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As we struggle to build the NAHU membership, agents should be aware that NAHU is working hard on our behalf and we all benefit from their advocacy.

Most agents are unaware that our National Association’s Medicare Advisory Group was successful in getting the Medicare OEP back in business. The 21st Century Cures Act became law a year ago and now it is time to start getting excited about next year. Read the legislation here.

Beginning in 2019, all Medicare beneficiaries (MAPD & PDP) will be able to make one change of plans during the first three months of the year.

NAHU worked for years to get OEP reinstated and they were close several times. Luckily they never gave up, and finally prevailed. This is a win for beneficiaries and agents.

The old timers in Medicare remember that OEP was critical for people who failed to change plans during AEP or those who made a poor choice and only realized it after their new plan went into effect.

For new agents who haven’t experienced an OEP, you might be scared that all your clients from AEP could leave you during OEP–and you would be correct. But it also gives you a chance to correct plans if you later find out that your client’s doctors are no longer in network and it allows you gain new clients from beneficiaries that are not happy with their plan or their agent.

AEP is hectic enough, without all the holidays falling in the same time period. I’ve dreaded January for years because I get a few calls every year from someone who contacted me for insurance DURING AEP that didn’t finalize their plan. “Hi Sylvia, this is Louis. Now that the holidays are over, I would like to move to the plan you recommended” and I have to explain that they missed the deadline and will have to stick out another year on their current plan! OEP allows you to help people like this.

The law prohibits the carriers from advertising to consumers to utilize the OEP to change plans which could cause a lot of needless confusion.

The law allows all Medicare beneficiaries one change during OEP.

If you are not a member of NAHU, consider joining. NAHU is working hard on many issues that impact Medicare agents and we need more members to allow our voice to be heard in Washington. For only $22.50 per month you can help! Join today.