, it really is the best time fo sell Medicare Advantage.

    Medicare is on every senior’s mind. So you might as well take advantage of it! And many of your prospects are open to change plans that may otherwise express no interest, even if SEP eligible in the AEP off-season.

    Conclusion

    Thanks so much for reading my article on Medicare Advantage leads. I hope it has helped clarify what’s possible in marketing for Medicare Advantage business.

    More Resources

    Interested in the lead programs mentioned above? Please go here to investigate how our Medicare Advantage sales and marketing opportunity works, and what we’re looking for in interested Medicare Advantage agents.

    New to Medicare? Learn the basics in the Medicare And You Handbook.

    Interested in selling Medicare Advantage? Learn more about the sales process in my article here.

    Watch my interview with our agent Adam here who wrote more than 1,000 Medicare Advantage plans in his first full year of focusing on the Special Election Period market.

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