Senior Insurance Acronyms for New Medicare Brokers

Senior Insurance Acronyms

RBI’s Senior Sales Coordinator: James Gramp

About the Author: With his signature common sense, quiet good humor, and brilliant customer service, Jim is an integral part of the RBI team — we’d go so far as to say we’d be lost without him! An Arizona native, Jim manages agent relationships for the East Coast and specializes in the RBI agent tools, especially the Agent Market Edge. Jim has been a licensed health insurance agent for 2 years, and has worked at RBI for almost 3 years. An accomplished bassoonist, he is known around the office for his amazing musical skills. In addition to keeping busy around the office, Jim frequently contributes to our blog, bringing a new agent’s perspective to the RBI online presence.

Senior Insurance Acronyms

for New Medicare Brokers

Compiled by RBI’s Senior Sales Coordinator: James Gramp

Are you a newly licensed Health producer?  Can’t wrap your head around the seemingly endless list of Senior Insurance Acronyms? Look no further!  This post is just for you, a new agent who’s looking to get started in the Senior Health Insurance (Medicare) market.

Consider your options: Best Contracting Partners

A few things before we jump in that you should be thinking about when choosing to work with an agency or contract directly with the insurance company:

  1. Do new agents receive training opportunities?
  2. Does marketing support come with the contract?
  3. Are the most competitive products in my area available with this partner?
  4. Does this partnership include CRM systems or other tools to keep track of your clients and potential clients?

The bottom line is, your FMO should work for you.  In the post I just linked to, Justin Bever, our Director of Marketing, highlights exactly how your FMO should work for you and ultimately help you reach and exceed your business goals!

Without further ado, I present you with the ultimate abbreviation cheat sheet!

Senior Insurance Acronyms for New Medicare Brokers:

MA – Medicare Advantage

MAPD – Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan

HI – Hospital Indemnity

FE – Final Expense

SOA – Scope of Appointment form: Permission slip to talk to beneficiaries who aren’t already your clients about specific benefits of MA plans.  The SOA should be signed by the beneficiary 48 hours prior to appointment.

HMO – Health Maintenance Organization: Type of Health plan, must use plan doctors for covered services.  Members are assigned a Primary Care Physicians and require referrals to see Specialists (dermatologists, cardiologists, etc.)

PPO – Preferred Provider Organization:  Type of Health plan where members can go out of network for care.  Going to in-network providers offers better co-pays/co-insurance

PFFS – Private Fee For Service: type of MA plan that may or may not cover prescriptions.  Only MA plan that you can buy a stand-alone PDP as long as the PFFS doesn’t already cover prescriptions.

SNP – Special Needs Plan: Medicare Health plans for people with special needs.  There are 3 different kinds of SNP’s; I-SNP, D-SNP, and C-SNP.

I-SNP – Institutional Special Needs Plan: plan for beneficiaries needing treatment from a LTC facility for more than 90 consecutive days.

D-SNP – Dual Special Needs Plan: Designed for people with Medicare and Medicaid

C-SNP – Chronic Special Needs Plan: Designed for people with chronic health conditions

Med-supp/Medigap – Medicare Supplement: offers plans A through N.  These plans are standardized and offer the same benefits regardless of carrier.

PDP – Prescription Drug Plan: Rx coverage, typically sold with Medicare Supplements.

LIS – Low Income Subsidy: Federal program to help with Rx costs.  Need to make under 150% of the Federal Poverty Level to qualify.

MSP – Medicare Savings Program: Federal program designed to help with premiums, co-pays, and co-insurance. Different levels of help are: QMB, SLMB, QI-1. Make under 135% of the FPL to qualify.

AHIP – America’s Health Insurance Plans: company that provides the core medicare certification required to sell Medicare Advantage plans.

AEP – Annual Enrollment Period: 10/7 through 12/7, period when Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in a MA/MAPD or a PDP.

SEP – Special Enrollment Period: period that you can enroll in an MA/PDP plan outside of AEP

IEP – Intial Enrollment Period: 3 months before, the month of, and 3 months after your 65th birthday.  Can enroll in any Medicare Health Plan during this time.

OEP – Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Supplement: 6 months after a Medicare beneficiary is enrolled in Medicare Part B and is 65 or older.

