Marketing your Medicare business is necessary to continually reach more potential clients and grow your business. Effective marketing is achieved by utilizing multiple marketing channels and approaches. Most agents will typically start with direct to consumer marketing channels (Client Facing), such as conventional mailers, print advertising, cross-selling current customers, or email campaigns. We have covered these marketing channels in our previous blogs, Marketing Strategies for Medicare’s Annual Election Period and Marketing Your Medicare Business: Cross-Selling
Client facing marketing is definitely necessary and you should continue to market these channels, but there is another channel where our agents are seeing a lot of success: Provider Marketing.
What is provider marketing?
Provider marketing includes marketing and forming relationships with physicians, dentists, and pharmacies. These are providers that Medicare eligibles, or soon to be eligibles, regularly visit and already trust. Marketing to these providers will not only be good for you, but it can also be beneficial for the provider and the customer. You can serve as a trusted source to answer questions from patients, saving them time and helping them answer questions when they do not know the answer. You also help their patients by finding a plan that keeps them in their doctor’s network. This is the same for Dentists and Pharmacies.
Types of providers and how to market them?
- Doctor offices: You can market to doctors’ office by introducing yourself as a licensed agent and letting them know you can help them by providing a source to answer questions, leaving flyers with Medicare related information, and offering specific plans that are in the doctor’s network. It is also good to bring in a candy dish or some sort of swag, like mini hand sanitizer bottles with your information, to put by your flyers, or something that will draw attention and that the office staff will appreciate. Once you have established a good relationship with the doctor, you can even offer to create a referral letter that they can send to their patients that let patients know you have plans available in the Doctor’s network, or of any Medicare changes. You can also host a lunch and learn for doctors and staff.
- Senior Centers: Senior centers are a great place to market. You can start by bringing your Medicare flyers and business cards as a source for Medicare questions, and offer to host a monthly birthday party for everyone with a birthday that month by supplying the cupcakes or cake. This helps form a relationship with the administrators as well as the residents. Once you have established a relationship, you can do educational events and sales seminars for residents at the facility. These are great events to hold, especially during AEP when recipients can switch plans.
- Pharmacies: You can get permission ahead of time to set up a booth or table and hold an informal Marketing Event in the store (away from the patient consultant areas) to help answer questions and sign up new members. Another good strategy is to create informational flyers that help Medicare recipients understand the complex Medicare Part D benefit (i.e. explain the donut hole) and that contain your information for questions.
- Dentist offices: Marketing to Dentists office is beneficial because Medicare Advantage plans can include dental coverage, but Original Medicare does not. You can market dentists by offering to help their patients with no dental insurance find a plan that has coverage. This also helps the dentist by providing coverage to clients for additional services which the dentist profits.
The key to marketing providers is to stay consistent and remind them you are here to help. Visit them regularly to bring new flyers, more cards and replenish any goodies you left. Send thank you cards when you receive a referral. May of our agents have success and continue to receive referrals with these strategies. You can find many plan specific approved flyers directly from the plan carriers, or you can create a generic Medicare flyers. We design and create marketing materials for all of our agents, so if you are not already contracted with us then contact us asap.
I am sure you all are aware that Medicare has a lot of rules when it comes to marketing Medicare? In addition to the normal Medicare marketing rules, marketing in a healthcare setting has some additional points to remember. Medicare differentiates between “common areas” and “restricted areas”. Per CMS, common areas “include, but are not limited to common entryways, vestibules, waiting rooms, hospital or nursing home cafeterias, and community, recreational, or conference rooms.” Restricted areas “generally include, but are not limited to: exam rooms, hospital patient rooms, treatment areas where patients interact with a provider and his/her clinical team and receive treatment (including dialysis treatment facilities), and pharmacy counter areas (where patients interact with pharmacy providers and obtain medications).” It is necessary to be able to know the difference between “common” and “restricted” areas before you start your provider marketing. CMS allows marketing activities in common areas of a healthcare setting, but it does NOT allow marketing in restricted areas.
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GMIA, Inc. – How to Market and Grow your Medicare Business with LIS and DSNP Eligible Beneficiaries Says :
[…] As you go out and meet these providers, your goal is to build a relationship with them and help them by alleviating a pain point or benefiting them and their patients in some way. You can do this by presenting yourself as a trusted, knowledgeable source that can help the provider by answering patient, physician, and staffs Medicare questions or by holding provider lunch and learns or patient educational events on Medicare topics. As we know, Medicare is complicated, and it helps them to have an expert to direct all questions to. You can also help them keep patients in their network by offering to help LIS, D-SNP, or any Medicare eligible identify and enroll in plans that have the provider in their network. For more information on general provider marketing, you can visit our blog on Growing Your Business with Provider Marketing. […]