Medicare educational events are an excellent way to gain the trust, and referral information, of enrollees in attendance. But before you host, present at, or attend an educational event for enrollees, there are some CMS guidelines (Medicare Communication & Marketing Guidelines, Section 50.1) you will have to follow.
Market the Event as ‘Educational’ to Enrollees
If you are hosting or reaching out to enrollees for an educational event, CMS requires you to explicitly market the event as “educational.” Remember that an educational event does not include any of the following sales activities:
- Distributing marketing materials and any material with plan-specific information (such as plan-specific premiums, copayments, or contact information)
- Distributing or collecting enrollment forms
Respond to Questions, But Avoid Plan Specifics
This is where it may become a bit difficult for a broker at an educational event. You are allowed to answer questions that enrollees ask you. Remember, your goal at this event is to educate seniors on their options rather than upsell specific plans.
While your answers should avoid including plan specifics, it may be difficult to sidestep direct questions about benefits, premiums, or copays. If a question seems plan specific and you don’t feel that it will be appropriate to answer that question at an educational event, be honest. Tell the enrollee that you are prohibited from distributing plan-specific information at this time. This is better than breaking CMS guidelines.
Set Up Future Marketing or Sales Appointments
You may do the following at the conclusion of your educational event:
- Distribute business cards and contact information so beneficiaries can contact you at a later date.
- Complete and collect Scope of Appointment (SOA) forms.
- Set up marketing appointments.
Read More Medicare Marketing Guidelines From Excelsior
Visit Excelsior’s online resource center, where we’ve broken down each broker-focused MCMG rule. The topics range from where brokers can host educational events to proper activities at sales events and appointments. To learn more about the Excelsior team and how we can help you, contact us.