Medicare plans? Pivot to online seminars this AEP.

The future of AEP marketing is evolving. The impact of COVID-19 means we are no longer marketing within a business-as-usual setting. Medicare plans must think about lead generation and lead nurturing in a shifting landscape.

State restrictions have limited the ability for Medicare plans to interact with prospective members. For most plans, in-person Medicare seminars have long provided the opportunity to direct prospects to local Medicare meetings where Medicare coverage options are explained in face-to-face discussions.

But Medicare plans must now pivot their strategies when marketing to Medicare beneficiaries, an older, more COVID-19 vulnerable audience. One proposed approach? Switch to online Medicare seminars. Conducting online seminars this AEP is a safe, cost-efficient way to reach this audience with the same helpful information.

As you consider offering an online Medicare seminar this AEP, here are some tips to help you connect with people at home.

1. Choose your platform

There are many online platforms to choose from. You will want to consider interaction tools such as questions and chat functions as well as ease of use. GoToWebinar, Adobe Connect and Webex should be in your consideration set.

2. Add an RSVP function

While CMS requires that reservations be not required for events, you should take the opportunity to secure contact information in advance if the prospect would be willing to provide it. It would also allow you to send the prospect a reminder about the seminar as the event date approaches. Great information on creating invitations here.

3. Host the online seminar on a dedicated landing page

Attending an online seminar will be a new experience for many prospects. Do not bury access to the seminar on your corporate website and lose potential attendees in the process. Make it simple to find by using a brief landing page. Within this dedicated landing page, include an electronic lead form for prospects to fill out to receive more information or a phone call. And include relevant information on how the prospect can contact your plan, whether that be a phone number or offices (if available).

4. Clearly set expectations on topics your seminar will cover

At the beginning of your presentation, clearly explain what you will be covering. You’ll want to cover the basics of Original Medicare, a high-level overview of your 2021 plans including key benefits and your network, and most importantly, how to enroll.

5. Reprioritize which benefits to promote

Plans will need to carefully consider messaging choices this AEP. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused Medicare beneficiaries to reevaluate some benefits such as telemedicine access. It may also temporarily diminish the value of some benefits like gym memberships and transportation to medical appointments.

As with any marketing/sales event that is conducted, you will want to consult with your compliance team to ensure that you are adhering to the CMS Medicare Marketing Guidelines.

If you are looking for a new health care marketing agency, get started today. I can tell you from my experience that the selection process and creative ramp-up will take longer than expected. It always does. Don’t wait.

Andrew Robinson

SVP, Account Director

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