Oh wow! How is it possible that AEP starts in less than a month! Time sure does fly and I am sure you are finalizing all your marketing plans for generating leads and executing your ANOC mailings. As a former Marketing Director of a large MA plan, I have been in your shoes and want to make sure you are thinking of the answers to these questions now, when you can still do something about it, instead of later:

  1. How are you tracking and reporting internally to let people know about your marketing efforts to prepare for what is happening outside of the office walls?
  2. Does your sales team/call center know the exact day your call volume is going to spike due to direct mail pieces hitting homes?
  3. Do you know when your direct mail is hitting prospect’s home so you can launch your digital campaigns the same day?
  4. Does your customer service department know exactly when to staff up due to the increase in call volume from ANOCs being delivered to members?
  5. Do you have a way to report to the Center of Medicare Services (CMS) that your ANOC mailings did truly hit homes before the October 1st deadline so you can show you are in compliance with CMS guidelines?
  6. Would you like to know when people are responding to your mailings via BRC and you can track the date you will actually receive those responses in the mail?

The surprising answer to all of these questions can be found using mail-tracking software. How does it work? It is similar to using a tracking number to look online to see where your package is via FedEx or UPS, but this tracks through the U.S. Postal System, in real time. And guess what? It is really inexpensive – especially when you see all the benefits it can bring to you and your organization. It is also simple to implement and is great this time of year when things are quite hectic.

Have you ever put yourself and your colleagues on your ANOCs mail list to “verify” delivery before the October 1st deadline? I have, and at the time it was the best way we knew how to prove to CMS they were delivered to members on time. A managed mail tracking software serves as statistically valid evidence of delivery accepted by regulators (such as CMS) – avoiding the headaches that can come with verifying delivery dates for time-sensitive or regulated mailings. Perfect for letting CMS know when your ANOC mailings were delivered. Trust me, I know you are super busy right now but your life will be easier by integrating mail tracking tools with your production process. I hope you have a great AEP.

Merry Beth Ward is SourceLink’s Healthcare Marketing Strategist. She was formerly Director of Marketing for Cigna-HealthSpring, so she’s been through her fair share of AEP seasons. You can reach out to Merry Beth at mward@sourcelink.com