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5 Future Trends For Medicare Sales

Patrick McCarthy

The world is changing at an ever-increasing rate and the world of Medicare sales is evolving alongside it. Technological innovation is creating a new landscape of digitally-enabled efficiency and competition. Consumer expectations are placing a greater burden on organizations to offer streamlined customer journeys and experiences, and the level of innovation of competitors is dictating where budgets and strategies go. Within this paradigm, FMOs don’t only need to be cognisant of the emergent trends, but actively pursue an understanding of them in order to align themselves to the opportunities they present and ensure that they can compete effectively within the industry.

This article will briefly explore 5 emergent trends that will impact the Medicare sales industry in the near future.

Trend 1: Applied A.I

One of the biggest technological innovations that will impact the Medicare sales industry in the near future will be Artificial Intelligence (A.I). Applied A.I within the organization will allow FMOs to automate many core processes within the business in order to become more predictive in nature, while simultaneously streamlining them for efficiency. From this perspective, traditionally manual processes such as underwriting, claims processing, policy distribution and even customer service will be optimized through A.I and become both predictive and efficient. This will facilitate greater customer experiences and increase productivity exponentially.

Big data is the key to unlocking the opportunities around A.I, and analytics applied to these large data sets will become the industry standard for developing products and services that anticipate and meet customer needs in real-time. Additionally, these A.I enabled offerings will also ensure better results for agents, and therefore become the basis for loyalty from your agents to your organization. The outcome of this is that A.I can make an FMO more competitive in the market, more effective and efficient, and ultimately, drive competitive advantage.

Trend 2: Cloud-Based Infrastructure

As the logical facilitator and prerequisite for the applied A.I trend identified and discussed in the previous section, cloud-based infrastructure is becoming a vital cog in the modern-day FMO architecture. By decentralizing the organizational infrastructure and moving over to the latest, cutting edge, information enabled technology, FMOs are able to become much more noble in the operations and customer service offering.

From the perspective of staff and talent acquisition, decentralized infrastructure allows for the employment of staff that are not bound to a specified geographical location, as being able to connect and work remotely opens up new possibilities and dissolves the traditional boundaries of markets served. Additionally, cloud-based infrastructure enables more efficiency in selling via digital distribution and streamlines the processes that surround it. Furthermore,the adoption of cloud-based infrastructure will enable FMOs to create ecosystems and become the orchestrators that connect customers, carriers and agents together.

Trend 3: Wearable Technology

Wearable technology is a trend that has already been in the consumer domain for some time. Devices such as smart watches have enabled individuals to track numerous health metrics, such as, heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate, VO2 max, level of daily activity, sleep quality and even the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity. While these wearable technology devices have achieved great penetration into the market, the application of the data that these devices creates has only just scratched the surface of what is possible.

New legislation, such as the Medicare coverage of innovative technology rule just passed in the United States will mandate access to devices for over 60 million medicare beneficiaries (CMS, 2021). The outcome of this will be revolutionary for the medicare industry, as the data provided by these devices will be used to treat and diagnose many life threatening diseases such as heart disease and cancer. These devices will also act as early warning signals for many other diseases and will be utilized to better service customers from an insurance perspective, enabling insurers to recommend the right cover, at the right time.

Trend 4: Data Security

As technological innovation increases, it simultaneously places a greater security risk on insurers. As discussed in the previous section, devices such as smart watches are being mandated into the market through legislation, and this, coupled with the digitization of client relationships, increases the requirement for customers to share greater amounts of personal data with their medicare insurers. However, with the increase in data sharing, the onus increases on insurers to protect their clients’ PII and mitigate against events such as data breaches and theft.

As a reaction to this requirement for greater security, many FMOs and insurers will look toward technologies such as the blockchain to provide the level of protection required. Blockchain technology also offers a number of advantages for companies, over and above data protection. Processes such as identity management and verification can become simplified and streamlined in a way that has not been possible until now.

Trend 5: Changing Agent Expectations

Technological innovation doesn’t just hold ramifications for markets or business processes, it is also impacting the front line of the Insurance business – agents. Digital tools such as commission tracking software are changing the employment dynamic within the medicare industry via their impact on agent expectations. From the perspective of agents, they want to know what the impact of their sales actions are on the organization, how much they will make in commissions, where they are in the process, and what their bottom line could potentially look like if they intensified their efforts. Commission tracking software enables transparency in this regard and provides data in real time to agents.

Digitally-enabled FMOs are increasingly becoming an attractive prospect to potential employees, as transparency, training and mentorship opportunities and above average commissions are fast becoming the standard of expectation amongst the best talent in the industry, and the organizations that do not offer these capabilities are finding it more difficult to not only attract new agents, but also keep hold of their best performing one’s.

Conclusion

Within the rapidly evolving and competitive world of medicare sales, it is becoming increasingly important that FMOs make a future-focus part of their core strategic plans. This article has identified and briefly discussed 5 trends that will impact the industry in the near future, and the onus is on the individual organization to ensure that they are ready for the impact of technology on their business.

From this perspective, digitally transforming your commission payment process, through a partner such as Commissionly, creates a solid foundation from which to embark into the digitally enabled world as it forms the basis for competition within the market. Not only does it enable the optimization and streamlining of financial processes, but also acts as a draw card to acquire and retain the best talent that the industry has to offer.