Planning and executing a successful Medicare sales event requires a thorough understanding of the rules and guidelines set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). We will delve into the essential rules you need to follow to ensure your event is a resounding success while maintaining compliance. Let’s dive in!
Medicare Sales Event Compliance
Carrier Certifications: Some carriers do require that you complete specific sales training to be considered certified to host a sales event. Be sure to check with each carrier that you plan to present and verify that you are fully certified and authorized to complete the sales event.
Adhere to CMS marketing guidelines: CMS has established strict marketing guidelines to protect Medicare beneficiaries from deceptive practices. It is imperative to familiarize yourself with these guidelines and ensure that your event materials, such as flyers, brochures, and advertisements, are compliant.
Some important CMS marketing guidelines at a sales event are:
- You cannot require an RSVP on your marketing materials for the event.
- You must include the following two statements on your sales event marketing pieces. “For accommodation of persons with special needs at sales meetings call <insert phone and TTY number>.” “A sales representative will be present with information and applications.”
- All sales event marketing materials must also clearly state all of the products that will be discussed (for example HMO, PDP) during that event.
- Presentations must be approved prior to use at a sales event. You should use the carrier sales presentations as these are already approved.
Ensure event transparency: Transparency is vital during a Medicare sales event. Clearly state the purpose of the event, disclose your role as a Medicare sales agent, and inform attendees about any affiliations you have with insurance providers. Because sales events are meant to steer potential enrollees towards a plan, CMS requires you to list all of the products that will be discussed during the event.
Comply with enrollment rules: During a Medicare sales event, you may encounter individuals interested in enrolling in Medicare plans. Be sure to follow CMS enrollment guidelines on enrollments during a sales event. Avoid pressuring attendees to enroll or misrepresenting plan benefits. Instead, offer guidance and support, ensuring individuals make informed decisions.
At marketing events you MAY:
- Accept or perform enrollments, including the collection of filled out enrollment forms
- Formally present benefit information to the audience
- Have beneficiaries fill out a scope of appointment for a subsequent 1 on 1 meeting
- Sign in sheets for lead follow up must be labeled as “optional”.
Document and retain event materials: CMS requires that you keep records of all event materials, including presentations, brochures, and sign-in sheets. These records should be maintained for a specified period, usually ten years, and made available for CMS audits or reviews upon request.
Rules regarding gifts and food at sales events: Food and gifts or raffles are good incentive to fill seats at your sales events. CMS has strict rules regarding offering food or gifts at events. Here is a breakdown on what you can and cannot do:
- You cannot provide meals at marketing /sales events, but you can provide light snacks or refreshments (i.e. coffee, pastries, crackers, etc)
- You may provide a nominal gift to attendees with no obligations. Gifts are defined as an item or service worth $15 or less.
- Gift cards are acceptable if they cannot be converted into cash.
- Gifts or raffles may be offered as long as they are provided whether or not the individual enrolls in a plan.
Registering a Sales Event
Sales events are required to be registered with each carried that you plan to present. Each carrier has a different deadline requirement for submitting an event request form. Be sure to check with the carrier to ensure you register your event in a timely manner.
Choosing the right venue for your Medicare sales event
Selecting the appropriate venue for your Medicare sales event plays an important role in its success. There are many options to consider, and some guidelines to keep in mind. You cannot host your event at a place provides free or reduced cost meals, even if you are not providing the meal. You also cannot conduct marketing/sales activities in healthcare settings except in common areas. Restricted areas include, but are not limited to exam rooms, hospital patient rooms, dialysis centers and pharmacy counter areas.
Here are some suitable options:
- Community Centers
- Senior Centers
- Retirement Communities
- Local Libraries
Hosting a Medicare sales event requires meticulous planning, adherence to regulations, and a commitment to providing valuable information to potential clients. By understanding and following the rules set by CMS, you can conduct successful events that not only attract attendees but also build trust and credibility within the Medicare sales industry. Remember, transparency, compliance, and a focus on education are key to achieving long-term success while helping Medicare beneficiaries make informed decisions about their healthcare coverage.
Need more training and resources to increase your Medicare sales? Contact us HERE to learn more about contracting with our team!