Are you interested in selling Medicare Advantage successfully?
Do you want to discover how to make a long-term career out of Medicare Advantage sales?
If so, you’ve found the right article!
Today, I interview 10-year Medicare Advantage sales veteran and agent trainer Luis Moreno.
If you’re thinking about jumping into selling insurance, this interview explains how the Medicare Advantage sales opportunity works.
Luis answers many often-ask questions as it relates to selling Medicare Advantage successfully.
For ease of navigation, use the links below to jump to the parts of the article most intriguing to you.:
- What Is Medicare Advantage?
- Why Sell Medicare Advantage?
- Is Medicare Advantage tough?
- Requirements To Sell
- Best Carriers
- 1st Year Or Renewal Driven Income?
- How Long To Make 6 Figures?
- Service Work
- Free Lead Options
- Presentation Expectations
- Best Time To Sell
- Why A Mentor Is Vital
- Sales Tech Questions
- Your First Presentation
- Best Agency
- Bad Agency Warning Signs
- Am I Vested?
- Commission 101
- Getting Started
- Selling Final Expense, Too
- When Should I Start?
- What About Medicare Supplements?
- Next Steps
Before we jump into the interview, let me tell you a little bit about Luis Moreno.
Luis has been an insurance agent in Texas since 2011. He’s worked with Mutual of Omaha as well as Farmer’s Insurance.
Over time, he worked his way into the healthcare business with a focus on selling Medicare Advantage (although he does sell Medicare Supplements, too).
He’s ex-military, manages a team of agents who he coaches on selling Medicare Advantage successfully.
And he’s written over 900 Medicare Advantage plans.
DD: I’d like to start with the basics, Luis. I’m sure there are a lot of people who have heard about Medicare, maybe they’re brand new agents or somewhat experienced in the business of selling insurance. Could you give us just a basic overview of what selling Medicare Advantage is all about?
LM: When somebody has Medicare they’re normally 65 and over. You do have a segment of the population under 65 that get Medicare who are usually disabled.
Once someone is on Medicare they have two options – Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement. There’s not a good or a bad option, there is simply two options. We’re going to focus today on selling Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Advantage is a plan that helps fill the gaps that naturally occur with a Medicare plan.
For example, common carriers include:
They all offer a Medicare Advantage option that helps fill the gaps that Medicare doesn’t cover.
DD: Explain to agents what the opportunity is in selling Medicare Advantage plans to clients? Why would an agent want to consider operating in this particular niche?
LM: Right now the latest statistics show that there are 10,000 seniors a day turning 65. Most of these seniors need coverage outside of Original Medicare.
You’ll have military folks with TRICARE, you’ll have some seniors that work for a company or government position offering health benefits in retirement.
But outside of that, you’ll have seniors enrolling in Medicare, needing to find a plan. That’s 10,000 seniors a day that need help!
The problem is that there are so many plans that they can enroll in!
Many Seniors To Help
A lot of times when I’ve gone to a senior’s house and look at the amount of mail they receive advertising plans, the carrier mailers stand a foot tall!
Plus they get an onslaught of phone calls and TV ads telling them to find a Medicare plan.
A lot of prospects don’t make a decision because they’re afraid to choose a plan. They’re afraid they will enroll in the wrong plan.
So they need our help!
They really need someone to steer them into the correct plan that’s going to fit their needs, have their doctors in the network, and cover their medications.
So, 10,000 a day – that’s a huge number. And from what I understand that 10,000 is going to increase as time goes on. We’ve got more and more seniors turning 65.
It’s a great market, and a great opportunity! It is probably the best time to get involved selling Medicare Advantage plans.
Agents Retiring = Less Competition
And one more thing to consider. A lot of agents are retiring, getting out of the business. They’re getting too old!
That’s good for us agents that are in the field selling Medicare Advantage. Over time, you’ll see LESS competition.
DD: The average age of an insurance agent today is 59. These guys aren’t going to work forever. They want to be put to pasture, enjoy their golden years.
I’ll add too that not only are they all close to retirement age, but new agents entering the business does not keep pace with retirin agents.
The amount of agents necessary to service a multi-million person market requires a much larger field force than we have now. And that means more opportunity and less competition. Wouldn’t you agree that would be the case?
LM: I completely agree. The more agents that retire – that’s just more business for us. So we’re being put into a very good situation. It’s a target-rich environment. We just need to become knowledgeable in the products and offer it to the seniors that we’re working with already.
DD: When I started in final expense sales, I saw many Medicare Advantage prospects, but I never sold any Medicare Advantage plans.
Why? Because agents would complain, “I like Medicare Supplements, but selling Medicare Advantage, it’s difficult, it’s hard.” Could you expand on that thought?
LM: When we compare Med Supplements to selling Medicare Advantage, the Advantage is a little more complicated for one reason.
With Medicare Supplements you don’t have to worry about a network.
You go to any doctor, specialist, or hospital accepting Medicare and they’re fine accepting your client’s Medicare Supplement.
How complex is selling Medicare Advantage? It’s not that hard. What you’ve got to do is talk to the insured.
Simply The Complex
You’ve got to figure out what doctors they’re seeing, what specialists they’re seeing. Then all you do is check the provider list online and make sure that their doctors are in network.
Most people are going to have a couple of doctors. A healthy individual will have maybe their primary, but unhealthy individuals will have specialists like an endocrinologist or a cardiologist.
All you’ve got to do is check the provider list and that’s it. As long as you’ve done that you’ve done your CYA.
The other difference between a Supplement and an Advantage plan is you have a prescription portion.
So you’ve got to sell a prescription drug plan with a Medicare Supplement. For Medicare Advantage a prescription plan is included.
The copays per carrier are probably different, but they function the same way.
All you’ve got to do is pull up the formulary, which is usually in a PDF and just do the search for the medications and make sure they’re in there.
Easier Than You Think
So is it that complex? Is it hard? No. You just got to do a little bit of homework.
For final expense agents, you already have a list of medications you’ve got to ask for for your underwriting. So it’s really not that much more work. Making the transition from final expense to Medicare would be easy.
DD: So it sounds like when someone says, “Oh, selling Medicare Advantage is hard,” it’s not that it’s difficult to sell because these people most likely all have to have Medicare, right? They’re all prospects in a way. I guess what you’re saying is you just have to find the right plan.
A lot of it is just doing the service, just adding value. You don’t have to talk people into these plans. This isn’t some kind of hard sale or anything like that, right?
LM: It is the easiest sale in my opinion. First of all, most of these plans normally do not have a premium, so you’re not asking for money.
You Don’t Even Have To Ask For Money!
That’s great! You’re going to get paid a commission on a product that you don’t have to ask money for.