If you’re looking for a partner to grow your new business, look no further! We love helping agents get started — whether you’re a brand new agent, or you’re getting back into the market after being away: welcome! Call us today to learn about opportunities to work together: 1-800-997-3107

2022 AHIP
2020 ahip discount certification
Medicare cost-sharing
Aetna certification

Cross-Selling: Start with your Book of Business

Tom O'Neil

Senior Agent Contributor: Tom O’Neil

Tom O’Neil has been in the Medicare industry since the 1970s!  Whether the topic is selling Dual Eligibles, or how to increase business cash flow, or simply the craziest Medicare Advantage home appointment he’s ever been on, he has a wealth of stories and enjoys sharing them. When he isn’t running appointments, writing for our blog, or planning his next sales, he enjoys spending time with his canine companion, Molly.

Pictured above: Tom’s sweet pup!

Cross-Selling: Start with your Book of Business

Senior Agent Contributor: Tom O’Neil

I am going to speak to some commonly missed lock-in period cross-selling opportunities and other related musings.  Keep on the lookout for another article where I touch on problem clients and when to fire them!

As Medicare Advantage and PDP sales enter a bit of a slump this time of year, I go to my book of business.  It was a slower than usual AEP for me this year, I wrote about 30 new MAPD clients and rewrote about 12 with some Med Supps added in.  Due to some other nagging obligations, that was as much effort as I could muster.

What now? – Time to start calling your new clients from AEP!

Cross-selling your existing Book of Business

Call your new clients from the recent AEP.  By now, they have had about 4 ½ months to use their plans.  Ask them some open ended questions about how their plan is working for them and try to uncover any problems they may be having with their new coverage. Any problems they ARE having, like a hospital bill for example, is a perfect opportunity to bring up Hospital Indemnity insurance. Another crucial reason for following-up with your clients this time of year is to make sure you’re top of mind when AEP rolls around in October.

By all means, if they are having any issues, assist them where you can with any of their plan challenges.  If they feel they need help here is another suggestion: GO TO THEIR HOUSE!  My basic rule during lock-in period is to do a home visit if my client lives within about a 30 mile range.  I will even see them on Saturday. Efficient? Heck no, but it will generate more information and business if you meet face to face.  Maybe they will bring over their adult child or senior neighbor.  It is also better if you are on speaker phone with them if a call is needed to the customer service department.

Think of questions that can also easily generate referrals but also might indicate new needed coverage for your client such as:

  • Hospital Indemnity
  • Cancer Plan
  • Dental Insurance or Dental Discount Plan
  • Final Expense Life
  • Good-Rx Plan  for Non-Formulary Drugs or to lower some copays (not commissionable but it has led to some great business for me!  Using this great, FREE tool will be a subject of a blog in a couple of weeks.)

Believe me, activity begets more activity.  Take it from somebody who’s been in the Medicare industry since the 70’s; this works!

Curious to know the 5 questions I ask my clients that will get you more referrals AND cross-selling opportunities?  Give the RBI team a call today and learn how they can grow your Medicare business! 1-800-997-3107

Keep an eye out for an upcoming white-paper from Tom O’Neil!

New Agent
Senior Insurance Acronyms

Certifications and Planning your AEP

RBI Senior Sales Coordinator/Independent Agent: James Gramp

With his signature common sense, quiet good humor, and brilliant customer service, Jim is the other half of the RBI phone answering dynamic duo! An Arizona native, Jim manages agent relationships for the East Coast and specializes in the RBI agent tools, especially the Agent Market Edge. Jim has been a licensed health insurance agent for over a year, and has worked at RBI for 2 years. An accomplished bassoonist, he is known around the office for his amazing musical skills. In addition to keeping busy around the office, Jim frequently contributes to our blog, bringing a new agent’s perspective to the RBI online presence.

Certifications and Planning your AEP

RBI Senior Sales Coordinator/Independent Agent: James Gramp

It’s that dreadful time of year again when millions of insurance agents across the US lament the very idea of certifications.  I know that I’m certainly not looking forward to taking the AHIP yet again and all of my carrier certifications.  At RB Insurance, we make certification season as painless as possible for agents.  We’re continuing our $50 AHIP discount this year for ANY and ALL agents that use our link.  If you were with us last year you already know that RBI agents also get the rest of their AHIP cost reimbursed by making only 5 sales during AEP. But wait, there’s more!

