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How to Market Medicare Advantage Plans

By 28 February 2024April 16th, 2024No Comments
medicare advantage plans marketing

How to Increase Medicare Advantage Leads and Conversions through Marketing?

The Medicare sector is slowly becoming a highly challenging market for agents. People turning 65 are in the dilemma of limited information for Medicare Advantage plans. The Original Medicare program can have multiple gaps in coverage. It compels millions of people to consider a private Medicare Advantage plan. You have the perfect opportunity to lure these individuals to opt for your services. However, marketers must abide by the strict rules of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) while marketing Medicare Advantage plans.

medicare advantage plans marketing

Following the necessary practices while marketing Medicare plans and products to eligible beneficiaries is vital. The center won't tolerate violations and can even impose hefty penalties. Some careless agents also face revocation of licenses.

Implementing Medicare marketing strategies is a challenging feat in the US market. Medicare Advantage is the fastest-growing segment of the health insurance industry. Agents face massive competition despite this market growth.

Only a few Medicare Advantage (MA) consumers look for a switch yearly during the Annual Election Period (AEP). This fact makes the New-to-Medicare (NTM) market more vital than ever.

Your brokerage must develop innovative Medicare marketing strategies to crack the competition. People who are soon turning 65 should be your primary target audience. These individuals are finishing their careers, putting their kids to college, and planning retirement.

It will be a challenging and time-consuming journey to create marketing assets and navigate through lead generation. Don't worry; we are here to reduce your frustration and complications.

This blog explores some of the most effective Medicare marketing strategies. We will also learn about the compliance rules and best practices to sustain ourselves in the Medicare industry.

Why Does Medicare Marketing Strategies Matter?

Individuals turning 65 get seven months to select an appropriate Medicare Plan. Considering the Original Medicare plan gaps, they go for a private Medicare Advantage plan. The most significant disadvantage of the Original plan is the out-of-pocket expense.

What is the purpose of a Medicare Advantage plan?

Get More Seniors Looking for Primary Care or Speciality Care

A Medicare Advantage plan can cover large numbers of seniors in an area. Practitioners can get capitalized payments for their patients. You can take this opportunity to attract more patients into your plan with effective Medicare marketing strategies.

The specialty care plans provide access to thousands of potential clients. It is a niche market, but the proper targeting could be very successful.

Retain More Patients

The Medicare Advantage plan helps you retain your existing patients. They will be more willing to stay if you listen to their doubts and concerns. Ensure patients know about all the available options in the market. Ongoing efforts are vital to stop people from leaving your plans.

Suggest Better Plans to Patients

Seniors could refuse treatment and seek alternate options if they have the wrong plan. No one wants to bear tens of thousands of dollars in medical treatment while having an insurance policy.

You can promote a Medicare Advantage plan to avoid such situations. There are additional benefits over the Original Medicare plan.

Educating Patients About the Safest Medicare Options

Many individuals need to learn about the enrolment process after their 65th birthday. Agents often bombard them with offers with competing plans. You must provide prior information to them so they can make an informed decision.

Don't try to engage your clients at the last moments. Your competitors will already reach you if you fail to contact them first.

Best Medicare Marketing Strategies to Capture and Convert Leads

How do you build the foundation to implement your Medicare marketing ideas? Developing educational and supportive marketing materials is vital to generating high-quality Medicare leads.

Prospects are looking for help to go through the complex process of enrolling or switching Medicare plans. A trial and error method is often helpful to implement your Medicare marketing strategies. It gives you a consistent flow of leads and revenue growth.

Let us explore some of the best methods of generating leads.

Use Direct Mail Campaigns

The Medicare industry primarily focuses on the age group above 65. This demographic is more familiar with direct mail than digital marketing platforms. They love to receive mail in their mailboxes.

Physical mailers are one of the most effective Medicare marketing ideas you can implement in your campaign. The tactile nature and urgency of postcards, letters, and self-mailers create a brilliant first impression.

