Marketing in the Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Marketing in the Medicare Open Enrollment Period
Congratulations! You survived the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), but are you ready for the newly restored Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP)? If you have been in the Medicare sales market for a while, you may remember the OEP prior to 2011... But this new OEP is not the same, so it is important to be aware of the new rules relating to this enrollment period.

We have compiled some of the frequently asked questions about the OEP, and what you can and cannot do during this time.

When is the Open Enrollment Period (OEP)?

  • For all Medicare beneficiaries: January 1st through March 31st of each year.
  • For newly Medicare eligible individuals: the first 3 months in which they have both Part A and Part B (OEPNEW).

OEP Examples for newly eligible beneficiaries

  • Example 1: A beneficiary's 65th birthday is on June 20th, 2019, and she is eligible for both Part A and Part B on June 1.
    • Her Initial Election Period (IEP) is 3 months before, the month of, and 3 months following the month of entitlement, which would be March 1st through September 30th, 2019.
    • She enrolls in an MAPD plan effective June 1st.
    • MA OEPNEW for her begins the month of entitlement to both A and B (June) and continues through the last day of the 3rd month of entitlement (August). In other words, her MA OEPNEW runs from June 1st through August 31st.
  • Example 2: A beneficiary's 65th birthday is April 20th, 2018, and she is eligible for both Part A and Part B beginning April 1st, 2018. She continues working and doesn't enroll in Part B until she retires. She uses the Part B SEP to enroll in Part B May 1st, 2019.
    • Her Initial Coverage Election Period​ (ICEP) is 3 months before her Part B effective date, which would be February 1st through April 30th, 2019.
    • She enrolls in an MAPD plan effective May 1st, 2019.
    • MA OEPNEW for her begins the month of entitlement to both A and B (May) and continues through the last day of the 3rd month of entitlement to both Part A and Part B (July). Her MA OEPNEW runs from May 1st through July 31st.

When will the plans go in to effect?

  • The plan will go into effect the first of the following month following the receipt of the enrollment request.
    Ex: An application is submitted on January 13th. The plan will have an effective date of February 1st

What changes can a client make during the OEP?

  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Drop their Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare.
    • If a client wants to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, they would be subject to underwriting unless they are in a guaranteed issue situation.
  • Sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (If they return to Original Medicare).

What changes are not permitted during the OEP?

  • If a client is enrolled only in Original Medicare (Part A & Part B), they cannot use the OEP to join an MA or MAPD, add a PDP or change their PDP.

How many plan changes can be made during the OEP?

  • Only one plan change selection may be used.

​Open Enrollment Period Marketing Do's and Dont's

During the OEP, you may not:

  • Send unsolicited materials advertising the ability/opportunity to make an additional enrollment changes or referencing the OEP.
  • Engage in, or promote, agent/broker activities with the intent to target the OEP as an opportunity to make further sales.
  • Call or otherwise contact former enrollees who have selected a new plan during the AEP.

During the OEP, you may:

  • At the beneficiary's request, send marketing materials, have one-on-one meetings and provide information on the OEP.
  • Continue to market to individuals who are aging-in.
  • Market to dual-eligible and low-income subsidy beneficiaries.
  • Market based on the continuous SEP that beneficiaries have to enroll in a 5-star plan.
  • Market to New Movers.

*Please note that any marketing materials should only promote the SEP and not reference the OEP in any way.

​The Medicare Offerings team is here to help with any additional questions you may have on the new open enrollment period. Leave us a comment below, or contact us directly with your questions and concerns.

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Sunday, 22 May 2022