Don’t wait for September for carrier certifications

I like to get my certifications done and out of the way as soon as possible for a couple reasons.  The first being, if you wait until September or October, it can sometimes take up to a month before some carriers will process your certification results.  I can’t tell you how many agents I talk to that tell me, “Oh I wait until September to start my certifications” and then October rolls around and they want to pick up sales materials but they can’t because they’re still not showing as “Ready to Sell” due to the carrier still processing background checks.  I then have to politely remind them that September and October are the slowest months for processing certification because it’s when the majority of agents finally get it around to doing it and that they will have to wait to pick up materials until after they’re showing as “Ready to Sell.”

Get Ready for AEP!

The second reason is with my certifications all done I can start planning out my AEP.  My AEP planning involves developing a marketing strategy, and sending out Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) letters to my current clients.  I also begin lining up locations for any sales events that I want to do.  Remember, these must be submitted at least 14 days before the event.

Develop your Marketing Plan

Don’t have a marketing plan? Making sure RBI agents have a clear plan of where they’re going to get their next sales is a top priority for us.  We take the time to sit down with each of our agents who want to develop a custom marketing plan.  This is by no means a one-size-fits-all program, we take the time to learn about your current business and tailor it to your specific needs, and we will craft your plan so that your goals are Measurable, Actionable, Profitable, and Scalable.  We call it the MAPS method.

Finalize AEP Events

Want guidance on how to put on a successful sales event?  Our team of experts will make sure you have everything you need to have a successful event. Through our relationship with our print and fulfillment partner, Touchstone Marketing, we’re able to advertise your events to make sure you have a packed event at a discounted cost. Make sure you have all of your events submitted at least 14 days before the scheduled time.

Send ANOC Letters

The purpose of sending out ANOC letters is to let your clients know whether or not their plan is changing.  If they’re on a plan that is changing I will advise them that starting on October 1st, I will be able to discuss the benefits for the 2018 calendar year and whether or not they should consider switching plans.  These letters are especially helpful to agents that have a larger book of business, and are designed to not only keep your face fresh in your client’s mind but also to cut down on some of your outbound calls you will have to make to your clients.

Whether it’s giving you discounts and reimbursements on AHIP, providing you with the knowledge needed to pass, or giving you wholesale pricing on print and fulfillment services, RBI has the tools and expertise to make this your most successful AEP yet.  Click here to hear from RBI Director of Marketing, Justin Bever, on the unique benefits of partnering with RB Insurance Group.

Don’t Forget!

We will be airing our “Ace the AHIP” webinar on May 31st at 9:00am MST (Arizona Time), click here to register.  We’ll teach you every trick in the (open) book to help you pass your AHIP.  We also record each webinar that we host, so that you can watch it when it’s convenient for you.  However, if you have questions, I would encourage you to attend the live webinar because we do open up our webinars for a live Q&A at the end.

Don’t let the Medicare certification season get you down.  RBI is here to take all the hassle and anxiety out of your certification process, click here or give us a call today to join the RBI team and see how we can help take your Medicare business to the next level! 1-800-997-3107

2022 AHIP
2020 ahip discount certification

5 Quick Opportunities Now to Unlock Your Best AEP

RBI Sales Coordinator, West Region: Rebecca Howard

If you’ve ever called RBI’s 800 number, chances are good that you’ve spoken to Rebecca! With a background in health care and customer service, Rebecca’s journey to Medicare insurance is a relentless pursuit of the human story. Fascinated by interpersonal relationships, and passionate about treating everyone right, it’s no surprise that Rebecca joins us from the South. A transplant to Arizona from Georgia, Rebecca is a customer service expert and sales coordinator extraordinaire! Rebecca manages agent relationships for the West Coast, and loves training her agents in all the tools and services that RBI offers. In addition to her regular duties, Rebecca is a bit of a word nerd, and serves as RBI’s content editor for the Agent’s Advantage Blog and RBI Classroom.