It automatically improves the brand value and trust factor. You can send educational mailers explaining the benefits of changing their plan. People show greater interest in printed materials than digital information. They would even keep the collateral if you included an excellent offer.

However, traditional direct mail is dying due to a need for more personalization, tracking features, and digital synchronization. It would help if you had modern automation tools that eliminate these shortcomings.

Automated direct mail platforms will let you send mailers directly from your CRM or marketing automation tools. There's no need to manage an entire mailroom. The right partner will take care of printing and mailing while you can relax and plan your campaigns.

Organize or Participate in Workshops or Seminars

Healthcare insurance is a trust-sensitive industry. Only a few can build trust and loyalty among policyholders and continue to thrive. Direct conversations are vital in engaging seniors to consider your Medicare Advantage plans.

Events are the best place to build one-to-one relationships with your prospects. Information sessions can educate people about Medicare benefits, plan types, and enrollment.

You can organize such events in community centers, senior centers, or even on online platforms. The idea is to interact as much as possible. Workshops and seminars will keep you on top of their minds while looking for Medicare Advantage plans.

You must include events while building Medicare marketing strategies for your brand. They give you the perfect opportunity to raise brand awareness while showcasing your expertise. However, make your events shorter and more manageable.

People seek simplified and relevant information. They receive long lectures about healthcare and insurance. Use the best team of presenters with charismatic skills to engage prospects.

Focus on Local Advertising

Your first consumers will be locals. Most Medicare marketing strategies aim to engage a local audience in a specific area.

Radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and community bulletins will be your best friends. You can address the most common Medicare concerns and doubts through these mediums. People will start to acknowledge your brand once you listen to their problems.

Customer Referral Programs

Everyone loves to receive incentives. Word of mouth is often the most effective strategy among marketing professionals. You can also start a referral program by providing incentives or rewards for each successful referral.

People feel motivated to get these rewards and will continue to spread the word. You will never need to spare these gifts if you have delighted customers. They will willingly refer your name to their friends, family, and colleagues.

However, be aware of the respective laws and regulations for providing incentives in your state. Each US state can have different rules regarding referral programs.

Digital Marketing Strategies

Digital communication solutions are viral these days. Even seniors are learning to use digital platforms to consume content and execute everyday activities. The best Medicare marketing strategies include pay-per-click campaigns, SEO techniques, and social media & email campaigns.

Going digital lets you implement both inbound and outbound Medicare marketing ideas. Every agent desires to improve their online presence with quality campaigns. Online tools also give you vital insights about your target audience and marketing performance.

Data analytics are vital for agents to optimize their lead-generation strategies. It will help you find market gaps and your shortcomings with clever analysis.

Use Personalized Communication

Reaching a large audience with generic content is easy. However, you must refrain from engaging and converting clients with generic marketing messages. Marketers put additional efforts into personalizing each interaction to build trust and rapport.

Medicare marketing ideas cannot witness success without customization. Engaging a specific customer segment requires sending relevant information about their pain points.

For example, a hyper-personalized direct mail campaign ensures a higher response rate than a common one. People will feel more engaged with your brand when they see you are putting effort into meeting their needs.

Promote Educational Content

Most Medicare marketing strategies focus on educating the prospects about available plans. Individuals above 65 often seek valuable information about Advantage plans, premium levels, term duration, enrollment process, etc.

You can launch a series of newsletters to address these questions and build long-term relationships. The audience must quickly understand the content without looking somewhere else.

E-ebooks, guides, whitepapers, and case studies could be handy to explain different Medicare plans.

Work on Reputation Management with Feedback and Reviews

Your firm's reputation can motivate the sales of your Medicare plans. People often look for review websites to check how others perceive your company. Only positive reviews showcase credibility to your potential leads.

Negative feedback from your existing clients can help you give insights about areas of improvement. You can encourage your consumers to provide genuine feedback on your phone, Google, Facebook, or other platforms.