The service that you’re providing is going through your handful of plans and finding a service that fits your prospect.
What I tell my agents is, “You have 5 plans. They all pay the same, so there’s really no incentive to go with one or the other.”
What you’re doing is you’re trying to stick them into the right plan based on their doctors, based on their specialists, and based on the prescriptions that they’re taking.
That’s how you do your analysis and breakdown and start narrowing down the plans.
Now, if it turns out that 2 out of 5 cover all their doctors and all their meds then go with your go-to company. Go with the one that you feel strongly about and one that’s a big name brand that you’re comfortable with.
What Is Required To Sell?
DD: What’s the process for somebody who is interested in selling Medicare Advantage to actually be able to sell? You have to do more than get a health insurance license, right?
LM: First of all, you need a life and health license, so that’s step number one.
Once you’re licensed there are some certifications that need to be done. In the final expense world, you get a contract with a carrier and you’re good to start selling that product.
Selling Medicare Advantage, you get a contract with a carrier, but once you’re contracted with that carrier every year that you are in Medicare Advantage sales, you’re going to have to take a certification test called AHIP.
A lot of people freak out, “Oh, it’s so hard.” Well, it’s Medicare 101. You need to know the product that you’re selling.
Don’t view it as, “Ugh, I have to take another test.” It gives you a very good foundation on what products you’ll sell.
You got to take the AHIP. You got to pass it.
What Happens After AHIP?
Once you get that AHIP done then you’ve done about 70% of your required certifications. Each carrier that you’re appointed with wants to make sure that you know their product.
You carrier certifications to complete in reference to the products offered.
These are product knowledge tests, and certified, you get the green light to sell. At that point you order your kits and you’re ready to rock and roll.
Now, certifications in AHIP have to be done every year. It’s a yearly requirement for all Medicare Advantage agents.
DD: When you take these certifications, you’re learning all the intricacies of the product, which helps you sell more Medicare Advantage plans.
So, these tests are important. You have to look on the bright side and realize they prepare you to sell more prospects, wouldn’t you agree?
LM: 100% agree. Those courses are specific to the plans in your area.
It’s not just broad general knowledge, it is knowledge on the specific plan that you’re selling.
Once you’re certified you have the carrier’s resource guide when needed.
I can’t memorize all the plans that are out there, but once I’ve narrowed it down, I open up my booklet and it’s all there. I use the Summary of Benefits in all my sales to explain the plan.
Carrier Selection Strategy
DD: Let’s shift gears here and talk about carrier selection strategy. I teach agents in the life insurance business to be independent and carry multiple carriers. This provides our clients with options.
I’m wondering how this looks as far as Medicare Advantage goes? How do you recommend a new agent should start?
Should they start with one company? Should they start with multiple companies? And if so, all at once or over time?
LM: That depends on how much knowledge one agent can soak up. As time goes by, you most definitely want to have every carrier that’s in your area.
Start With The Big Nationals
At first, you want the big national carriers. You want UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Aetna, and Cigna.
When a new agent starts, I recommend contracting with these companies.
In most areas you regional and county-specific carriers.
Depending on how strong the product is, you’ll eventually want those, too.
Would I do them all at one time? No. It’s too much information. There is too much variation in the plans.
If you can absorb all that data and you have a plan, great! But I tend to start my agents off with the national carriers and regionals as needed.
Bottom line, you can’t go wrong starting with the national Medicare Advantage carriers.
For example, Unitedhealthcare has 70% market share in my area. They’re the leaders in my area.
What Are The Long-Term Benefits Of Selling Medicare Advantage?
DD: What would you describe as the long-term advantages selling Medicare Advantage policies as your primary line of business?
LM: When you’re doing cross-selling I offer multiple lines in my agency. When I have one hook into a customer, one product, that customer tends to stay for a period of time.
As I put two hooks into them, three hooks into them, they just stay with me longer. It’s harder for them to leave because I’ve got more hooks on them.
So I think for the agents that are just offering final expense, adding the Medicare Advantage is going make them so much more valuable to that insured individual. They’re not going to want to leave and go somewhere else.
When that other agent comes knocking on their door, you make the job much harder for that other agent.
First Year Commission Or Renewal Driven Business?
DD: A lot of agents are looking at this like we’ve talked about it from a final expense standpoint. They’re used to getting pretty high first year commissions selling final expense or maybe selling mortgage protection.
These types of life insurance generally have a higher first-year commission.
What about Medicare Advantage? Do you see the Medicare Advantage world as a first-year commission driven business or more of a renewal driven business model?
LM: I love the commission structure with Medicare. Renewals really are the reason why you’re selling this product.
If you end up writing somebody who is aging into Medicare, somebody 65, they just got their Medicare card, they have Part A and Part B and you’re selling them a plan, you’re initial commission is $510, give or take.
If they already have a plan and you’re flipping them, you’re making a change or let’s say they have a prescription drug plan and you’re enrolling them in a Medicare Advantage plan, your commission is going to be half at $255, give or take.
My magic number of total Medicare Advantage policy sales for new agents is 500.
I tell my agents, “Wait till you get to 500. At 500, you’ve built a pension!”
At 500 policies, you make a little more than $10,000 a month. And even better, you can handle the book alone because the service work is minimal.
How Long Would It Take To Write 500 Sales?
DD: How long do you think it would take to write 500 pieces of business? Somebody who’s serious about this business, they’re full-time, they really give it their all.
Paint the picture for somebody that likes this idea of making $10,000 a month passively. How long does it take? Five years? Ten years? What do you think?
LM: Conservatively, 5 years, although we’ve had exceptional agents hit that in a year’s time!
If you write 10 a month that’s a good number to shoot for. Ten a month will leave you about 100 a year if you take into consideration some people die.
In 5 years, that’s 500 people consistently renewing, keeping their plans, providing that renewal check.
I tell you what, I love my renewal check! It’s steady, it doesn’t change.
If you’re selling life insurance, if you don’t sell you don’t make any money.
In the Medicare Advantage sales side of things, you can take the foot off the gas and make ongoing commission simply by maintaining your book of business.
Selling Medicare Advantage, you don’t make a ton upfront. But it’s steady, so it may give these guys a little bit of stability, a little more comfort with knowing that they’re going to get this paycheck day-in day-out regardless of whether they’re selling.
Passive Income Is King!
DD: I’ll add in my perspective. I’ve been in the business since 2011 and most of my business has been focused on final expense.
I’ve always been a hardcore workaholic, but I was about 2 or 3 years into the business when I realized,
“You know, I won’t always want to work this hard because I’ll have a lot of kids running around, they’ll have activities. I want to be in a position where I can enjoy that.”
My father worked 7 days a week, traveled constantly, built a respectable, very big business, retired at 50.
