Best practices for agents in the medicare market

Recently we at Rocket Referrals have partnered with Senior Marketing Specialists (SMS) of Columbia, MO to share valuable content surrounding important topics for insurance agents. In this blog post, Mike Gattorna, Guru and Wizard of Light Bulb Moments at SMS, discusses ways agents can reach the growing Medicare market.


Blue car syndrome: the act of seeing, hearing, or thinking of something and then seeing it everywhere. Think of this as when you are looking to buy a new car, such as a Honda Accord, and then you start to notice every Honda Accord on the streets.

Aging into Medicare has its own version of blue car syndrome. Studies have shown that once someone reaches the age of 64, they start to think about Medicare and notice more and more Medicare information out there. Many agents who work with the Medicare market used to start marketing 3 months prior to a person’s 65th birthday (when their enrollment period begins), but many people have started months prior.

What does this mean for agents? Marketing to the aging in the Medicare market means their materials may have more effect as they are going through the “Medicare car syndrome”. They have a heightened sense of awareness for Medicare information and are noticing it more. This is why direct mail is still one of the top ways to reach new Medicare beneficiaries, as Deft Research found.

shopping activity breakdown

As the research indicates, direct mail, websites, and friends are the top 3 sources for shopping for insurance coverage.

This heightened sense of awareness can also work after someone has bought a new policy. Once they have a new policy with a new carrier and agent, their attention for materials from this carrier and agent are better noticed from all the other “noise” in the marketplace or mailbox. This creates an opportune time for referrals. 14% of people are asking their friends or family about healthcare coverage. Make sure you are at the forefront of their minds with follow-up contact, so when they are asked about coverage, your name is given.

You can find more valuable content from Senior Marketing Specialists at their SMS University. Mike Gattorna can be reached at mike.gattorna@smsteam.net

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