Ensure Ongoing Follow-ups

People won’t remember your name if you avoid running follow-ups. Competitors can take this opportunity to capture the market. Constant communication engages and motivates individuals to consider your Medicare Advantage plans.

Automation software lets you interact with your leads and ensure a smooth consumer journey. Medicare marketing strategies are incomplete without consistent communication.

Maintain a Smooth Client Onboarding Experience

Many seniors know nothing about the Medicare Advantage plan onboarding process. A complex and time-consuming process could be a serious bummer. You must provide complete guidance on paperwork, terms & conditions, clarify doubts, and assurance continuous support from your side.

A smoother onboarding process ensures higher retention rates and also gives you referrals. Happy customers are always willing to refer a business to their friends, family, and colleagues.

How to Market Medicare Advantage Plans?

Before implementing Medicare marketing strategies, you must get certified and prepare to sell Advantage plans. A sales training program could be helpful to craft your marketing team to interact with clients.

What steps do you need to take to get sales-ready?

  • Take the AHIP exam.
  • Take carrier certifications.
  • Discover the carriers for certification within your county.

The CMS Compliance Rules and Regulations are Strict

Agents can't go over the limit with their Medicare marketing ideas. The Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines (MCMG) define all the compliance rules you must follow.

They often update these rules regularly, depending on your state. You can look at this latest CMS page for more information.

It could be an overwhelming document for some agents. However, it's vital to understand these rules to implement your Medicare marketing strategies.

Let us understand the fundamentals of the compliance rules.

What is the Difference Between Marketing and Communications?

CMS provides a distinction between marketing and communications.

Any material to get someone's attention to a specific plan comes under marketing. You must get CMS approval if you mention a carrier's name on a particular plan.

Marketing example: XYZ Healthcare provides $0 premium PPO plans in Madison County. Give me a call to get more information.

Materials you use to provide information to consumers come under communication. Any generic marketing material could also be communication material. They aren't influencing people toward a specific Medicare plan.

You are only informing people that Medicare Advantage is an available option for health insurance. There's no need to get approval from CMS for these communication materials.

However, your agents still need to follow the guidelines on what you can claim.

Communication example: XYZ Healthcare now offers Medicare Advantage plans in Madison County. Give me a call to get more information.

The above example isn't trying to sell any specific plan. It only informs people about its availability in a country.

Guidelines and Tips for Implementing Medicare Advantage Marketing Strategies

You cannot publish or circulate marketing materials without the carrier's and CMS's approval. However, sending communication materials by only following simple guidelines is possible.

Medicare marketers can reach potential enrolees through conventional mail, email, and other print media options. It would help if you refrained from using different standard marketing approaches.

Please avoid using the following to market to potential MA enrollees:

  • Text
  • Telephone
  • Door-to-door marketing
  • Voicemail
  • Approaching prospects in a common area

The consequences could be fatal if you don't follow these guidelines. Fines or revocation of license are some common penalties.

Here are some vital compliance rules you must know:

  • You can claim $0 premium plans free.
  • You can only offer minimalistic gifts for marketing ($15 or less). However, you must give that gift even if they don't select your plan.
  • You can't provide or subsidize meals at your sales or marketing events. Agents can only offer refreshments and light snacks.
  • You must wait to market to MA or Part D enrollees between January 1 and March 31. However, agents can target age-ins (individuals turning 65).
  • Educational events must remain informative and educational. You cannot conduct marketing or sales activities at these events.

Step-by-Step Process of a Medicare Advantage Sales Strategy

You can implement your Medicare marketing ideas once you know about advertising materials. Facebook posts or emails are the best places to start your campaign.

However, a clear plan with an accurate target audience and business goals is necessary to achieve success. Experts use different outlines to unleash their Medicare marketing strategies.

You can follow this most common marketing plan to promote your services;

SWOT Analysis to Evaluate Your Needs

Businesses use SWOT analysis to evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is the most common practice before defining an advertising plan.