5 Quick Opportunities Now

to Unlock Your Best AEP Later

RBI Sales Coordinator, West Region: Rebecca Howard

I know, I know. It’s only the first week of May — AEP seems so far away! But the truth is if you haven’t already planned out your marketing leading up to AEP, now is definitely the time to start. AEP is the busiest time of the year in our industry and a great way to avoid that last-minute rush and make sure you have a plan in place is to decide your goals now. Figure out how many sales you want to make first and then decide on a marketing plan. RBI has the tools to help! In fact, here’s 5 quick opportunities to take advantage of now and unlock your best AEP yet.

Number 5: Organize your existing businessUnlock Your Best AEP Yet

If you haven’t reached out to all the old leads in your books, now is also a good time to touch base with a final phone call and personalized letter. It’s also time to make sure that each of your clients’ needs are being met. Pick up the phone and call your clients, or consider sending out a postcard. Make sure that you are asking for your clients to think of you for any referrals. Not sure what to say? Click here and read some advice from the RBI team. Make sure you’re going through your records and reconciling any commissions at the end of the month or interactions inside the Medicare Sales Engine!

Number 4: Learn about additional products

If you’ve had a laser focus on one type of product, it might be time to diversify. One of the best ways to make sure you’re able to serve your clients’ is to be able to address multiple concerns they might have. Have you talked to your members about Hospital Indemnity? What about Final Expense? Does your member qualify for extra help or LIS? Learn about the portfolio approach and then get the product training you need. Check out our calendar to sign up for informative webinars or go back and watch one of our recorded sessions!

Number 3: Pick up additional contracts

Now that you’ve learned about the additional products that will help you better serve your clients, it’s time to pick up contracts! Processing contracts can take the carriers from just a couple of days to several weeks, so it’s important to get started on this in advance. Carriers tend to get backed up with contracting requests right before AEP as well. Don’t get caught in that mess, get contracted now and miss the rush! Click here to see a list of carriers, or request information here.

Number 2: Prepare for the AHIP

It’s that time of year again – AHIP comes out at the end of next month. Get a jump on studying for the AHIP now and be ready to take the exam right away!  Click here to sign up for our 2018 Ace the AHIP webinar and be sure to use our link and get $50 off the price of the AHIP course!

Number 1: Plan your marketing now

AEP is short. What’s the best way to make sure you are able to complete the maximum appointments? Get a steady flow of leads and line up your appointments in advance. RBI’s team loves to help plan this out for our agents. If you don’t know the best way to get that steady flow of leads, watch this recording. Consider hiring a part time assistant to help you set appointments. The better organized you are on the front end, the smoother your AEP will be in the long run.

If you aren’t ready to sell with the most popular plans in your area, let us help you get started! Call our team at 1-800-997-3107 or click here to start the contracting process! It’s time to unlock your best AEP.

2022 AHIP
2020 ahip discount certification

Looking for an Insurance CRM? 5 Reasons to love the Medicare Sales Engine

Charlie Ferrell

RBI National Sales Manager: Charlie Ferrell

Charlie started his senior insurance career after a brief 30-year stint in the restaurant industry. In the 12 years since then, he has been blazing trails and setting standards for excellence all over! A native son of Utah, he has been a state manager for RBI as well as a managing general agent for UHC, Coventry, Molina and other carriers! Charlie came to RBI as the National Sales Manager in 2015, and is an invaluable resource for our agents and staff for marketing, compliance, and sales topics! Charlie’s field experience with senior insurance sales has made him an expert in our insurance CRM: Medicare Sales Engine. If all of that wasn’t enough, Charlie specializes in the Dual-Eligible market and is leading the charge behind RBI’s new “Dual Eligibles for Newbies” seminars!

Insurance CRM

Looking for an Insurance CRM?

5 Reasons to love the Medicare Sales Engine

National Sales Manager: Charlie Ferrell

If you have been looking for a reliable, convenient and easy-to-use insurance CRM, look no further! Today I want to tell you more about RB Insurance’s flagship sales and lead management system: the Medicare Sales Engine (MSE). You may have already read about our Massive Response Mailers and partnership with Touchstone Marketing to bring you the best prices and deals on print and fulfillment.  Why are mailers and marketing connected to the MSE? Because we have seamlessly integrated your leads from mailers to the MSE! 

“So, RBI, what exactly is the Medicare Sales Engine?”

