The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) runs from October 15th through December 7th. There is much to do before that October 15th date and once over, you must lay the groundwork for the next AEP season immediately. Planning for AEP never really ends. During this period, Medicare beneficiaries can evaluate their current health insurance coverage and switch plans, or make any other changes they deem necessary. Medicare beneficiaries are inundated with communication from your competitor: direct mail radio ads, TV ads, digital ads and print ads to name a few. Out of a total population of about 25 million Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals, 15 percent are aged 65 or older. Are you communicating to them in the right language?
There are a number of important factors to consider when developing an effective AEP marketing strategy. With the right guidance from an experienced language services provider, you can maximize your reach to current and prospective beneficiaries, including those who are LEP, or require additional accessibility support.
Preparing To Market AEP
At a strategic level, there are a number of preparatory steps that you’ll need to take before you enter the AEP cycle. These include:
- Conduct competitive analyses
- Develop your prospecting and retention strategies
- Complete your AHIP training
- Finalize contracts with all of your carriers
- Translate and edit all documents
- Complete your product training
- Perform due diligence with regards to CMS requirements and identify changes in your markets
- Familiarize yourself with all relevant compliance changes
General AEP Marketing Strategy
Your existing client base should be the starting point for your AEP marketing strategy, so reach out to the customers on your books to find out their coverage requirements for the coming year.
You’ll also want to connect with prospective beneficiaries by reaching out through a number of channels, such as partnerships with doctors and hospital systems, contacting local senior centers and groups, advertising on social media platforms frequently used by the LEP 65+ demographic, or hosting CMS-compliant marketing events.
As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021, broker meetings and seminars will go virtual once again. That means you’ll need to determine how to digitally connect with all beneficiaries — including those with limited English proficiency (LEP).
According to AARP, about 5 million older Americans have limited English proficiency (LEP), making them a key demographic for the Medicare market. However, language barriers add an additional layer of complexity to your outreach strategy.
Taking a Multilingual Approach to AEP Marketing
For compliance with the conditions laid down by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), you’ll need to submit multilingual plan documentation for AEP. This means translating the Summary of Benefits (SB), Annual Notices of Change (ANOC), and other plan information. But for effective AEP marketing, you’ll also need to invest in a multilingual approach to digital outreach in order to attract LEP beneficiaries.
As you create your campaign, consider all the multilingual resources and outreach channels you may need, such as translation for:
- Medicare plans and other documentation
- Direct mail, brochures, and other print materials
- Multilingual websites
- Voiceover and/or subtitles for TV, video, or radio advertising
- Remote interpreting for virtual seminars and call centers
Partnering with an Experienced Language Services Vendor for your AEP Marketing Strategy
A language services company can help you with additional research and adapting your marketing materials to ensure they’re culturally relevant for the demographics you’re trying to connect with. You’ll need to partner with a translation company that is experienced with the AEP process and has the technology framework to support your quality and timeline requirements.
When developing your marketing strategy, your plan should follow this type of workflow:
- Generate and gather documents such as Plan Annual Notice of Change (ANOC), Evidence of Coverage (EOC), Summary of Benefits, and Formularies
- Provide the translation company with the documents
- Work through edits of the translated documents, checking them for nuance and contextual/cultural relevance
- Receive the finalized documents
- Post the documents to the web
- Print out hard copies of relevant documents as required
Some Best Practices
- Prepare thoroughly and begin the translation process early
- Get English versions finalized as soon as possible
- Provide your translation vendor with pre-finalized versions of all your documents so they can get to work as quickly as possible
At CQ fluency, we provide high quality translation services for health insurance companies and work closely with our clients to help with any last-minute changes. This ensures that only the most up-to-date versions are submitted for CMS approval and documents are delivered on time to meet CMS deadlines.
Our team of subject matter experts specialize in health plan and medical terminology. We’ll review your documentation to ensure it is not only technically accurate, but culturally relevant, on time, and on budget. To help plan your upcoming Annual Enrollment Period marketing, download our AEP checklist and contact us to discuss your translation needs.