He did very well, but all those years he had no personal or social life. He couldn’t afford to stay away from taking care of his clients and his customers.
The reason I mention this is because I made a decision that I was either going to recruit, which is the path I went, or I was going to sell Medicare several years back.
I wanted a passive renewal driven income added to my business so my income wasn’t solely dependent on actively hunting for it based on new policy sales.
What’s great is this passive income opportunity is extended to everybody who wants to get into it.
You may be relatively new to the business or perhaps you have been in the business for several years. Take it from El Jefe’, you need to diversify your income stream!
LM: Final expense life insurance sales means you have to hustle, you’ve got to consistently be closing business to make that check.
With Medicare Advantage sales, say you want to take a month off, nothing is going happen.
And I still haven’t even touched on the amount of service work that you have to do with this business. I love the service work because it’s very, very little work.
What Service Work Is Required?
DD: Let’s talk about service work. How often do you talk to a client? Are they blowing your phone up when they get a bill back or when something happens? What service work, if any, do you have to deal with?
LM: I would say the majority of calls that I get from the seniors I’ve enrolled are, “My buddy needs help.” I love those calls!
Sometimes a client will have some issues with potentially seeing a doctor that’s out-of-network. Or a medication that they’re taking is not covered or the copay changes.
My go-to line is, “I would love to help you.”
In fact, at the very beginning of my business I tried to help. But every time I got on the phone, either with a three-way call or in my office, the representative from the carriers would make me get off the phone. Or they’d say, “Hey, can you step out and we’ll talk to your customer.”
At the very beginning of my business I was trying to get involved in claims. Now, even if I wanted to I can’t. I’ve got to get the medical release information to do that. Why would I want to put myself in that position?
Let The Company Service Your Clients
I have no authority on claims or adjusting the claim, so my go-to line is, “Hey David, I would love to help you out with your problem that you’ve got, but here’s the issue. If I call for you they’re going to make me hang up. So let me tell you, here’s what you’re going to do, David.
Look at the number on the back of your card. You’re going to call them up. They have a team that is dedicated to helping you with your problems.
They’re going to be able to see your claim, they’re going to know what’s going on. So call that number. If you got any problems call me back, but they’re the ones that are going to solve it for you.”
Literally most of the time I would say all the service work is handled by the customer service center. Every now and then I’ll get a call, “Hey, I want to go see a doctor, can you help me find one?” Gosh, that’s a piece of cake.
I go to the provider search, search for a cardiologist and I’ll give them a list or I’ll check the doctor that they already have in mind, but the service work is super, super easy.
Marketing Medicare Advantage
DD: So we talked about the Medicare Advantage opportunity. Great renewal income with a consistent effort and writing lots of policies.
It’s a really simple sale with a huge market. But let’s talk about what I believe is one of the most important components to any insurance sales business, and that’s marketing!
We can have a great product or a great concept, but without having people to see, you’re not in business.
How can we market Medicare Advantage and expanding on that, what would you consider the best way to market for Medicare Advantage?
LM: What I do and what my agents do is going to be probably a little bit different than what other agents will do.
For example, final expenses agents are already buying final expense leads that are putting them in front of a senior with Medicare.
There’s your Medicare advantage prospect right there!
Here’ what to say and how to set up the conversation,
“By the way, I now offer Medicare,” or they wear a little button that says, “Ask me about Medicare.”
DD: It’s a pretty good idea. I like that.
LM: All you have to do is transition the sales presentation over. They don’t have to do anything different but throw out the “By the way, I do this now too.”
Free Lead Program Ideas
For the agent that can’t purchase Medicare Advantage leads, there are other ways to market for Medicare Advantage sales.
During AEP, where I derive probably 60% of my business, I have a booth at a local grocery store. And it’s turned out to be a goldmine.
I sit there 2 days a week for about 5 hours and I will have customers ask me about Medicare.
And you’re going to think, “People, don’t buy Medicare at the grocery store.” I get most of my business there and every now and then they’ll tell me, “Hey it’s too loud, can you come by my house.” “Great, I’ll be there as soon as I get done,” but working a grocery store is great.
Where else can you market?
Second place you can market for Medicare Advantage sales is in your book of business.
For the final expense agent in business for years should follow up with clients and say, “David, how’s your final expense policy? How’s life treating you, David?”
Do the service call to your insured and then say, “By the way, I now offer Medicare. Is there anything I can help you with?”
Also, depending on how you have your book of business managed or your CRM, your management system, do a search for people that are 64 and find out which ones are turning 65 in the next three months.
I know Unitedhealthcare provides a letter agents can send to your book of business. They’ll have your name on it, print it, and all you’ve got to do is put, “Dear David,” and you can send those out to your clients.
Also, you can always cross-sell your existing insurance leads that are of senior age.
Finding Leads On A Tight Budget
DD: Let’s focus on the agent that’s interested in selling Medicare Advantage. They like everything they’ve heard about the opportunity, but they just don’t have money or book of business.
Can you detail any kind of free lead opportunities to market for Medicare Advantage, like referral relationships or maybe incentives from the companies? What options are available for agents who are in this situation?
LM: Two just came to mind that I forgot to mention earlier. One of them is in your circle of influence, your group of people that you run with. If you have a doctor that you know, doctors have patients that are turning 65.
A problem these doctors have is a patient may enroll in a plan where the doctor could lose that patient. The patient will go somewhere else.
The doctor loses future earnings on that patient.
Getting with the doctor, knowing what plans a doctor takes and creating a relationship with the doctor’s office, letting them know, “Hey, I’ll take care of your people that turn 65.”
Doctors, Grocery Stores
That way the doctor can retain the patient. So I think working with doctors’ offices is a good way to sell Medicare Advantage plans.
Also, each carrier has relationships that they’ve created with senior centers in the community.
Here in my area its a grocery chain, H-E-B, which is a huge chain. Well we don’t have enough agents to stick in there.
So you tell a carrier, “Hey I want to get into a grocery store,” and they’ll find one for you.
I think working the marketing events that these carriers have is a great way to bring in business. And you literally spend nothing to get a spot. Nothing. The carrier provides everything.
They give you a table, chairs, the booth, they’ll give you the tablecloth, the banners. These carriers have marketing money to spend that they will gladly provide to these agents free of charge.
Senior events are another great way to market. You can do these all year long. You can do education events all year long too. They’ll even pay for the advertisements in the paper or pay for mailers to go out.
If you want to have a marketing event at a restaurant and talk about the product, depending on your relationship with the carrier, a rep may even go with you and help you teach a class in Medicare.
Then you get a little sign-in sheet, pass out your cards. You never know what can come out of that.
There’s a lot of opportunity for the new agent without a book of business. It’s a matter of getting a little bit creative, having that will and drive to meet with these carrier reps.