Simply put, the MSE is RBI’s proprietary CRM system to help our agents manage their leads, clients, commissions, appointments and much more! You can get a lot out of the MSE, especially if you really take the time to learn how to use all of the features.  Let’s take a closer look!

#1 – Built to serve senior insurance agents:

First off, when we began to develop the Medicare Sales Engine over 10 years ago, we started with our own group of senior insurance agents and asked “what would make your life easier?” As a result, the MSE is built around the needs of an agent who is out in the field selling, with features to make you more efficient and to cut back on your busy-work. You can view the Medicare Sales Engine on your tablet, phone, laptop, desktop – any device with an internet connection. With our on-going commitment to excellence, if you have a feature you’d like to see implemented in the MSE, you can call us and we’ll see about adding it to the MSE!

#2 – At-a-glance updates on your business

We recognize that your time is valuable, so we have made sure that the Medicare Sales Engine is very simple and easy to use. When you login, the first thing you see is your dashboard, a snapshot of your business. The dashboard breaks your business into clients and leads sorted by temperature, and displays information so you know exactly where you left off.  This helps you identify your next tasks, trends in your business, or areas of opportunity!

#3 – Seamlessly integrates with lead mailers

Remember when we said that the MSE seamlessly integrates with lead mailers?  Well, we have developed a partnership with Touchstone Marketing and one of the benefits of this relationship is behind-the-scenes system integration. What does this mean for you? Any leads from mailers you purchased from Touchstone Marketing will show up inside your Medicare Sales Engine account. All the lead response information from the mailer, and a copy of the mailer itself will be uploaded to your account. An added bonus? You’ll get an SMS text notification that you have new leads so you can start working on your hottest leads right away!

#4 – An Insurance CRM with the right price tag

Most insurance CRM systems have a drawback — whether it’s a must-have feature like tracking commissions, or the ability to upload your existing book of business, or a bit of sticker-shock when you see the price tag. With RBI’s insurance CRM, the Medicare Sales Engine is free to contracted agents. It’s that easy: when you’ve completed the contracting process, and are ready-to-sell, your MSE portal is generated. You can log in right away, and get started!

# 5 – HIPAA Compliant record keeping, free Quoting Tool, and more!

We only have time for 1 more awesome thing that the Medicare Sales Engine can do, so this one’s a combo. The Medicare Sales Engine is HIPAA Compliant so your records are protected. It’s easy to upload notes, applications, and other records to have an online back-up for your office. We recommend that you take a few minutes each day to update actions you have taken with each lead, such as calling to schedule an appointment. An additional feature that agents love is the built-in quoting tool.  The RBI quoting tool gets real-time CMS updates, so you know you’re getting the most recent information about product availability and pricing. You can use the quote tool to research best plans for your leads and clients, and add notes inside their record about special medical or financial considerations.

We love to talk about the MSE, so if you have any questions call us at 1-800-997-3107! You can also catch up on some of the basics by watching this recorded webinar. To learn more about the quoting tool, watch this recorded webinar.

The Medicare Sales Engine is just one more way that RBI commits to make it happen for you! Get contracted today to get your own free access to this fantastic insurance CRM!

2022 AHIP
2019 AHIP
New Agent

RBI Demystified: the Answers to your FAQs

RBI Demystified: Answers to your FAQs

You asked (a lot). We answered! If your question isn’t featured here, give us a call at 1-800-997-3107.

Contracting Questions:RBI Demystified

What do I need to submit with my contract?

Make sure you include a copy of your E&O insurance, your state license and if you’re contracting with a Medicare Advantage carrier, you should also submit a copy of your AHIP as well. Most carriers product certification is done AFTER contracting. With Aetna, you must certify before they will process your contract. 

How long do I have to wait to change hierarchy?

Change-of-hierarchy policy is generally set by the carrier. In general it is waiting 6 months with no-production, but each carrier is different. Some carriers do not contract directly with the agents but only with the FMO or General Agency. In these cases the terms and conditions of your contract with your upline will prevail.  You should address these types of questions directly with your upline in order to get an accurate answer.

How long does the contracting process take?