You must know how you differ from your competitors in your area and market. Draft genuine answers to these questions to get better clarity;

  • What are you offering?
  • What could be your competitive advantage?
  • What are your competitors lacking?

Answering these questions will provide a better direction to your Medicare Advantage marketing plan. You could mitigate risks and find golden opportunities in the market.

Determine Your Target Market

Who could be looking for your services? What are their problems?

Defining your target audience makes your personalization efforts more straightforward and more relevant. Consider whom you're trying to reach and keep them in mind to create your marketing plan.

  • Are you targeting high-income retirees with your Medicare Advantage plan?
  • Are you looking for a low-income couple searching for low-premium options?
  • Do you want to help veterans find better healthcare coverage than the VA?

It's much easier to circulate your marketing materials when you know whom you're trying to reach.

Establish Clear Goals

What are the exact goals of your Medicare marketing strategies? How many policies do you want to sell at a specific time?

Write down your goals before you invest in any marketing plan. It will give a better idea of how you will reach your prospects with relevant advertising materials. The goal could be anything from selling 100 MA policies during AEP to getting 500 new prospects.

Clear goals will help you create achievable milestones to reach around the calendar year. Reevaluate your priorities and move one step closer to your goals.

Create a Marketing Budget

How much can you spend on marketing activities? There must be an expenditure limit that you can afford. Many agents and marketers need to learn how to determine their marketing budget.

They can use this formula to understand better:

Average annual commission per client X Average number of years a client spends with you – Expenditure to acquire that customer = Lifetime Customer Value.

The total amount will give you a fair idea of how much you should spend on each client.

Build a Strong Action Plan

What will your primary Medicare marketing strategies be to reach your objectives within your budget?

It is where you need to take advantage of all marketing materials. A multi-channel marketing approach becomes necessary in the age of digital platforms. Your prospects could be anywhere from direct mail, social media sites, YouTube, or emails.

Market research lets you better understand where they spend most of their time. Closer observations are vital to find a market gap.

Best Practices to Implement Medicare Marketing Ideas

Marketing professionals advertising Medicare Advantage (MA) plans must be aware of these considerations:

Learn About Medicare Advantage Marketing Rules

Marketing about MA plans is challenging when you consider the regulations. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) enforces strict MA marketing regulations. Marketers must look at the Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines Manual

These rules safeguard the beneficiaries while not affecting the patient/provider relationship. CMS has given so many liberties to agents in recent years.

For example;

  • It no longer requires providers and plans to remain neutral.
  • Providers can avoid making plans' marketing materials available in common areas.

The rules controlling marketing initiatives are more restrictive than rules for communication materials.

Adhere to HIPAA Compliance

Any business dealing in the healthcare sector must be aware of HIPAA compliance. Any marketing or communication material to patients regarding MA plans must respect HIPAA regulations.

You cannot implement your Medicare marketing strategies without respecting this law. For example, providers must ensure HIPAA compliance while using mailing lists in their marketing campaigns. Any breach or non-compliance leads to penalties and lawsuits.

Evaluate Provider Agreements

As a Medicare agent, you could be working with multiple providers. It is vital to check provider agreements to find contractual roadblocks before problems arise. You can face various troubles while implementing your Medicare marketing ideas in such conditions.

A dodgy provider can prohibit the marketing of any Medicare Advantage plans. They can even require approval before you reach any patient.

Ensure if Your Activities Rise to Selling, Soliciting, or Negotiating Insurance

The state insurance laws might demand a provider to get a producer's license. A provider must obtain this license before selling, soliciting, or negotiating insurance plans.

Adhere to Compliances Before Getting Compensation for Marketing

Every provider must be careful before taking compensation for Medicare Advantage marketing campaigns. They need a fraud and abuse analysis before receiving any form of compensation.

The authorities might consider the provider a third-party marketing organization (TPMO). CMS will enforce specific requirements for TPMOs in June 2022. These regulations were necessary to stop pushy marketing strategies.

Disclaimers and recording of calls are necessary to abide by the rules. It would help if you considered the above factors before sharing any information related to MA organizations with patients via your Medicare marketing ideas.