You can call them up and say, “Okay, Mr. UnitedHealthcare representative,” that works with the agency, “Help me out. This is what I want to do. Where should I go?”
They know their market. What works here in my area may not work in your area. But the reps in your area know what will work and they’ll help you.
Meeting Compliance Guidelines
DD: If I may say from a sales perspective, the biggest objection of doing Medicare Advantage and perhaps the biggest concern is compliance as it relates to talking and selling to the prospect and all of the activity involved.
Can you expand on what the compliance issues are that some agents are concerned about and give a realistic perspective, especially for somebody with approximately 900 Medicare Advantage cases written? What should the agent worry about when it comes to compliance issues?
LM: The biggest issue is making a compliant presentation. Agents sometimes want to speed through the process, get in and get out, and you’re going to miss some things that way.
The biggest complaint I hear about agents are they don’t cover everything that should be covered.
There is a process to selling Medicare Advantage. You’ve got to follow the process.
Always Be Compliant
Sometimes it takes about an hour, depending on how involved the prospect is, how many questions they’re asking.
Now, once you do a compliant presentation there is one thing that can go wrong and this is where agents often get in trouble. They don’t check the doctors and they don’t check the medications.
As long as you make checking these two things part of your presentation, then if there is a customer complaint that goes up, your upline has the ability to fight for you if you’ve done a compliant presentation.
If you checked the doctors, you checked the meds, you did all your homework, you’ve got nothing to worry about. It’s when you don’t do that that you’ve got something to worry about.
It’s scary. I’ve had a complaint or two come my way and usually when it comes my way it’s because they’re being coached by the other agent to say this or say that.
When the complaint comes our way then it’s just a matter of responding to it in a timely manner and they’ll ask for a few things.
Get Scopes Signed
There’s a scope of appointment that needs to be signed. You provide that, you’ve pretty much won the battle.
And then where we’re going to knock it out of the ballpark is if you can give me the notes that you took during that meeting. I take very detailed notes about the doctors and the medications.
In fact, I have a little sheet that I’ve created that lists all the doctors and I have a little checkmark box that says, “In-network or out-of-network.”
I make sure that I check every doctor and medication. I find out what tier they’re in and I’ll write that down. It’s an easy process.
I also kept miscellaneous notes for things like, “Sister was in the room.” I want to make sure that I give my upline the ability to fight for me with a complaint. I’ve been doing business since ’01.
If you do it right you’re not going to have issues, and if you do have a complaint they’re just going to get squashed because you have the right documents, you have the scope, you did a compliant presentation.
My latest one that came across my desk was a complaint because the doctor wasn’t in-network. So I go to my list and said, “Look, I covered them all in here.”
It turned out that she forgot to tell me about that doctor. How am I supposed to know? There’s just no way for me to know. Had I known I would have addressed it, but I sent in my documentation and the complaint went away.
So a lot of it is just documentation. Cross your T’s, dot your I’s.
Life insurance pays out when the individual dies, but Medicare is very, very important because it pays out for their health while they are alive. So you really want to make sure that you’ve done the job correctly.
Can You Cross Sell?
DD: When we look at new Medicare Advantage clients, ones that we found or wrote from maybe one of these referral partners, what’s the guidelines on cross selling business to them?
The reason I ask is some people might be thinking, “Oh, I could build a book of Medicare Advantage clients from scratch and then I can cross sell other things like life products, annuities, etc.” Can you speak on that as far as compliance issue and if that’s something that’s acceptable?
LM: If a referral is given to you wait for them to contact you. At the doctors’ offices I go to every single month I leave a stack of cards and tell them to contact me.
I don’t want the doctor to give me the name because I don’t have permission to contact them.
I tell the doctor, “Here, give them my card, have them call me, have them email me.” So have them contact you. That’s the best way to get a referral.
Then as far as working your book of business, I love working my book of business.
Work Your Existing Book Of Business
Regardless of what my book of business is I try to retain it, that’s how I’m going to make my living, that’s how I’m going to be able to maintain my service commissions.
So I call, “Hey David, how are you doing? How’s life? How are the kids? How’s the life product I sold you working out? And then I throw out the, “By the way.” “By the way, how is your Medicare Supplement?” Start the conversation that way.
A lot of seniors have Supplements. So go with, “How’s your Supplement?” “Well, my Supplement, it’s okay.” “Well tell me what you like about it, but mainly what I want to know, tell me what you don’t like about it. Let me see if I can solve your problem,” and set that appointment up.
Now you used to have to set this up 48 hours in advance. Well they took that away, now you can do same day.
So you say, “David, you know what? My schedule is free in a couple of hours. Can I stop by your place or do you want to come by my office and let’s see if we can address this problem.”
You May Contact Clients With Pre-Existing Business Relationships
Now in the Medicare Advantage world if you don’t have permission to contact you’re not supposed to contact.
You can’t door knock for Medicare Advantage, so you’ve got to wait for it to come to you, but you can put a lot of honey out there to attract the bees.
So you do as much as you can out there, wear a button, hand out your cards. The grocery store is great.
Sometimes I’ve gone in there with a new agent, they’re like, “You’re selling Medicare, why are you talking to somebody who’s clearly not Medicare age?”
Well they’ve got a mom and dad, “Hey, tell your parents they need help with their Medicare tell them to come.”
So there’s a lot of ways to put honey out there to attract the bees. You want to do it compliantly though, that’s the key.
Do it compliantly and if a rule gets broken, is it the end of the world? Are you going to lose your license? No, you’re going to get a warning. Usually what happens is they tell you not to do whatever you did anymore.
At that point you don’t want to push your luck because it could come back and bite you. So just do everything the right way.
The biggest thing is you can’t door knock Medicare Advantage, that’s a big no-no, but putting out honey is great.
What To Expect From Presentation To Application Process
DD: Walk us through what an agent can expect actually inside of a Medicare Advantage sales presentation?
Take us through the entirety of the insurance presentation, from the moment you meet them at the door, to what you do in the actual presentation itself, then wrapping it up, writing the application and leaving.
LM: That sales process for me usually lasts about an hour. Usually the individual has no idea what Medicare covers.
They don’t know that there’s a deductible, that it only covers 80% and that there’s no prescription drug coverage with their Medicare.
They’ve got no idea, and so I usually do my presentation with that in mind.
I don’t even mention plans, I have nothing on my desk.
I just literally take out a sheet of paper, I’ve got their Medicare card and I explain what they currently have.
Then they see, “Oh shoot, I have a problem. I don’t have drug coverage.”
So I’ve enlightened them in that first step.
Once I’ve shown them what they’ve got then I jump into my presentation, which is always the same.