The contracting process can take some time, and will vary depending on the carrier. Some are very quick, like Equitable’s same-day contracting, and others take a little longer. In general you should expect to wait at least 2 weeks after you submit your contract before receiving your writing number. The contracting process also does get backed up, especially during ramp-up for AEP (September to November). Our contracting department recommends contracting early so you are ready-to-sell prior to October 1st.

How do I know my writing number?

Your writing number usually comes to you via email, after you have successfully completed contracting and certification. Keep an eye on your inbox for an email from the carrier, and if you haven’t received your writing number, check your spam folder. You should also add the carrier’s email address to your safe senders list. (Check out our easy tutorial here!)  If you think you should have received your writing number already, call RBI at 1-800-997-3107, and we will be happy to assist you!

How do I add or remove an appointment state?

The RBI Contracting Department will be happy to help you with this. Simply e-mail them your updated licenses, or call our office at 1-800-997-3107 for more information.

Commissions Questions:

Does RBI pay agent commissions directly?

Most of our agents receive their commissions directly from the carrier with very few exceptions. If you need help with this process, speak to our Contracting and Commissions Department at 1-800-997-3107.

When can I expect my commissions?RBI Team

If RBI does pay your commissions, those commissions are generally paid toward the end of each month.

How do you open secure emails for my commission statements?

Watch our tutorial about how to open a secure email here.

Support Questions:

Medicare Sales Engine or Agent Market Edge portal questions are best addressed to Rebecca or James by calling 1-800-997-3107.  If you have questions about a specific order you placed through the Agent Market Edge, ask for Steven. In an appointment? If you have compliance questions, you should speak to Rob Bever, Director of Compliance, and general sales questions should be addressed to our National Sales Manager, Charlie Ferrell.

Other FAQs:

When will I get my AME credits? 

If you are participating in our Medicare Advantage “Every 5 Sales Drive” through RBI, the marketing credits will show up in your Agent Market Edge account at the beginning of the month following the enrollment month. This means if you have qualifying sales in February, the marketing credits will show up in the beginning of March.

What can I spend my marketing credits on?

Your marketing credits can be used to purchase any type of collateral on the Agent Market Edge online portal. With this great tool, you’ll be growing your business in no time!

2022 AHIP
2020 ahip discount certification

5 Easy Tax Season Deductions – Filing Deadline: April 18

Charlie Ferrell, National Sales Manager

About the Author: Charlie started his senior insurance career after a brief 30-year stint in the restaurant industry. In the 12 years since then, he has been blazing trails and setting standards for excellence all over! A native son of Utah, he has been a state manager for RBI as well as a managing general agent for UHC, Coventry, Molina and other carriers! Charlie came to RBI as the National Sales Manager in 2015, and is an invaluable resource for our agents and staff for marketing, compliance, and sales topics! If all of that wasn’t enough, Charlie specializes in the Dual-Eligible market and is leading the charge behind many of RBI’s new training initiatives!

5 Easy Tax Season Deductions

Filing Deadline: April 18

As you are no doubt aware by the ads to “Get Your Billion BACK!” and others, it’s tax season!

Running a business as an independent agent is a great experience for the freedom it allows, but at this time of year it can be daunting. If you’re trying to figure out what deductions you can claim for tax season, you know what we’re talking about. The IRS has resources to help you
understand what types of deductions you are eligible for, so check out what they have to say to get started. Now if you get overwhelmed by this list, that’s ok! (That’s why an accountant is a good idea!) We aren’t licensed CPA’s and this isn’t a substitute for working with one, but here’s our RBI shortlist of 5 easy tax season deductions to think about as a small business owner in senior sales.  Let’s get to it!

Number 1: Mileage

easy tax season deductions

Make sure you are tracking your mileage for Medicare appointments.

As a Medicare independent agent, you should be tracking the miles you drive to and from appointments. You’ll want to be able to provide your accountant with this information at the end of the year. Getting this deduction is simply a matter of noting the distance to and from appointments. Don’t make this complicated: write down the mileage, take a photo of your odometer, or if you don’t want to do the old fashioned notebook-and-pencil way of tracking miles, you can always download the Mile IQ app on your smartphone. Download the app for free and get started! Read more about how this works.

Number 2: Marketing Expenses

A lot of people don’t track their expenses for marketing, and this counts as a business expense! Did you order flyers for a community event this year? Maybe you got a refresh on business cards? What about mailers? Save your receipts for marketing efforts and make sure you provide your accountant with those records as well.

