2021 Medicare Café Pre-AEP Agent Survey

Thank you to all the agents who participated in the Senior Marketing Specialists Pre-AEP Survey. This information provides invaluable insight into current Medicare market trends and our agency partners. 

We received a lot of comments and feedback, which we always appreciate. We combined similar comments in order to prevent repetition and streamline the data.

Pre-AEP Agent Survey, Medicare Cafe, Agent Survey Pre-AEP 2021

Dental benefits broke through as a significant driver causing MAPD switching with 21% of consumers citing dental frustration as a reason to shop.

Market Data From Deft Research

Q1 – How long have you been in the senior market?

Pre-AEP Agent Survey, Medicare Cafe, Agent Survey Pre-AEP 2021

With COVID-19, we saw a decrease of agents entering the Medicare insurance market. One theory is that starting a new business during a pandemic was too risky. However, agents with experience continued to grow. 

As a newer agent, you must realize a lot of your competition may be more experienced. Make sure you are keeping up to date on trends, retention, and market changes.

Q2 – How many clients do you have in your book of business?

Pre-AEP Agent Survey, Medicare Cafe, Agent Survey Pre-AEP 2021

Reflecting off question 1, we are seeing larger books of business as more agents gain experience.

Q3 – What percent of your book of business do you think will change coverage plans?

Pre-AEP Agent Survey, Medicare Cafe, Agent Survey Pre-AEP 2021

This was the first year for this question, as we are seeing many markets stabilize. Agents are predicting less than 20% of their book of business will change plans this AEP. Retention is more important than ever!

Q4 – How many Medicare Advantage plans are you planning on offering this AEP?

Pre-AEP Agent Survey, Medicare Cafe, Agent Survey Pre-AEP 2021

AEP is not only for adding new clients, but also making sure your current clients have the appropriate plan for 2020. This year, it is important to contact your clients as it will be a busy AEP for both clients and agents!

Senior Marketing Specialists University

Looking for additional training and knowledge? You can find it here. Product training, sales, agency building, and more!

Q5 – What marketing efforts are you performing this AEP? (check all that apply)

Pre-AEP Agent Survey, Medicare Cafe, Agent Survey Pre-AEP 2021

Referrals are still #1 for agents (as it has been every year). Make sure you are involving your professional partners for referrals! This can greatly expand your reach in your market by having someone else advertising your services.

Social media continues to grow, especially since COVID-19 is making seminars less accessible. 


  • Kiosk (Walmart, pharmacy), Radio show, Billboards, Working other book of business (P&C, Final expense, etc.), Newspaper ads

Q6 – What type of applications are you primarily using?

Pre-AEP Agent Survey, Medicare Cafe, Agent Survey Pre-AEP 2021


Mostly E-App:

Mix of E-App and Paper – Mostly E-App:

Mix of E-App and Paper – Mostly Paper:

Paper Apps:











Make Sure to Check Out Enrollment Express!

E-Apps will save you time and mistakes! If you have questions on how to start using them this AEP and beyond, make sure you contact Senior Marketing Specialists! 

Q7 – This is what I need from Senior Marketing Specialists this AEP:

Pre-AEP Agent Survey, Medicare Cafe, Agent Survey Pre-AEP 2021

OTHER (Please Specify):

Medicare questions, Facebook, Leads, How to keep everything running (growing), General support, Application status help

Make Sure to Check Out AMP!

The Agent Marketing Portfolio offers quality personalized marketing pieces, specifically available to our direct agents.

Q8 – What are you doing different because of COVID-19?

This year is obviously a unique year with COVID-19 still making headlines. How are agents responding and adjusting their AEP plans?

The 3 most common answers were:

  • More Phone Work

    • This is causing agents to re-evaluate their appointment processes and contact methods. This is still a big concern with agents, and we will continue to help support you and your agents through this change!

  • This is My First AEP

    • This means you may have agents in your area that are aggressively trying to acquire new clients.

  • Nothing

    • Already have solid business that already uses all available technologies?

Other responses:

  • Improve online/social media presence
  • More direct mail
  • Zoom/Conference calls – Some going as far as no face-to-face meetings
  • Installing shields/sanitizer stations/wipes in office
  • No travel
  • Drinking more (we are too)
  • E-Apps

Q9 – Is there a topic or series you would like the Medicare Café to cover or preform? e you doing different because of COVID-19?

We are always looking to cover topics and concepts you want to hear about! Feel free to post ideas in the Medicare Café Agent Group on Facebook!


  • More on Medicare Advantage plans
  • How to make videos for our clients
  • Phone dialogue
  • Phone presentations
  • General AEP info
  • AEP checklist
  • Motivation (we find extra caffeinated coffee helps)
  • What other agents are doing
  • Social Media
  • Go live from Vegas (we are liking this idea)
  • Client scenarios (Rx costs, Medicaid, etc.)
  • Time management (we need help with this too!)
  • Lead programs

Q10 – Any other comments?

Thank you for all the kind words! If you are reading this, you mean more to us than you realize. We are here for you, mugs full, and are ready to help you any way we can!!!

All your AEP resources in one place!

The Senior Marketing Specialists AEP Toolkit offers carrier resources, marketing materials, compliant enrollment tools, SOA forms, ancillary products, and more.


  • Thanks for the continued assistance / support
  • Thanks for extended hours
  • Appreciate the work Senior Marketing Specialists provides
  • Thank you for the insight and industry knowledge
  • Olivia & Mike are fantastic (we are both blushing)
  • Senior Marketing Specialists does a great job
  • I feel like I am having coffee with Olivia and Mike (we love our Café agents!)
  • Thank you for doing what you do

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