Helpful Hints from Lisa Horowitz CLU, CHFC
Being in the practice of selling insurance for over twenty six years; I have learned a few things about maintaining a level of commitment and proactivity toward my clients. I have found that by reaching out to my older clients and/or their loved ones without waiting for them to contact me is a very effective method of calming anxiety, allaying concerns and confusion about making decisions with regards to Medicare. Every year, since the inception of the Medicare Part D drug program I have taken this time of year to call all my senior clients to offer my time and expertise to answer any questions or get any additional information they might need so that they can make the most knowledgeable choices for the following plan year.
Fall is the time for Medicare beneficiaries to explore their options regarding Part D prescription drug plans and Part C Medicare Advantage plans. The Annual Coordinated Election Period (ACEP) for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans will start on October 15th and end on December 7th. This means that Medicare beneficiaries have to analyze their options and make choices by December 7, 2014.
During the ACEP, often referred to as “open enrollment,” Medicare beneficiaries who do not have a Part D plan can enroll in one, and those who do have Part D coverage can change plans. Beneficiaries can also return to traditional Medicare from a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, enroll in an MA plan, or change MA plans. Enrollment requests made during the ACEP will have an effective date of January 1 of the following year.
Beneficiaries will once again have an opportunity to disenroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan during a special period beginning January 1 through February 14, 2015, known as the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP). This period allows beneficiaries to drop their Medicare Advantage plan, enroll in traditional Medicare, and pick up a Part D plan. The MADP does not allow beneficiaries to switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another. Beneficiaries who wish to change from one MA plan to another must do so during the ACEP between October 15, 2014 and December 7th.
Having a reason other than to sell a new product is a great opportunity to promote the reality that we are not just peddlers of polices, rather we are professionals providing valuable services that our clients should be able to trust and rely on.