Number 3: Meeting Room Rental

If you held any community marketing during AEP or throughout the year, you know that meeting rooms can cost money. This is also a tax deductible expense! If you had any giveaways or prizes at these meetings, you might be able to write them off as well. (Make sure you are following the CMS Medicare Marketing Guidelines for any giveaways or prizes at your events.)  Keep your receipts – your accountant will need them!

Number 4: License Fees

easy tax season deductions

Here are 5 easy tax season deductions for Medicare insurance agents!

Insurance agents in the senior insurance market know – keeping up to date on your license, E&O insurance, CE credits and more can add up! This is also a business expense, so make sure you keep track of all your receipts for CE credits, AHIP, and other appointment fees.

Number 5: Business Travel:

If you went to any conferences, like the AHIP conference last year, or other business travels, those receipts need to be saved. Airline costs, hotel, rental car and fuel, parking expenses at the airport – all of these expenses are a business expense.  You should also be tracking your daily meals or per diem. If using the per diem method, don’t forget that your first and last days of travel are calculated at a reduced rate! You can also download this app that will help to track per diem rates.

Bonus round: If you have a home office that is designated as purely for business purposes, you might be able to write off such costs are your cell phone, internet, office supplies, or postage.

Did you see some types of business expenses on our list that you didn’t think about last year? If you didn’t keep track of these 5 items in 2016, now is the time to get started for next year. Above all, don’t wait to get organized! What you do now will have a big impact on your filing in 2018 for the fiscal year 2017. And remember, we aren’t experts — these are only 5 easy tax season deductions that we track every year. Your accountant or CPA will be able to point to other expenses you should track that might be a great way to save money.

Have you checked the RBI Calendar for April? It’s Carrier Spring Training month! Click here to get emails about our webinars! Want to get contracted? Call us up at 1-800-997-3107 or click here to see a list of carriers.

Medicare cost-sharing
USA Senior Care Network
2019 AHIP

Video: Direct Mail Madness Roll-up

Don’t you just hate missing amazing content? Now you don’t have to: watch Direct Mail Madness Roll-up now!

Have you thought about using Direct Mail to market your senior insurance business? Maybe you thought it was a lot of money for leads. Maybe you thought that it was too complicated for you. Perhaps you thought that tracking your investment would be impossible.  If any of these scenarios have you nodding along, you need to watch our 60 Second Roll-up “Direct Mail Madness Roll-up.” 

What are the things agents hate most about marketing?

  • Spending lots of money and not getting anything in return, or in other words, bad Return on Investment (ROI)
  • It’s tough to get the message to the right people, or targeting the message
  • Getting leads that are not effective

RB Insurance is here to help!  We de-mystify Direct Mail, and can help you determine ROI, targeting the right leads, and ultimately get leads that you can convert into a client for life.

Direct Mail Madness Roll-up

Look for this symbol on all our new “60 Second Roll-up” videos!

Now that you’ve got a taste for Direct Mail, you should watch the full recording! Then you should check out your Agent Market Edge account and get started today!

Don’t forget to sign up for next week’s webinar, which talks about how to use Direct Mail to grow your Medicare business. Check out our Carrier Spring Training series starting in April and get started contracting for the selling season! Call 1-800-997-3107 to get more details! 

2022 AHIP
2020 ahip discount certification

Spotlight on Outstanding Community Referral Sources

James Gramp

James Gramp

Sales Coordinator / Independent Insurance Agent

With his signature common sense, quiet good humor, and brilliant customer service, Jim is the other half of the RBI phone answering dynamic duo! An Arizona native, Jim manages agent relationships for the East Coast and specializes in the RBI agent tools, especially the Agent Market Edge. Jim has been a licensed health insurance agent for over a year, and has worked at RBI for 2 years. An accomplished bassoonist, he is known around the office for his amazing musical skills. In addition to keeping busy around the office, Jim frequently contributes to our blog, bringing a new agent’s perspective to the RBI online presence.

