Client Retention Strategies to Prep for Medicare AEP

Jun 28, 2024

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is undoubtedly the pinnacle of the year for independent insurance agents like yourselves who sell Medicare coverage options. With millions of Medicare beneficiaries to serve and intense competition in the market, it’s absolutely crucial to be well-prepared. The good news is, you don’t have to wait until October 1st to kickstart your efforts – there are powerful client retention strategies you can implement now to help you stand out, engage your target audience, and optimize your success during AEP.

The Annual Enrollment Period for 2025 is October 15 – December 7, 2024.

The Average Medicare beneficiary can choose from 43 Medicare Advantage plans in 2024

When is the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for 2025?

The Annual Enrollment Period for 2025 is October 15 – December 7, 2024. Any changes made to coverage during this time will take effect January 1, 2025.

According to the CMS Medicare Communications & Marketing Guidelines (MCMG), any attempts to directly sell or market plans and products before October 1st are strictly prohibited.

It’s important to note that the MCMG draws a hard line between “communications” and “marketing”:

Communications: Activities and use of materials to provide information to current and prospective enrollees. This means that all activities and materials aimed at prospective and current enrollees, including their caregivers and other decision makers associated with a prospective or current enrollee, are “communications” within the scope of the regulations at 42 CFR Parts 417, 422, and 423.

Marketing: A subset of communications and includes activities and use of materials by the Plan/Part D sponsor with the intent to draw a beneficiary’s attention to a plan or plans and to influence a beneficiary’s decision-making process when selecting a plan for enrollment or deciding to stay enrolled in a plan (that is, retention-based marketing).

Additionally, marketing contains information about the plan’s benefit structure, cost sharing, measuring, or ranking standards.

The difference?: Communications is purely educational.

This means no connecting or advertising with the intent to discuss or promote upcoming plans/products, no hosting of marketing/sales events, and no acquiring of Scope of Appointment forms for the purpose of reviewing new plan information. Compliance with these CMS regulations is absolutely imperative.

If you have questions on compliance, please contact AGA’s compliance team at

Compliant Client Retention Strategy

However, that doesn’t mean your hands are completely tied. There are still plenty of compliant client retention strategies you can engage in to get your market ready. Here are some key steps to consider:

  1. Define your target market: Is there a specific slice of the Medicare beneficiary population you’ll be focusing on, such as married couples, nursing home residents, or certain geographic areas?
  2. Know your audience: What are their interests, concerns, and pain points? Where do they consume content and who do they follow on social media?
  3. Research your competitors: What are they doing that you’re not? How can you differentiate your niche and outshine them?
  4. Get your marketing channels compliant: Have your ads, websites, handouts, presentations, and any other marketing materials approved in advance to avoid delays.
  5. Connect with current clients: Review their current year plan benefits to learn about their needs and establish a warm call come October 1.
  6. Educate your audience: Inform them about when AEP is and what happens during that time.
  7. Continue your Turning 65 marketing: Keep those activities going to maintain a steady pipeline.

By implementing these client retention strategies, you can establish your presence, engage your target audience, and position yourself as the go-to agent for Medicare plans. Don’t wait until the last minute – start revving your engine now so that when the green flag drops on October 1st, you’re ready to sprint ahead of the competition. This AEP could be your most successful yet.

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