Option 1 Or Option 2?
“David, you have a choice. You can go with option 1 or option 2.”
It’s like choosing a car or a truck. Which is better? Well, it depends. I have no idea if a car or a truck is better for them. It all depends on that 1 person.
So you explain Option 1, which is a Medicare Supplement with a prescription drug plan, and give them the pros and cons.
Then you do the Medicare Advantage sales presentation, giving them the pros and cons and then literally at that point I don’t say a word.
Once they decide which way they want to go, then at that point I break out my little sheet where I’m like, “Okay, we’re going to go with the Medicare Advantage plan. We need to check the network.”
Now, not all Advantage plans are HMOs. Some of them are PPOs, but it’s still a network based product, so I still have to do my homework.
If we’re going to go the Medicare Supplement route then I don’t have to check networks, it makes it a little bit easier.
However, I still have to check medications on both options. I must ensure they get a prescription drug plan that covers their meds.
90% Want Medicare Advantage
Once they tell me which way they want to go, which 9 out of 10 times it’s Medicare Advantage, then I do my homework. I get my doctor list, my prescription list.
Once I’ve used that list and done my analysis to determine which product is best, I pull out the product, put it in front of them and I tell them,
“Hey, this is the one I think we’re going to have to go with and here’s why. Your doctors are covered here.”
I do run into the scenario where I’ve got five out of seven of their doctors or meds covered and I’ll tell them, “Okay, well this plan I’ve got five out of seven, with this one I’ve got four out of the seven.”
Sometimes I don’t hit a home run, so I present the best option and make sure that they’re aware that these 2 doctors aren’t covered.
Once they’ve given me the okay, I’ll open up the booklet and review the Summary of Benefits. I’ll go over each section and literally I’m reading off the book and I don’t deviate from the book.
They may throw some off question, and I respond, “If it’s not in the book, I’m not going to give an answer because I don’t want to tell you something that might not be true and get in trouble for it later.”
My usual go-to answer is, “If it’s not in the book, if Medicare covers it, your plan will cover it.”
So the question is not will the plan cover it, it’s whether Medicare will cover it. So that usually answers questions that are not in the book.
Describing The Plan’s Benefits
We do the presentation, and review the Summary of Benefits. After the Summary of Benefits, we’ll get into the additional benefits they get with an Advantage plan.
Sometimes they’ll get dental, vision, hearing, an over-the-counter benefit, transportation, or a gym membership. Depending on your product or the area you’re in, you’ll have some benefits that you can review. That’s usually a plus.
At that point I pretty much have won them over and then we do an application.
Sometimes I’ll do paper apps, sometimes I’ll do an electronic app. I’m loving the electronic apps. They’re very easy to do and the chance of making a mistake is slim.
DD: A lot of agents look at the Medicare Advantage business and think they can only sell these products when the person turns 65 and then if not, only during what’s called annual enrollment period, which is basically the end of the year between October and December.
Is that really the case? Or are there opportunities to sell Medicare Advantage plans at any time of the year, even if they’re not turning 65 or aging into Medicare?
LM: Outside of the annual enrollment there are four scenarios for selling Medicare Advantage.
Scenario number one, we already know, turning 65. That’s going to be your go-to scenario.
Number two is people that have a chronic condition.
The biggest one in my area is diabetes. If they’re diabetics, whether they’re on insulin or the pill, they are considered chronics and I can enroll them in the plan year round.
The third one is going to be what I call the duals or Medi-Medis.
These are people that have Medicare and Medicaid. You can enroll these guys all year long. They have put a cap on how many times they can switch. They have to limit it to one time every three months.
The fourth one is people that have low income subsidy.
This is known as Extra Help with prescription drugs. These are people that make a little too much money for Medicaid, so they don’t qualify. But they’re eligible for help with their prescription drug plan.
The only way to know if they are getting this help is to call the carrier, give them their name, date of birth, and Medicare information, and they’ll do a look-up and tell you.
You can also go to Medicare.gov, plug in that same data and you can find out what kind of help they’re getting.
If they are eligible for a Low Income Subsidy (LIS), or they are already getting LIS, you can enroll them year round.
It really is a year round business! Especially for final expense agents, the majority of your customers are Medi-Medis, if they’re low income they’re going to have LIS, or they’re going to have a chronic health condition.
What’s It Like Working With A Mentor?
DD: Tell us how you would teach a person new to the business how selling Medicare Advantage works, not just from an educational viewpoint, but also from a sales viewpoint. What’s it like working with you and what should an agent expect?
LM: The biggest thing is you’ve got to do all your work to become knowledgeable. You got to do your AHIP and carrier certifications. We come in as your medicare guide after completing all of those requirements.
We’re there to help you out with questions and scenarios. You shouldn’t be asking Medicare 101 questions to your upline. There are certain scenarios that are tough that you run into that you need help with.
Of course, you have access to me. I’ve got a business partner that I work with. He’s my go-to guy when I run into a scenario that I can’t figure out. You have the carrier reps that can help you out too.
So you have us as your backbone, as your support line. I’m available by text, that’s usually the best way to get a hold of me.
Agents Need Someone In Their Corner
The only time I’m not going to answer is when I’m with a customer. Other than that, I’m usually going to pick up the phone or I’m going to reply to a text and I’m like you, I’m a workaholic. I work all the time.
I’m at home and I’m working. I’m pitching softball and I got my phone with me. I’m out there. I know you guys are meeting with customers throughout the day and in the evening.
So messaging, email, or call me.
I’m also working on creating a YouTube channel where I’m going to put scenarios out. So you may call me and tell me, “Hey, I’ve got a customer that’s in this scenario.”
So I’m going to try to teach you how to fish as opposed to just giving you fish because at some point there’s only so many fish I can give you.
I’ll teach you where to go find the answers. That’s my job. I don’t benefit one bit if these agents don’t sell, so I want to help you sell.
Medicare is not a hard product to sell. Again, they’ve got to have it. That’s the beauty.
Life insurance is, in my opinion, a much harder sell. You’re selling a piece of paper with a guarantee if something happens their family is going to get money.
Prospects WANT To Speak With You
Learning how to sell Medicare Advantage, you’re selling a product that they’re using that’s going to maintain their health. So it’s so much easier.
Remember, you’re not asking for money. I love that! I have a product that I sell that is a PPO. My premium for the PPO product is $15 and guess what?
It’s not coming out of their account, it’s coming out of their Social Security. I’m getting it before they spend their check.
DD: No more misdrafts anymore, guys, that’s a nice thing.
LM: Exactly. I’m getting that money first, and that’s if I sell PPO. I don’t sell very many PPOs. PPOs are not rich in benefits, copays are usually higher than the HMOs, so HMOs are normally what gets sold.