Spotlight on Outstanding Community Referral Sources

Sales Coordinator/Independent Insurance Agent: James Gramp

My focus for this part of the year is on the Dual Eligible population, something you would know if you read my last post (shame on you if you didn’t!), “Your Best Month Yet.”  The most successful ways I’ve reached this population are Direct Mail and Community Marketing.  Both methods are very effective but today I’ll be focusing on community marketing by building outstanding community referral sources, especially in the Dual Eligibles/Low Income Subsidy (LIS) market.

Community Referral Sources - do your homework!

To gain community referral sources, do your homework!

Do your homework: Prepare for the meeting

Effective referral leads are worth their weight in gold.  Think about it: they’re almost always referred to you by someone they trust, which helps you break through the most important barrier between you and making the sale; earning trust. If you want to succeed in gaining community referral sources, and then in appointments from these referral relationships, you must build a name for yourself as the “Medicare Expert” in your community. The first step is to obviously have the knowledge to be an expert. This means not just the ins and outs of Medicare, but also research the focus group you’re targeting. For instance, I’m targeting Dual Eligible/Low Income Subsidy members, and locations in the community that interact with them. I need to research both. Hint: If you don’t know where to start for your target market, call us! That’s what we’re here for.

Where’s Waldo? Find the Decision Maker

There’s a lot more to community marketing than going to provider offices/food banks and asking if you can put up a flyer in their office. The trick is to find and educate the decision maker or influencer, that is, the person or people that interact with the potential members on a daily basis. Community Referral SourcesThe influencer will be doing the actual referral, so they need to know what you do. How do you help seniors save money? The answer in my case is by helping enroll members in the ‘Extra Help’ or the state Medicaid (AHCCCS in AZ) program. Influencers also need to understand that your consultations are 100% free of charge. You do not want to go in to a networking meeting looking like a typical salesman looking for your next sale — that’s a great way to get shown the door. You want your “pitch” to be centered around the value you bring to the table: the education and extra financial help you provide your clients.

Show me the money! What’s in it for the influencer?

Not only do you have to show the benefit you provide to your clients, you also have to show the decision makers or influencers the benefit they have of working with you.  A lot of what you say at this point is specific to the type of facility. Take a dental office, for instance. Dental office patients who are on Medicare and Medicaid qualify to enroll in Dual Special Needs Plans, which can give them up to $xxxx.xx in dental coverage as long as that particular doctor ins “in-network” for that carrier.  If these potential members enroll, you’re literally putting money in their pockets that they can only use to fix their teeth.  In my appointments with dental office influencers, I make this statement: “Not only do I help my clients save money with these federal and state programs, but for my clients that qualify I can get them on a plan that gives them $xxxx.xx in comprehensive dental coverage. That would be additional dollars to your top line with minimal effort on your part. If I can get your patients more money to get their teeth fixed would you refer your patients that have questions about Medicare/Medicaid to me?” Patients will be more likely to schedule appointments for major work if they don’t have to cover the costs out of pocket, and the dental office will see this value. The decision for the influencer is very straightforward at this point, because I have shown them how the referral relationship will impact their bottom line.

At RB Insurance Group, we pride ourselves on our ability to help the Dual Eligible population! Our staff has personally enrolled thousands of individuals in Dual Special Needs Plans.  Trying to get into the D-SNP market? Watch this webinar! Give RBI a call today to get contracted and learn about the incredible opportunity you have to truly make a difference.

2022 AHIP
2020 ahip discount certification

Video: Make Community Marketing Work for You Roll-up

Did you miss Webinar Wednesday? Instead, watch Make Community Marketing Work for You Roll-up!

If you’re not known in your area as the authority on all things Medicare, this webinar is for you! We want to help you grow to be the person in your neighborhood that everyone goes to with questions…and of course, the agent who enrolls these members! To get you to this goal, we’ve prepared this week’s Webinar Wednesday to cover how to take charge of your education efforts, become an expert at working in the field, and start earning the trust of your community. Did you miss the webinar? We’ve got you covered with the Make Community Marketing Work for You Roll-up!

Make Community Marketing Work for You Roll-up

Look for this symbol on all our new “60 Second Roll-up” videos!

Not sure how to get started? Take the first step by clicking here to watch the full recording. Then take a look at our carrier-partners to get started contracting.

If you have additional questions, call RBI at 1-800-997-3107 to speak to our amazing team!