This year’s Open Enrollment season is just around the corner and with the way the world has changed in the past 12 months, it is same to assume this annual election period will be more interesting and hectic than normal. We have already seen the COVID-19 pandemic has increased traffic in the online world a couple of times. E-commerce clients are reporting jumps in traffic, conversion rates, and overall buying is surging; in some cases more than 150%. In the property & casualty insurance space, we have seen major carriers rebating loyal customers. At the same time, we have witnessed an increase in cross-shopping and insurance lead volumes as customers rush to try and save money while right-sizing their policies.
What Does This Mean For Open Enrollment?
This year more than any other, it will pay to be prepared for AEP – having health & medicare insurance leads in the pipeline will give you a pool of potential new clients to call on. The prospects can be worked when the phones are not ringing and the real-time inquiries are not flowing in. Last year when weekly maintenance took many systems offline our most successful partners fell back on data & leads to fill the time. With unemployment at historic levels and the associated reduction of workers on company benefit rolls this fall, we are expecting an even busier season. So on top of “filling the funnel” we are advising clients to do some fairly obvious things:
- Secure media and lead buys in the next 3-4 weeks
- Have a plan for any disruption in either lead flow or the exchanges themselves
- Keep a close eye on updates from the federal government on those exchanges
- Be prepared for the states that re-opened their ACA exchanges in March to adjust their operations this fall. Those states include:
- Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington.
Overall we expect to see an unprecedented surge in AEP activity this year. This activity will occur in a very short window as it did last year. We should all expect the unexpected, and if we can help in any way we are always here.