Many agents use Educational or Sales events during AEP and a way to get in front of clients and generate new sales. Here are some guidelines to conduct these events compliantly:
Sales Events – Formal vs Informal
Formal Events are a more structured event using an audience/presenter type format.
Informal Events utilize a less structured format; for example, a table, kiosk, etc. that is manned by a sales representative where consumers must initiate the conversations. A common informal sales event is staffing a kiosk in a retail location.
An Educational Event is an event designed to inform Medicare beneficiaries about Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug, or other Medicare programs and does not include marketing activities (i.e. the event sponsor does not steer, or attempt to steer, potential enrollees toward a specific plan or limited number of plans).
Things to Remember about Sales Events:
- Sales Events must be reported to each applicable Carrier you are representing
- Gifts, Snacks, or any promotional items must not exceed the “Nominal Gift” limit of $15
- Sign-in Sheets must be optional (Cannot require attendees to provide contact information)
- Cannot provide “meals” (even if under the $15 nominal value limit)
- Agents CAN conduct “marketing” activities which include: discussing plan info, distributing marketing materials, and distributing/collecting enrollment forms
- No-Shows are a CMS violation, so if you have an event scheduled you need to show up. NOTE: If COVID is a concern and you are unable to host your event, cancel the event if you can; if within the 48 hr timeframe contact the venue and request that someone be present for the first 15 min of the event to inform attendees that the event is cancelled.
- Can educate consumers about Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug, or other Medicare Programs
- Can offer Promotional Items as long as they are of nominal value and free of benefit info. These items can display the Plan Name, Logo, Toll-free Number, and/or Website
- Can display a banner with the Plan Name and/or Logo (as long as it doesn’t include any specific product information)
- Can distribute Business Cards and Contact Information for beneficiaries to initiate contact
- Can schedule future appointments
- Can collect Scope of Appointment Forms
- Can answer questions asked by consumers (provided the response doesn’t go beyond the scope of the question asked)
- Can provide Meals, Snacks, or Gifts (as long as they meet the Nominal Value requirement)
- Cannot distribute plan specific materials
- Cannot distribute enrollment forms or mandatory sign-up sheets
- Cannot discuss plan specific benefits
- Cannot collect or distribute plan applications
- Must be held in a public venue and must be advertised as Educational
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