With the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) right around the corner, it’s a good time for a review of the CMS rules regarding the marketing of the upcoming year’s plans. CMS does not allow the marketing of 2018 products prior to October 1st, when AEP marketing officially begins. Even with those restrictions, there are things you can do now to boost your success during the AEP, but let’s start with the “don’t” list.
The prohibited activities include:
- Scheduling or soliciting appointments to discuss 2018 products
- Obtaining Scope of Appointment forms for appointments where 2018 products will be presented
- Discussing any 2018 product information
- Advertising or conducting sales events for 2018 products
This does not mean that you cannot talk to your clients at all, or you have to halt any marketing efforts you have in place. We recommend that you continue to prospect, and of course service your current clients’ needs. You can reach out to your current clients to schedule a plan review, but please keep in mind that you have to be careful and restrict your wording to “current plan review.” And be sure that you’re not obtaining SoA forms for any appointments prior to 10/1 if the appointment is going to be after 10/1 and will include a discussion of 2018 products.
You are allowed and encouraged to talk about the upcoming AEP in an educational way, making sure your clients are aware of the dates. Some carriers have pre-approved letters you can use to reach out to your current clients, or to prospects, to advise them about the upcoming opportunity. If you’d rather have unbranded materials, review those pre-approved letters to get ideas of what you CAN say to clients and prospects now, and develop your own. JSA Compliance will review your marketing pieces to ensure you’re meeting the CMS marketing standards. You can email any marketing materials you’ve created to Compliance@jsaonline.com.
In our ongoing mission to assist agents with compliant sales, JSA Compliance has created a useful cheat sheet to help you with compliant marketing for the upcoming AEP. Please utilize the guide below to help you determine the right approach when reaching out to your current clients. We’ve compiled answers to our most frequently asked questions from agents on this topic.
If you are looking for a compliant way to reach out to your book of business, please reach out to our Compliance or Marketing Teams at 1-800-203-0433. We are committed to your success in compliant sales!