I hope I answered that question. My partner Patrick and I put resources out where agents can get them. We’ll share those resources with you so you can provide them to your agents.
So in case they need an answer right there and they can’t get a hold of me because I’m in the middle of a meeting, then they should at least know, “Okay, I’m going to go here and type in whatever the scenario is,” and try to find a little one to five minute video on how to solve that problem.
What Technology Do You Need?
DD: So from a technology standpoint, what does an agent need to have with them? Do they need laptops, iPads? What kind of tech do they need to get out there selling Medicare Advantage plans?
LM: I was old school until about two years ago. I carried a little computer bag and guess what? There was no computer in there.
I carried an application or two for every carrier that I offered, I had the big formulary book that I checked the medications against and that was it really.
Now I use an iPad. I don’t leave home without it anymore. I still carry my computer bag of files in case I get in an area with limited service. So I still have my drug lists, just in the form of PDFs.
If you have a laptop you can just make a folder and stuff everything in there. If your laptop has the ability to write on it, or if you’ve got a tablet or an iPad where you can use your signature, you don’t need anything, you can get everything done on that piece of whatever hardware you’re going to use.
DD: And to interrupt, you use an iPad, but an agent can use any kind of tablet or even cheap laptop to access all the same information.
LM: Yeah. Most of my guys don’t carry an iPad. They’re all PC people, so they’ll carry a little laptop with them or a Surface Pro and they’ll have their data in there.
Paper Or Technology, Your Choice
You can be old school and go with paper apps or you can go the technology route, which is being pushed heavily.
Carriers really want you to do electronic applications. You’ll log into their site or whichever carrier you’re going to use, and you can do your applications on there.
It’s whatever the agent prefers. They can go old school with paper or they can go digital.
Carriers no longer print out drug lists. So if you want to walk around with a book that covers all the meds or a doctor provider book, those things are gone.
You have to do a search online. When I set up an appointment and I’m going out somewhere to a community where I know service may be sketchy, I ask them upfront, “I need a list of your doctors.”
I have to pre sell this. I want to do a little bit of homework. So I ask them, “Hey, give me a list of your doctors. Let me just double check.” I’m going to do my homework, that way when I get there I’m not there for five hours.
I’ll get a list of their meds and I’ll do my little 10-minute homework and figure out which plan I’m going to walk in with.
So they can go digital and walk in with an iPad or a laptop, but again remember, you’re meeting with seniors. These guys are still old school, so sometimes walking in with a product book is still a good way to go.
What To Expect On Your First Presentation
DD: Let’s imagine we have an agent selling Medicare Advantage. They’ve done AHIP and certification for the carriers as well as a lead program set up. They’re running their very first presentation.
What’s the experience like the first time they’re in the field? What can you tell an agent who’s going to get started in this business what they can expect on their first presentation?
LM: First, seniors are very nice people to deal with. Even if you just tell them, “David, this is my first appointment.” They’re going to help you out, so it’s just an easier segment of the population to deal with.
They’re not in a hurry, you’re probably in their home. Sometimes I’ll have 10 cups of coffee because their hospitality is great.
You go to somebody younger, it’s like you get in and get out, it’s business, “Let’s take care of business. I got to go.”
With seniors they’ve got time on their hands. So it’s usually nice to slow down, there’s not a lot of pressure.
Agents need to have their presentation ready when they walk in the door. You can’t go into this game and not have a system for how you’re going to present.
I would practice first doing the Medicare 101 presentation. Have that down and that’s going to be your step one.
You’re not going to do anything else, you’re not going to talk product, you’re not going to talk carriers, you’re not going to do anything until you do that Medicare 101 presentation first.
Then you ask them, “What’s best for you – Option 1 or Option 2?”
Practice that because you’re going to want to know what the pros and cons are for 1 and what the pros and cons are for 2. At that point, let them tell you what they want.
Once they’ve done that, you’re going to go on to step 3. Step 3 is narrowing down the plans that belong to that one option that they choose. You have to learn how to do that.
Do Your Research
You’re going to do the tech side of things you got to have all the provider links on your computer ready to go. Have your homework done. You’ve got to know where to go find everything.
I’ve folders on my device so I know where everything is. I just click and my login information is there. It’s seamless.
Have folders to store drug formulary lists. That way you can choose carriers a lot easier and faster.
Upfront preparation is key. Have your game plan down.
To summarize, start with Medicare 101. Help your client decide on Option 1 (Medicare Supplement) or Option 2 (Medicare Advantage).
Next, narrow down available plans, pick the best, and fill out the application.
Remember to practice filling out the app before you have a client ready to sign. Most carriers have an area where you can go in and fill out a sample app so you kind of get a feel for it.
What To Look For In An Agency
If we magnify this to Medicare Advantage sales, what should aspiring Medicare Advantage agents look for in an agency to partner with?
LM: The biggest thing is support. You can find all the carriers with any upline, they’re all going to have them, that’s just the way the business is.
The key is going to be working with somebody that you know, trust, and helps. That is the key, and that’s where my job comes in.
I don’t make a dime until these guys sell, so I want to help them. It’s self-serving, so I want to help out as much as I can and then once I’ve shown them how to fish then they’re catching fish all day long.
Support Is Crucial
The biggest thing is support, knowing that you have a lifeline out there that you can reach up to when you’re stuck.
I think also having a database or a place where you can go to find answers to the questions you’ve got is important. That’s something we provide all our agents.
Again, it’s your job as an agent to learn the product. I don’t want to teach product as there’s sufficient resources available to instruct you. But, if you are stuck in a scenario I want to help you overcome the obstacle so that you can make the sale.
DD: And I’ll add just a throw-in, I think it’s important to clarify, the product knowledge is something that you will absolutely get in the process of doing all of the required testing and certifications.
It’s a given, which is unusual in insurance sales. Most of the time you’re “thrown to the wolves.”
The unique thing about selling Medicare Advantage is that you don’t get to sell a product unless you’ve passed tests and meet knowledge requirements.
LM: Correct. Further, you may have face-to-face training requirements before selling.
You’ll be in a room of other new agents. They’ll have training on their products, which I love going to because these products do change every year. Even though I’m not required to go I go.
You’ll have kickoff meets where a carrier will say, “Hey, we’re kicking off our products for the following year.”
I go to these to get the product knowledge because I hate reading. I don’t want to sit at my house and read a book, but I’ll go to a happy hour and learn about it.
Taking initiative to go to these face-to-face meetings, going to the carrier kickoff meetings when new products are coming out for the following year is vital for agents.
Warning Signs Of A Bad Agency
DD: What are some warning signs that a Medicare Advantage agency you’re thinking about joining is not necessarily going to provide the best platform for your success?
