3 Mistakes Medicare Agents Make When Selling D-SNPs

Jul 9, 2021 | Agents, Insurance, Lead Generation, Medicare Leads

Medicare agents can find great success if they decide to sell D-SNPs. However, there are many misconceptions and difficulties agents may face during this type of business venture. The D-SNP market is large and active, so where are agents getting lost? As we will explain in this article, it all begins with their connection with the customer. Below are three mistakes Medicare agents make when selling D-SNPs.

What is a D-SNP?

A Dual Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) enrolls those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid into specialized plans. Someone who is enrolled in a D-SNP program receives benefits from both programs. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, there are five types of D-SNP plans: All-Dual D-SNPs, Full-Benefit D-SNPs, Medicare Zero Cost Sharing, Dual Eligible Subset and Dual Eligible Subset – Medicare Zero Cost Sharing. This article will be focusing on mistakes that Medicare agents make when selling D-SNPs to anyone.

Benefits offered by D-SNP’s may vary but typically include:

  • Dental care
  • Vision exams
  • Hearing exams,
  • Quarterly credits to buy health products
  • Rides to health-related services and pharmacies
  • Gym memberships
  • Telehealth services

These plans are best for a lower-income audience who may struggle paying for doctor visits or basic health needs.

There are many benefits to selling D-SNPs. The D-SNP market is constantly active, and millions of Americans qualify for these plans. Additionally, agents can sell D-SNPs year-round, while many agents who sell Medicare are confined to certain enrollment periods. However, many agents have reservations about choosing to sell D-SNPs, citing client living conditions, the inability to upsell, and discomfort with having difficult conversations. Although the decision whether to sell D-SNPs is ultimately up to each agent, it is important to disregard the hearsay about D-SNPs and weigh the real costs and benefits of selling these plans. We will discuss misconceptions about the market later in this article, however, here are three common mistakes agents make when selling D-SNPs that may cost them sales.

1. They do not properly qualify clients

A common reason agents give for not wanting to sell D-SNPs is the idea that it is difficult to find out if clients are eligible without asking probing questions that may deter the client. Eligibility is crucial in the market of D-SNPs. That being said, it is equally important for agents to be attentive and reassuring to the client. D-SNPs are likely to improve the client’s quality-of-life, yet many Americans are not even aware that they qualify. When the time comes to ask probing, slightly uncomfortable questions, the agent should keep in mind that this plan will ultimately improve the life of whoever they are speaking with. The conversation is temporary, but the improvement of the lives of your community’s elders is unmeasurable. It may be helpful to think of this work as a necessary community service rather than a sale.

It is important to discover the needs of your client in order to pick the best possible plan for them as well as explain the far-reaching benefits. Here are a few questions to ask in order to determine whether your client is eligible for a D-SNP plan:

  • What is your income month-by-month?
  • Do you have a Medicaid card?
  • May I see your Medicaid card?
  • How much do you pay for Medicare part B?
  • How much money do your prescriptions cost?
  • Which D-SNP plan would I be eligible for?
  • What are the Medicaid eligibility categories?

The answers to these questions contain hidden clues about the status of your client’s finances and insurance plan. For example, when an agent asks, “How much do you pay for Medicare Part B?” the answer can directly indicate whether the client is on Medicaid or not. For 2021, the standard premium for Medicare part B is $148.50 per month. If they pay less than the standard they are on Medicaid, and if they pay $0, they could be full-dual eligible. Similarly, asking if they have a Medicaid Card and if the agent can see it allows the agent to see if they are on Medicaid and, if so, which level based on the color of the card.

Sometimes, when you are speaking to clients about their current plan, they will also give you clues that can indicate whether they are eligible. For example, if a client says “I do not pay for my doctor appointments” that can be a clue that they are enrolled in Medicaid. It is important to determine where your client is financially in order to move forward with their healthcare plans.

2. They are money-focused instead of people-focused

Another issue some Medicare agents have with selling D-SNPs is the money. Although each insurance agent makes a guaranteed commission if they help a client enroll in a D-SNP plan, many agents are concerned that D-SNP clients are one-sale engagements. However, many agents fail to recognize the community-based nature of D-SNP sales. Once again, it can help agents to view D-SNP sales as a necessary community service. While one person may not give you multiple sales for different products, one person can refer you to ten other people you can sell D-SNPs to. A huge part of D-SNP sales comes from a stream of referrals. Agents can get more referrals by becoming integrated in their community. By holding seminars or free lunches for seniors in community areas, you can become integrated with the people you market to.

Additionally, you can increase your referrals by doing a good job. As simple as it sounds, being a kind and friendly face for seniors in your local area can make a huge difference for your personal brand. However, it is important to be genuine. Your one-on-one sales with clients should be comfortable, friendly, and compassionate. Remember that each client has a complicated life that you do not truly know much about. This may sound contradictory, but agents need to treat each client as a person instead of a paycheck in order to sell more D-SNPs and make a livable wage.

One way you can achieve this personal relationship is helping your clients trust you. Simple things like making eye contact, taking a hands-on approach with their doctors and pharmacies, and learning about their lives to find the right plan for them can make a huge difference. For example, it can be difficult for seniors to reach out to their doctors personally every time they change their plan, and doctors’ offices are notorious for not keeping up with paperwork. If a client receives a bill for a medical visit after signing up for a D-SNP, it can be frightening. An agent could be proactive and show their client extra care by contacting their doctor and giving them a D-SNP and Medicaid card to show the doctor’s office to ensure that they won’t receive a bill.

3. They do not network correctly

Anyone over the age of 65 is eligible for Medicare, but many less people qualify for D-SNPs. Even with this reduced number, however, there is a large number of people who need these dual plans. Some agents complain that prospecting D-SNP clients is too difficult. However, there is a large market for D-SNP. Therefore, when agents search for D-SNP leads and complain that it is too difficult, they are most likely looking in the wrong places. It is important that agents know the profile of their clients. Most likely, multiple people who qualify for D-SNP will gather in one community. However, some could receive financial support from family members and live in high-income areas. Regardless of the location, your name will reach the clients you need with enough community involvement and grassroots marketing.

Other misconceptions about the D-SNP market

1. “Eligible D-SNP clients live in unsafe areas”

Some agents associate the low-income eligibility requirements of their clients with unsafe living spaces and neighborhoods. However, usually, this is far from the case. Additionally, some agents are concerned that they will work with people who live in homeless shelters. The fact of the matter is: agents are vastly uneducated on the profile of their client. No matter the area, people can be financially strained. Seniors may live with their children who are unable to financially support their medical bills despite housing them, or they may live in an apartment complex made for seniors. Once again, this idea comes from misconceptions and hearsay. Agents should not let themselves miss out on clients and business because they are afraid. The people who connect with their clients and educate themselves on the concerns of seniors will succeed. Many agents sell hundreds of D-SNPs during their careers without ever feeling unsafe.

2. “D-SNP sales does not stay on the books”

No matter the business, agents are going to deal with sales fluctuations and different numbers of clients. Once again, agents should be attentive and caring with their clients in order to avoid this issue. D-SNP clients may very well change plans, but if they have a great relationship with their agent, they will contact them again. Clients will not leave their agents suddenly or for no reason.

Success lies with the client connection

Being a people-person is the first step to being a great salesperson. After all, people want to work with people who they get along with. It is important that salespeople focus on making themselves enjoyable to be around, attentive, and helpful in the long run in order to increase their chances of getting referrals and ultimately increase their sales.

Contact Lead Concepts today to begin building your DSNP market strategy

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