The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implements sweeping changes to the Medicare system every year. Changes can impact the agents, carriers and clients alike. Over the past few years, rules and regulations have been aimed at stopping unfair marketing practices with large-scale call centers. Unfortunately, these updates have had a negative impact on individual sales agents as well. Here are the changes to this year’s scope of appointment rules:
- 48-Hour waiting period reimplemented. SOAs are required before meeting with a beneficiary to have any discussions that may lead to a sale. Agents must now wait a full 48 hours to conduct a personal marketing appointment. Exceptions to this include the last 4 days of a valid election period and if a beneficiary initiates an unscheduled in-person meeting (walk-in into an office).
- SOAs are limited to 12 months from the beneficiary’s signature date or the beneficiary’s request for information.
- SOAs are no longer allowed to be collected at educational events. This prohibits agents from setting up future sales appointments while at educational events. However, BRCs (Business Reply Cards) can be made available to collect beneficiary information.
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