LM: There’s only one thing that comes to mind. Depending on who you’re going to partner up with, you can get “assignment of commissions.”
That is something that I would definitely warn you against.
If you’re an employee and you’re getting the salary and you’re selling Medicare Advantage, fine.
But for agents working on commission, you want to own your book of business.
If you change uplines, having ownership of your book of business ensure you’ll continue to receive renewals.
Some agencies force all agents to assign their commissions. The new agents don’t know any better.
An assignment of commission what happens is the carrier pays the upline, then the upline is now in the business of payroll and they’re paying the agent.
We don’t do that. Instead. you receive commissions directly from the carrier. As an agent, that’s huge for me. I want to make sure I get my money. I work hard and I want to get it.
Are Agents Vested?
DD: What about vesting? Are agents 100% vested in this organization as well?
LM: Yes, those renewals are yours. I have seen agents lose what they’ve written, and there’s only two ways that can happen.
One, you lose your license. You can’t control that. If you lose your license you’re not going to get paid commissions.
I have known agents who think because they’re not selling anymore that they do not have to get AHIP certified for the following year.
I’ve seen that and it’s not good because you lose your book, you’re starting from scratch if you decide to get back into it.
So every year you’ve got to do your AHIP and your carrier certifications, it’s a must. As long as you do that you’re 100% vested, that book of business that you’ve worked hard for is yours to grow.
You’re only going to lose a client one of two ways. They they either die and the plan terminates. Second, another agent comes in replaces your policy.
DD: Those thinking seriously about selling Medicare Advantage, make sure you’re 100% vested. And make sure you’re paid direct from the carrier.
This is solid advice. You’re in business for yourself! Make sure you own your book of business. If things don’t turn out the way you think and you want to change agency relationships, you’re at the agency’s mercy.
We do it because we want to have the benefits of a passive income, ultimately, after putting hard work upfront for it.
LM: That’s when you can go live in Florida and go fishing every day.
DD: That’s right!
LM: That’s my goal.
What Is Commission Like?
DD: Let’s talk about commissions. Can you expand upon what the commission structure is like and how if at all an agent can increase his commission level?
LM: Commissions are very easy to grasp. You either get full commission when you enroll somebody in a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time, or you’re going to get half.
This year, a first-time enrollment pays $510.
If I write the plan in April, I get paid in May.
Starting the following year I receive renewal commissions at half the $510 payout, which is $255 total for the year, paid as earned.
I’m paid that renewal income as long as the clients remains on the books.
DD: For the sake clarifying for agents wanting to know more about commissions, this assumes a client you wrote last year was a first timer to Medicare Advantage so you got the full $510?
DD: The renewal commission that’s paid out in Mat, is that the whole $255 or is it as-earned at that point?
LM: Good question. It’s as-earned. You’re going to get one-twelfth of that $255, so you’ll get that every single month.
Some agents think that isn’t much but when you build a book of business that’s a steady income coming every single month.
You can budget your life because you know what’s going to come in every single month, give or take a little bit, but it’s not a huge commission that you’re getting on an individual basis.
As-Earned Is Nice
DD: Yeah, no huge advanced commission fluctuations that are so prevalent in other niches. You know if you have a bad run of final expense business and five pieces of business charge back. You don’t get that with Medicare Advantage renewals because you’re paid as earned.
LM: That is right, after the first year you’re paid as earned or potentially if selling a Medicare Advantage replacement.
For example, depending on the carrier, you may get the commissions from a replacement made in July to the end of the year all upfront, one-twelfth of $255 monthly.
Either way, you get your full commissions.
I love as earned business. It allows me to live. The upfront is great, I look at it as bonus money.
DD: Basically for the final expense agent that may do a cross sell approach like we talked about earlier, what you’re saying is if a first payment starts in July, there’s six months left in the year so they are going to get paid a prorated commission for the remainder of the year, is that correct?
LM: That’s a better way of saying it, correct. They’re not making the full $255. Why? Because the client was only under their book of business for half the year.
Now January of the following year comes around then the $250 is going to be given to them throughout the year as-earned.
DD: Right, so if you enroll someone during a Special Election Period, you’re paid as earned monthly from thereon out.
LM: Correct. Consider the advance when you’re enrolling somebody new into Medicare because you’re getting the full $510 upfront.
DD: So what happens in the Annual Enrollment Period if it’s a lot of your business, if not all, and you’re switching a client over from one plan to another.
When would you get paid on that business? Is that as-earned or is that going to be an advance? And when does that actually pay out?
LM: It’s all as-earned. Let’s just say they have ABC Company and you’re in AEP, which is the end of the year and you enroll them with a new carrier effective January 1. Well, your statement in February will have the January commissions.
Remember, you final expense guys, you got your business that you’re still doing. So you’ve got your upfront commissions. It makes life a little bit easier selling Medicare Advantage, combining a high first-year commission product like final expense.
DD: Walk me through the process from start to finish for someone interested in selling Medicare Advantage successfully?
LM: If I’m a final expense agent, I don’t know anything, I don’t have any Medicare contracts, but I am sold on doing this.
Step number one – get with David! Get contracted started. David will help make that happen.
I recommend starting with one carrier then gradually build out your carrier line-up.
Once you’re contracted with that carrier, we show you how to navigate the carrier websites, get certifications completed, etc.
Now the only financial investment you’ve got to make is in AHIP. It’s $175. That’s what you’re going to invest in to start this business. So you pay your $125 and you enroll in AHIP and you take that test.
Once you’ve taken that test, which is the Medicare 101 test, then the results will get transmitted electronically to the carrier.
It’s going to take a day or two for them to see that you’ve passed your AHIP and at that point they’re going to allow you to take the product training.
Once you get that product training done another couple of days and you’re going to be given the green light to sell.
At that point, you’ll receive a marketing kit containing a kit of applications and booklets to enroll prospects.
How long does it take? Probably the biggest thing that’s going to eat a lot of their time is passing AHIP. You’re not going to knock it out in a day or two. You’ll probably do a module per day.
There are 5 modules, so I would say a week on AHIP and then at the most another day or two with the carrier training.
I knock them out in a half-hour. A new agent will want to make sure they know the product. So give it another couple days for carrier training then you’re set.
Once that’s set, we’ll add an additional carrier, transmit the results to them, take their product training. Of course you’ve already done your AHIP, so we don’t have to do it again for a new carrier.
At the very least, for highly motivated agents jumping into AHIP certification, you can complete everything in two weeks.
DD: So you’re thinking conservatively 2 to 4 weeks from the point of taking AHIP, taking certifications for each carrier to being appointed and then going to say, cross selling a book of business is kind of realistic time?
LM: Correct, yes, about a month.
When Is The Best Time To Start?
