Scope of Appointment (aka SOA) is a form that outlines the specifics of what you will present to a client during a meeting or appointment. This makes sure that potential enrollees will not be sold plans that they did not originally request. Previously, per CMS Guidelines, the SOA had to be completed 48 hours in advance to all appointments, but in 2018, CMS removed this requirement, meaning "same-day scopes" are compliant.
To prepare you for the 2021 Annual Enrollment Period, we want to give you an overview on Scope of Appointment forms.
Do you have to fill out a Scope of Appointment for every meeting?
It is still essential that you do get a Scope of Appointment filled out for every meeting you plan on discussing Medicare Advantage Plans, the scope is not going away.
Scope of Appointment has to be documented for more than just scheduled appointments. It has to be documented for in-person meetings, meetings over the phone, and walk-ins.
One of the main reasons for this form is to disclose what product you will be discussing at your appointment. It is important to mark whether you are talking about Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, Part D Plans, or any of the ancillary products like Dental, Vision, Hearing or even Hospital Indemnity.
What happens if your client requests Medicare information outside of the Scope during your meeting?
You must fill out a second Scope covering the new information before continuing the meeting. If they’re interested in non-health related products, you must schedule a future appointment to discuss them.
Scope of Appointment does not need to be filled out in the case of:
No Cross Selling
When a SOA is filled out for a Medicare Advantage or Part D enrollment appointment, then non-health products such as life insurance or annuity are not able to be discussed at the current time.
The client is permitted to return and schedule another appointment a minimum of 48 hours after the previous appointment. This allows them to have time to think and have a clear head before discussing a new product and making any decisions.
Retain a copy of the scopes for 10 years
It is important to capture your client's signature and the date of the appointment on the scope of appointment form, and make sure to fill out all of your pertinent agent information. When you send in your information to the carriers, ensure that you include both the front and the back of the Scope of Appointment to the carrier.
Finally, per CMS Guidelines, make sure that you keep a record of all Scope of Appointment documents for 10 years even if the appointment didn’t end in a sale.
Where to Access Scopes
Access Scope of Appointment forms by downloading a generic paper form or carrier specific SOA's by making a materials order through the carrier or electronically collect and submit from the MedicareCENTER or carrier portals via eApps. Beneficiary signed hard copies and electronically signed SOAs are both accepted.
If you are using electronic versions, make sure that it is filled out correctly before submission. Also be sure to read the disclosure on the Scope of Appointment form. Make sure that you let the client know that they have agreed to an appointment with a licensed agent and that you do not work for Medicare. Tell the customer that you represent a particular carrier, and that carrier may compensate you for the plan they choose.
If you have any questions about Scope of Appointment forms, please give us a call at 888-622-9122.