Four Ways Advisors Can Prepare Now for Medicare Open Enrollment

Christine Simone
February 7, 2024

Medicare Open Enrollment starts on October 15th, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to prepare. By familiarizing yourself with Medicare Open Enrollment, identifying which clients are on Medicare, and taking other proactive steps, you’ll create a smoother, easier process for yourself and your clients.

Identify and reach out to Medicare-eligible clients

First things first, you need to find out which of your clients to assist with Medicare Open Enrollment! A quick way to do so is to find all the clients in your CRM who are 65 and older. If you want to take an advanced approach to healthcare planning, you can create a custom field for insurance type in your CRM to make this easier. You’ll want to contact them and let them know not only that the Open Enrollment period is coming up, but that you’re available as a resource to them to help them identify their optimal coverage options and make the entire process easier. These tailored touch points are proven to be much more effective than generic marketing campaigns, where you would just send a general email about Open Enrollment to all your clients. You can also reach out to clients who aren’t 65 but who might have a parent or older loved one who is Medicare-eligible, which is a great strategy to generate referrals from your existing clientele.

Brush up on your Medicare Open Enrollment knowledge

Before Medicare Open Enrollment starts, you’ll want to read, watch, and listen to educational resources about this crucial planning opportunity. Since you’re already here, I encourage you to check out Caribou’s long list of resources about Open Enrollment. Our blogs and guides take a lot of the complexity and confusion out of Open Enrollment so you can confidently talk about this topic with clients. I also recommend watching our free Medicare Open Enrollment 101 webinar to learn everything you need to know about this year’s Open Enrollment period.

Familiarize yourself with changes to Medicare plans

Staying updated on changes to Medicare plans, including updates to coverage options, costs, and prescription drug formularies is a key step for a successful Open Enrollment. Medicare policies and regulations can change annually, so it's essential to stay informed to provide accurate guidance to clients. For example, Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Part D plan will receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) document in the fall (usually September). Let clients know to keep an eye out for these documents and to share them with you so you can help them review these documents. Explain to clients that in doing so, you can help them better understand how their current plans may change in the upcoming year and will allow you to create a plan of action for their Open Enrollment decisions. Additionally, helping clients understand and optimize their Medicare coverage will help you create a more accurate financial plan for them.

Review clients’ current coverage

Before Open Enrollment starts, you can go ahead and conduct a thorough review of clients' existing Medicare coverage. Doing so will help you and your clients identify any gaps in coverage or changes in healthcare needs that may require adjustments to their plans. For example, you can review the medications a client took over the last year and the associated costs, how frequently your client utilized the healthcare system and the out-of-pocket costs incurred for those visits, and their monthly premiums. Getting a clear picture of the last year will help you and your client determine how to move forward.

Final Thoughts

It might feel daunting to help clients through Medicare Open Enrollment, but if you take it one step at a time and start preparing now, you’ll be ready to confidently guide clients through this crucial planning opportunity come October 15th. And, if you want even more help, you can always partner with Caribou to make healthcare planning a core part of your service offerings.

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