During Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also known as the Annual Election Period or AEP, there are opportunities to attend a Medicare seminar or a one-on-one meeting to learn more about Medicare and find the best coverage to meet your needs. What do you need to know about these events, and how can you prepare? We sat down with Susan Sanders, a health plan advisor here at Aspire Health plan, to ask her what to expect at a Medicare seminar or a one-on-one meeting and what you should bring.
Why do you think it’s important to attend an in-person Medicare event whether it’s an educational seminar, a sales seminar or a one-on-one meeting?
It’s important to make a personal connection with someone who is like an advocate and can really help you. Medicare is complicated, and it can be confusing for people. You can go on Medicare.gov or the Aspire Health Plan website to learn more, or you could go to a seminar. Aspire is local, so we’re flexible with appointments. You can also stop into our office or we can come to you. Being able to connect with someone face-to-face and sit down and show them how Medicare Advantage coverage works is valuable. Most people are visual learners, and it’s easier to see someone or something in-person as opposed to just reading or having a conversation over on the phone.
Our team does a really good job of trying to boil everything down and make Medicare simpler by explaining the basics of Medicare and how it works. It is much easier to do this in person. Once we’ve established that personal connection, our clients have a resource they can call and ask follow up questions. Even after someone enrolls, we help our clients throughout their journey.
Is there anything specific that a person should bring to a Medicare seminar – whether it’s a sales seminar or educational seminar?
We don’t tell people to bring anything to a sales seminar or to an educational seminar, but if we’re meeting with people one-on-one, that’s when we get into more detail. For a one-on-one meeting, we will tell people to bring their Medicare card, list of doctors and list of medications because this will help us do a needs analysis with them.
We tell clients that we’d like to look up their doctors and their medications, if they wish, but it’s not required. Not every plan covers every medication, so it’s beneficial for us to look up their medications to make sure that first they’re covered and second get an estimate on monthly copayment.
What can people expect by attending a Medicare sales seminar or an educational seminar?
In a sales seminar, we start off by giving a Medicare 101 presentation and then follow up with an overview of the Aspire benefits. We are very low pressure and people are under no obligation to enroll. Health plan advisors are here to assist and educate. In a sales seminar you can enroll onsite, or you can go back, think about it, and schedule a follow up appointment. In an educational seminar we educate the audience on the details of how Medicare works and the different options they have to get their Medicare coverage. We always want people to digest what they have learned and take their time to make sure Aspire Health Plan is the right fit.
Can you do a needs analysis with someone at a Medicare sales presentation?
There are times in the sales presentation where someone will want to stay at the end and talk to you individually, and so we will do a quick needs analysis with them. That isn’t easy if you’ve got a big group of people waiting, so we’ll usually ask those interested to schedule a follow up appointment unless they have quick questions.
What do you like most about your role and connecting with people in the Monterey County community?
I love helping people – that’s why I do what I do. This is something that you know you are helping people’s lives and that your you’re making a positive impact. It’s very rewarding.
See what Medicare seminars we have coming up here in Monterey County. If you have any questions for Susan or the other health plan advisors, give us a call at (866) 798-1530. TTY users can call 711.