Will Virtual Practice Change How You Do Business This Annual Election Period (AEP)?

  • Originally published July 28, 2021 , last updated September 14, 2022
Will Virtual Practice Change How You Do Business This Annual Election Period (AEP)?

The 2021 AEP season was anything but normal with the pandemic changing virtually every aspect of business including client appointment preferences. During this time, we saw client meeting preferences shift toward socially distanced alternatives. Now, as the 2022 AEP season is preparing to start, we’re seeing that trend continue with many clients and prospects preferring phone, online or other virtual meeting options in lieu of more traditional appointment methods.

Proactive agents are preparing to meet this shift in consumer behavior by making sure they are ready to meet clients the way they prefer to meet. Agents who work through Senior Market Sales® (SMS) have a distinct advantage because SMS offers no-cost solutions that allow agents to meet with clients in a myriad of ways including through face-to-face, over-the-phone or online avenues. This article will discuss some of the tools that SMS agents have at their disposal.

Lead Advantage Pro®

Lead Advantage Pro is the proprietary tool from SMS that lets you take prospects from lead to enrollment in one place. In essence, this platform is designed to simplify your day and maximize your time. In addition, it works well as a means to meet clients’ needs in a compliant way while opening up the methods through which you can meet with clients. Plus, Lead Advantage Pro can be used by SMS producers at no cost. The real value is the time saved in carrying data from lead to application, and in accessing client medical records.

Some Lead Advantage Pro features and benefits:

  1. Agent Initiated Consumer Online Enrollment (AICOE®) and PDF Enrollment features help you close sales face-to-face as well as over the phone and through the internet.
  2. Tired of going to different carrier websites to see if providers are in-network for Medicare Advantage plans? Check out the exclusive Provider Look-up and Network Search (PLANS) tool.
  3. Run out of supplies? You can download the needed forms for every carrier on the system.
  4. Frustrated by Scope of Appointment (SOA) forms? See how easy it is to complete and store the SOA. It can all be done in less than three minutes.
  5. The Blue Button feature allows Medicare clients the ability to share their prescription drug lists, pharmacies and providers directly with you. Once you’ve obtained your client’s consent, this list can be accurately compiled and incorporated into your quotes. It takes only minutes.
  6. Maximize Part D sales with All Carrier Part D Quoting.
  7. All Carrier Medicare Advantage Quoting*.

Medicare Insurance Direct® (MID)

Medicare Insurance Direct is a tool that allows you to help clients help themselves, thus avoiding the need to meet in-person. The idea of MID is to pair your good, sound advice regarding a client’s Medicare solution with the convenience of self-enrollment. You can use MID to match beneficiaries with available plans based on individual healthcare, prescription drug needs and estimated out-of-pocket expenses. You send a Personalized Universal Resource Locator (PURL) to your clients that take them to a micro-site displaying the states and carriers that you are properly credentialed to sell, including Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans, Part D and Medicare Supplements. Plus, this platform gives you the ability to quote all Medicare Advantage and Part D plans.

Here’s How MID Works:

  1. You set up a consumer-facing web site through Medicare Insurance Direct, and personalize it for your business (your site will only show plans you’re licensed and appointed to offer).
  2. Your clients get the convenience of quoting and enrolling in Medicare Advantage and Part D plans online, at their leisure.
  3. You get credit for every sale, because you have a custom URL and your agent writing number is associated with the site.

Carrier Enrollment Technology Options

In addition to SMS technology solutions, many carriers that work with SMS have their own technology options, some of which don’t even require the client to have access to the internet. Click here to view specific carrier requirements and options.

AEP Agent Central

SMS compiled AEP Agent Central as a gathering place for AEP-helpful tools, technology and resources. The idea of AEP Agent Central is to help Medicare agents save time and eliminate mistakes so that they can make more sales during the AEP season.

Your Next Step

Through the utilization of these tools and services, agents are closing sales regardless of how clients wish to meet. With over 30 years in the Medicare market, no one has more knowledge and experience than SMS. If you’re not already taking advantage of these resources, then now’s the time. Contact an SMS Marketing Consultant at 1.800.786.5566 to get started.

About SMS

Senior Market Sales supports independent insurance and retirement planning professionals so they can focus on growing their businesses and building meaningful client relationships. SMS handles the smallest of details — from contracting to commissions paid — while providing big-picture perspective and strategies that have helped thousands of producers for nearly four decades reach new levels of success. With everything from proprietary technology and expansive products to expert training and marketing programs, SMS delivers all-in-one-place efficiencies that help insurance and retirement planning professionals leverage time, make more money and put their business in a position of distinction.

*Coming Soon

For Licensed Insurance Agent/Advisor Use Only.  Not for General Public.




Key Takeaways

  • A Successful AEP despite the pandemic
  • Selling Medicare virtually
  • Selling Medicare with social distancing in mind