Key Opportunities in Revisiting Medicare Coverage

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Advisors can use their CRMs for various workflows and notifications to increase client touchpoints. Those who are involved in key life events have set up a Medicare-related notification for clients who are approaching their initial eligibility period. This is an important time for clients as they will be making a decision on how to configure their health insurance for the rest of their life.

But Medicare isn’t a “one-and-done” deal. You need to revisit the conversation regularly depending on the time of year or certain events to ensure it is still in line with your clients’ needs and budgets. Here are a few key examples.

Part D coverage during open enrollment

The first and most applicable opportunity to revisit clients’ coverage is during the open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7 every year. During this time, you can revisit drug coverage (Part D) and change plans, effective the first day of the following year.

This is important for a number of reasons. If you aren’t on any medications when first enrolling in Medicare, you can opt for the drug plan with the lowest possible monthly premium. If you take a few generic brands, you can determine the most cost-effective plan either directly on or by working with a professional. As you age, it is likely that your medication list will grow and certain drugs on that list will be expensive. This is where revisiting Part D coverage comes in handy. Clients can find a new plan every fall that better fits their needs for the upcoming year.

You can set a notification for this time of year for all clients that have prescription drug coverage through original Medicare (Part D) or Medicare Advantage. This is especially applicable for clients who have had new or growing health issues in the last year. Revisiting their coverage and looking for better suited options could go a long way in your relationship with them.

As an aside, I’ve been in the middle between advisors and clients who have received bad advice in the past and chose not to enroll in Part D for a variety of reasons. It is mandatory without another source of creditable drug coverage; you should ensure clients don’t pass on their initial enrollment opportunity to sign up, which is usually at age 65 or within two months of their last month of employment. They will otherwise be subject to a penalty for the months they were not enrolled. Plans can run as low as $7 per month, so it is cheap in comparison to a lifelong penalty if drug coverage is needed down the line.