Election, Pandemic Will Flip the Script on AEP Sales Tactics

Given the likelihood of continued social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, health plans and brokers selling Medicare Advantage plans this fall will rely heavily on call center and online enrollment, tele-sales, and virtual meetings and seminars, experts say. And while the so-called “kitchen table” approach may be out of the question, infusing a personal touch and delivering a positive member experience via remote sales will be critical to acquiring membership.

“There are lot of brokers who are not used to doing this [virtually]…and would rather put a shield in front of their desk and give customers face masks.…Some agents aren’t going to change and you’re not going to change them, but an increasing number of agents, especially those with tele-sales experience…are using technology successfully,” Dwane McFerrin, vice president of Medicare Solutions with Senior Market Sales, Inc. (SMS), said during a recent webinar hosted by Gorman Health Group. SMS, which supports more than 60,000 independent sales agents focused on the senior market, said the firm saw attendance double in March and April for webinars on conducting business virtually.

© 2021 MMIT

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues, including drug benefits and specialty pharmacy, for more than a decade. She served as editor of Drug Benefit News (the predecessor to Radar on Drug Benefits) from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016, and now manages Radar on Medicare Advantage. Lauren graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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