DD: I’ve worked with more than 1,000 agents over the years. And there’s this perception that the best time to get credentialed to sell Medicare Advantage is at Annual Enrollment Period in October.
However, we’ve learned today that agents can sell Medicare Advantage at any time of the year with the right sales and marketing system in place.
My question is if somebody is watching this early- to mid-year, when is the best time to get credentialed and start selling Medicare Advantage?
LM: Do it now! There’s no time like the present, especially when excited and motivated.
If you decide to wait until AEP, not a problem.
Why wait? Many agents are already spending money for leads and visiting seniors. Why would you want to wait? Get it done now, start selling right away!
DD: Great point! Correct me if I’m wrong, Luis, most agents reading are final expense agents. And every single day, it’s likely they’re running into a Medicare Advantage prospect eligible for a Special Election Period.
They may qualify to replace their plan now as opposed to waiting for AEP.
You’ve got people right now who need your help! And the great thing is if you can’t help them now, if they don’t qualify to replace today, then see them at AEP.
LM: If you can’t help them out it doesn’t mean that they’re out of your book of business or they’re out of your potential. Tell them, “Hey David, I can’t help you right now.
“You’re in the best possible plan,” or “You’re stuck in this plan. I don’t have a way to move you, but guess what? On October 15th I’m going to come by and see you. We’ll move you then.”
Whatever you’re using as your customer relationship management system to track your customers and contact them, put that information in there.
Put your notes into your CRM and make a reminder to follow up.
Adding Final Expense Prospects To Medicare Advantage
DD: Let’s talk about the guy right now who sells final expense. He’s in the field right now working his leads.
My question to you is how many appointments do you think they could get to sell Medicare Advantage plans? What could they realize in Medicare Advantage sales out of their existing final expense leads?
Let’s say they are doing 12 appointments a week off of 25 leads for the sake of a general example. Maybe they see two to three appointments a day.
LM: First, there’s a high likelihood that they have Medicare. There’s also a high likelihood that they’re in a plan that’s working for them.
It’s going to be a tough sell in that scenario. I can’t say for certain, “Hey, you’re going to sell one out of every two,” because their lead could already be in a good plan.
You could be in an area where there are only one or two plans available, so they’re already in the best potential plan.
There’s no way to really know until you get out there and bring out the “By the way,” and do an analysis of what they’ve got.
The beauty of the business is that you’re going to have or you should have every product that’s available in your county. You’ll learn the weaknesses of all the plans.
I have to make sure I’m going to help them with their problem, but I also have to make sure the doctors are in-network and medications are in the formulary. I have to make sure to do my homework.
Lots Of Opportunity
So is there a number? That’s just too hard to say. I always like to say they’re going to strike gold 50% of the time, but I will tell you this.
If your guys are already buying leads they’re already in the field. If they want to take the initiative and buy Medicare Supplement leads, then great, they’re just doubling their chances.
But if they’re just doing what they’re already doing all they have to do is just do the “By the way.” I would also have these guys wear a pin, “Ask Me About Medicare.”
Even if the lead says, “Well why are you wearing that?” You can say, “Oh, I’m glad you asked,” and let the conversation flow.
DD: I guess the point is I know as a guy that’s strictly selling final expense that 9 out of 10 of my buyers, just the people who buy, are all on Medicare and the vast majority of them are on Advantage plans.
So we know that if you do enough activity and you’re targeting the right group of people, you’ll just stumble across business opportunities.
It’s just out there. This is a fantastic strategy because not only are you already selling the final expense opportunities, but you’re by default, 90% of the time if not greater, already in front of Medicare holders and if you can’t help now you can help later.
That’s the great thing about this. The opportunity is either immediate or it’s short term, but it’s always there. Wait a little while if you have to, but you can always go back and help them out.
Sell Them Now Or Later
LM: The other thing is if you work this right, “Hey, how can I help your friends that may not be in the plan that you’re in?”
Maybe you’re in the best possible plan. I’m going to reaffirm the decision that you made to enroll in that plan. “David, you did a great job. This is the plan I would have recommended myself.
“Awesome choice for you to choose this plan, but I can bet you not all your buddies are on this plan. Here’s a stack of my cards. Pass them out. Give them to your friends, have them call me. Let’s get them on your plan because you know how good it is.”
What do you do with the referral? You can do your whole presentation. It’s another way to get your name out there without having to buy or invest more in leads.
DD: Right, and I think you’ll find too that because Medicare is more a more tangible product, so it’s not like life insurance.
You have to die to get it, which means you’ll never see the benefit. You’re just paying a premium for a promise, but nothing substantive.
With Medicare, you feel and experience the benefits of it. To an extent, it’s more top of mind and concerning.
LM: I agree. You can take care of your prospects when you do your Medicare 101 presentation by not aiming above their head with technical terms.
I love breaking this thing down. I don’t give them all this technical stuff. I make it easy for them to understand.
So if you teach to their level, make them feel that you know a lot about Medicare, then the referrals will come.
I do a lot of business during AEP, but the remainder of my year, outside of AEP, are referrals.
Sell Medicare Advantage Or Medicare Supplements
DD: Last question here for you. Again, we talked earlier about how you conduct a Medicare presentation using the “Option 1 Option 2” strategy.
Some agents believe selling Medicare Supplements is the superior way to sell Medicare products. What’s your take on that? Is there one that’s better to sell than the other? Should you sell both?
LM: You should sell both. Again, don’t steer the customer to one product or the other. You don’t want to do that.
You want them to tell you, “I want the truck,” or “I want the car.” If they tell you that they want a Supplement, you need to have some Supplement carriers so you can offer that Supplement.
Now remember a Supplement is not sold by itself. It is paired up with a prescription drug plan.
You cannot sell a prescription drug plan without being certified, so you have to have your certifications to offer that anyway.
So get a couple of carriers that are strong in your area that are competitive with the Medicare Supplement plans. There’s only two that you’re going to offer, a G or an F.
They’re so easy. I do Gs, that’s all I do. I don’t do anymore Fs. F were the way to go years ago, now everybody is doing the G. There’s one little minor difference, but you offer the G.
All you got to do is find the carrier that’s competitive and some of your life carriers offer Med Supps. But you brought up a good point, 90% of the customers have a Medicare Advantage plan.
So 9 out 10 are going to go the Advantage route, 1 out of 10 are going to go the Supplement route. Is it better or worse?
Remember it’s a car or truck thing. That’s the easiest way I can explain it. So offer both. I would definitely have both of them.
DD: If you’re reading this and you’d like to learn more about how to sell Medicare Advantage to either your book of business or if you’re just interested in selling Medicare Advantage as a stand-alone product, here’s what I’d like you to do next.
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Thanks for reading!