Confused about how certain carrier's Agent of Record is going to affect your AEP? Ronnie James, TMG Training Director, tells you what it is and how to avoid pitfalls in your sales year.
Here at Tidewater we have received several calls from agents about Agent of Record changes. Some agents are very happy about it and others not so much.
This is a difficult conversation to have with agents because some of the carriers that we work with do allow for agent of record (AOR) changes and some do not allow them.
If you are the current Agent Of Record
If you are currently the agent of record, it is very important that you take the time to go out and meet with or call your customers to discuss their plan options and benefits for the next year.
In all honesty, if you are not touching base with your members, you are falling short of the expectations of the carriers. The carriers are excited about getting new business, but at the same time, they want to maintain and retain the current block of business.
They are paying you the agent a monthly fee or renewal to take care of these members. More and more the carriers are finding that they are losing customers if the agents are not taking good care of their customers.
Agent Of Record Changes in the past
The carriers don’t want to lose these members to another plan. In the past, some plans required the member to change plans in order to change their agent. The customer was forced to change to another company just to change the agent that was not servicing them properly or at all.
If you are an agent that is looking to pick up a customer who is unsatisfied with their previous agent, there are opportunities to take them on as a client.
We are not for AOR changes just for the sake of taking on a commission. We believe that there is enough business available that we should always try to do things the right way.
When is it good to pursue an AOR?
Sometimes you will come across a customer that enrolled over the phone, online and they had an agent that moved or retired or they just can’t get any response from anymore. At that point, it is proper and responsible to ask them if they would like to change their agent.
How is it done now?
Most of the carriers that now offer AOR changes will require that the member put their request in writing. As an agent you cannot put it in your handwriting and have them sign it. It will require that they fill out a form or write a letter that you can then submit to the carrier.
What do you put on the AOR request?
Make sure you have these important items on the AOR request:
Once you have all of this complete, you will submit it to the carrier so they will know who to mark as the Agent Of Record.
How will commissions work?
As an agent you will not be paid an advance, any AOR changes will come out as a monthly renewal. So don’t expect to get a large commission in January for this AOR change.
How can I prevent AOR changes for my customers?
We know that the AOR changes can be misused, but we also respect agents that put the customer first.
So if you have a block of business and want to protect it. We think it is important that throughout the year you reinvest in yourself. Use that renewal money to stay in front of your consumers.
Don’t just be visible when AEP rolls around and expect them to be loyal to you. Be sure that you are an agent that services those people all year long. And if we do that, it should help prevent AOR changes.
Not all carriers offer AOR changes! If you have any questions about which carriers offer AOR changes give us a call at (888) 622-9122