With all of the turmoil surrounding healthcare, it seems unlikely that the coming Open Enrollment period should be anything but easy, but there are a few things you can do as an independent broker to make this a smooth process. Agent Link is hopeful that this will be the reality and below, we provide 6 things you can do to prepare for a smooth enrollment this year.
Open Enrollment has been cut in half from three months in 2015 and 2016 to just 45 days in 2017, which will begin November 1st and end December 15th. This puts the pressure on brokers to do the same amount of work in half the time and puts pressure on clients to be more organized and work to meet the deadline. That’s why we are here to help, here are some ways to prepare for a smooth Open Enrollment.
6 Ways to Prepare for a Smooth Open Enrollment
1. Reflect on last year
Take note of what went wrong and what went well in past years. Capitalize on what went well and take action now to avoid the same mistakes.
To be the best broker during open enrollment, spend September and October getting up to speed on the latest regulations, marketplace developments, and learning the specific needs of your clients so when Open Enrollment begins, you can spend less time explaining and more time enrolling.
2. Create a lean task list
After reflecting on last year, think about things that you did during previous enrollment periods that can be taken care of before or after the quick 45 days you have in 2017. Consider any changes that could help you spend the most time focusing on signing up as many clients as possible.
3. Communicate early
Consistently notify your clients that enrollment is coming and refer them to insurer’s websites for the latest information. Inform them of any changes from the previous year as well.
Think about questions that you typically get each year and consider creating a frequently asked question document to streamline communication and refer clients to the document each time one of the questions is brought up.
4. Educate your clients
The more educated your clients are, the more confident they will be in selecting the right benefits package for their needs. When you provide early, consistent, and transparent education, your clients will have greater confidence in choosing a plan and more loyalty to you as their go-to benefits professional.
5. Understand your limits
You can’t do everything by yourself and you shouldn’t have to. Your clients expect you to be a problem-solver, whether you’re completely independent or part of a team. Our goal at Agent Link is to help you sell more insurance, earn more commissions, and do more for your clients.
6. Encourage active participation
Just as you reflect year-to-year, your clients should as well. Encourage your clients to review their options carefully and reflect on past usage to choose the option that best fits their needs. Remind them that the package they choose will last a year, so they need to be aware of what they are signing up for.
The focus of Open Enrollment should be communicating and educating your clients on their options so they can select the best package for their needs. Make sure you are well prepared by taking these tips into account well before November 1st rolls around. We are proud to work with over 7,000 agents in the Kentuckiana region. We provide access to all the major carriers and products and our goal is to simplify your job as a benefits professional. We provide the latest industry news on our blog to keep you informed. Take the next step by contacting us to see how we can help you earn more commissions during Open Enrollment.