Medicare influences most of the healthcare decisions of patients 65 and up. Unfortunately, original Medicare can have gaps in coverage that steer people away from making the right decisions for their health.
That’s why millions of people choose a private Medicare Advantage plan as their 65th birthday approaches or during the Annual Election Period (also known as AEP or open enrollment)—to fill in those gaps and prevent a major procedure from leading to bankruptcy.
A Medicare Advantage marketing plan allows you to reach patients at all stages of the process, but it can be tricky to do effectively and ethically.
When patients turn 65, they have a 7-month period—three months before, during and after their birth month—to select a Medicare plan. Typically, patients consider a private Medicare Advantage plan after realizing the out-of-pocket expense involved with original Medicare, which can leave patients responsible for 20% of the cost of some services with no limit on out-of-pocket expenses.
So why would hospitals, medical groups, IPAs, and practices need a Medicare Advantage marketing plan?
Providers do need to remain neutral about most aspects of choosing a Medicare plan. Still, you can and should keep patients informed of all their options and ensure they are able to make the right decisions for their health. There are plenty of ways to reach out to patients who may be considering a Medicare Advantage plan:
Reaching out to prospective patients can be a little tricky, as they receive so many informational brochures, mailers, and emails during open enrollment and when they turn 65. However, with the right plan in place, you can reach future patients through…
Remember, many seniors have family members making their healthcare decisions, so don’t rule out digital and social media advertising as a way to reach those decision-makers.
Patients have the option to switch their plans during the Annual Election Period every year. That’s when you can reach out to all seniors in your area who may be reconsidering their Medicare plans via…
It’s certainly useful to have information available on your website or on-site to help patients make the right decision and to bring more Medicare Advantage Plan patients to your door. But how can you make sure you’re doing this both ethically and effectively?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services provide strict Medicare marketing guidelines for plan sponsors and providers. For example:
These may seem limiting, but there are still plenty of ways to reach patients with properly planned events, seminars, mailers, and online content—IF you follow compliance guidelines.
We strongly recommend you work with experts who understand Medicare Advantage plan marketing. Failure to do so can lead to a disaster.
Last year, the Marketing Director of a large hospital told us a horror story about how her marketing company failed to comply with the Medicare regulations. As a result, Medicare fined her hospital and prohibited it from participating in the entire open enrollment period.
Most hospitals and practices do not have employees on staff who are both qualified and have the time to answer detailed patient questions about Medicare Advantage plans. So, you will also need a reputable partner to refer your patients to for more detailed information.
For our part, Healthcare Success has partnered with My Senior Health Plan to help hospitals and practices see more patients through Medicare Advantage. It’s part of our complete marketing management and one of the many ways we help you reach the right patients at the right time. Call 800-656-0907 to learn more!