CMS has liberalized many rules for marketers, agents, and providers. However, there are still significant limitations to remember while developing your Medicare marketing strategies.   

Consistent Communication is the Key to More Customers

Consistency is vital regardless of your Medicare marketing strategies and channels. People forget brands in a few days if they don't hear from them. Medicare agents must remain in touch with their prospects throughout the year.

If you lose mindshare, you will also lose market share. Your competitors might already have their prying eyes over your prospect list.

By continuously sharing valuable information about topics other than insurance, you can avoid a lot of strict Medicare regulations. It can help you continue improving your relationships with clients and prospects throughout the year.

Your contacts should get the opportunity to know and trust you better. It will boost their loyalty towards your brand. They might even ignore benefit changes and premium fluctuations if you have good relationships with them. Ongoing communication can motivate individuals to refer your business to friends and family.

Metrics to Measure a Medicare Marketing Campaign

Implementing Medicare marketing strategies will bring numerous challenges. You must evaluate your campaigns to optimize efforts and discover shortcomings in your existing strategy. Here are some metrics you can use;

Social Media Engagement

Understanding how consumers interact with your social media advertisements is vital. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn will give you detailed analytics to analyze the performance of your campaigns.

You can use these insights to optimize your marketing efforts to reach the right audience cleverly. Hyper-personalization is also excellent when you get information about your followers on social media.

Cost Per Conversion

You spend a specific amount to convert a client into a paying user. This metric helps determine the budget and forecast future marketing campaigns. Marketers often keep this metric handy to evaluate the performance of their strategy.

Click-Through Rate

Users interact with online content by clicking on various tabs. It helps you determine the most successful content based on clicks and interactions. Medicare marketing strategies need this metric to evaluate different campaigns.

Attribution

You can use this valuable conversion metric to gather feedback about your campaigns. It informs about the best resonating content with prospective customers.

The Future of Medicare Marketing Ideas

Today's Medicare industry is also slowly adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning. Many agents are rethinking their digital marketing approaches. They are saying goodbye to painstaking manual processes.

Automation of collection, analysis, and interpretation of large data sets is making their lives easier. They can easily align marketing messages with specific customers. You can optimize your Medicare marketing strategies by considering their purchase decisions and health behaviors.

The Golden Market Opportunity

By 2030, the entire baby boomer generation will be older than 65. You can gain access to a market of 10,000 seniors aging per day. It is a remarkable opportunity for agents looking for Medicare Advantage leads.

How Can PostGrid Help You Implement Medicare Marketing Strategies?

Direct mail marketing is the ideal advertising channel, considering the age of your target market. These individuals are more familiar with physical mailers than their digital counterparts.

However, traditional direct mail is dying due to a need for more personalization and tracking features. You need a robust platform like PostGrid print mail API to automate your Medicare marketing ideas.

It provides a higher delivery and response rate than ordinary digital marketing campaigns. You can hyper-personalize your mailers using our API within a few minutes. This practice helps marketers to engage their prospects better and get better response rates.

Your prospects will pay attention to direct mailers in their mailboxes. Postcards, letters, and self-mailers help attract the ideal clients to your business.

Features that can help agents implement their Medicare marketing ideas;

Super Scalable API

The API is incredibly flexible and can adapt to campaigns of any scale. You can save your time and effort in manually managing a mailroom. We take care of everything from printing to mailing in a single go.

Simple Integrations and Automation

Do you want to synchronize direct mail campaigns with digital marketing efforts? Integrate our API directly into your CRM or marketing automation tool within a few clicks. It streamlines and automates your offline advertising efforts. You can define custom triggers to launch campaigns automatically.

Full Personalization

Our clients can personalize their mailers with names, addresses, branding elements, and other relevant information. Variable data printing and a built-in template editor allow you to personalize individual mailers easily.

Sign up now to implement your Medicare marketing ideas in direct mail campaigns.

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