AEP | Annual Election Period | October 15th through December 7th

Defined: Medicare beneficiaries can change their Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) during this time for a January 1st effective date.

This season, AEP, is one of the main enrollment times, and busiest seasons for Medicare agents. Anyone who has Medicare is recommended to review their coverage for the following year. Many plans, including Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans may change every year.

However, for the insurance agent, AEP is far more than those 54 days. AEP is a year-long event.

The AEP Marathon

If you had a friend approach you in January to run a marathon in October, and you have not ran more than half a mile in the past 10 years, when would you start training for the race? I hope the answer would be, “right away.” If you started training in September, do you really think you would be ready to run over 20 miles in a few short weeks? I know I wouldn’t. Heck, I might need two years to train!

The same is true for AEP. You cannot expect to be 100% prepared to have an effective AEP if you start planning in September. You must scramble to certify, order supplies, organize leads, and more while other agents are fully prepared for October to hit and make the most of it.

The AEP 365 guide is designed to give you an overview of annual planning in order to make the most of your year. The activities are broken into quarterly ideas, but can be mixed up and done anytime during the year (subject to CMS and carrier compliance).

Be on the lookout for Part 1 of AEP 365, Quarter 1 Planning (hint, it’s scheduled to release December 27th). In preparation, as you close out your year, begin to get in the mindset of AEP being a year long event. Take note of items that could have made your life easier if you had completed them prior to AEP, things you have never done, but would like to do and vice versa, things you don’t want to do, but ended up doing anyway.