Think back to the most recent time you were approached by a salesperson over the phone or in person and they tried to convince you to purchase a product or service that you probably didn’t need. It’s a sapping experience and the vast majority of us strive to avoid going through anything so taxing on our mental health. Fortunately, when selecting a Medicare Supplement Plan, Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C), or Medicare Part D prescription plan, you won’t have to be concerned with this aspect of the process. Because Medicare requires your Medicare insurance agent to obtain a Scope of Appointment document whenever you meet in person with a Medicare insurance agent to discuss any of these plans, this is the reason why.
The Medicare Scope of Appointment serves the same purpose as an agenda for your gathering. It’s a document that both you and your Medicare insurance agent have to sign in person or electronically. And it makes it abundantly clear which particular Medicare insurance policies you’re interested in acquiring additional information about. If your meeting is going to take place over the phone, then the consent that you give verbally and have recorded may be sufficient.
Types of Scopes of Appointment
There are a few different ways to fill out a scope of appointment form (SOA). If you can, the SOA forms should be filled out before the meeting. If the meeting is a walk-in, walk-up, or call-in, they can be done during the session. You might agree to meet, but until the meeting, you might not have a computer or a way to sign the form.
In this case, the appointment form should be signed before the appointment starts to make sure it covers everything. On the other hand, the beneficiary might choose to talk about a different offering. In this case, a new plan is needed before the extra product can be talked about.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services now has to wait 48 hours after finishing a SOA before enrolling people. The CMS 2024 Final Rule caused this to happen. The only times this isn’t true are when a prospect walks into the agent’s office. Or when the beneficiary is less than 4 days away from the end of a legal enrollment period.
Paper Scope of Appointment
Paper SOAs have been used for a long time. You can choose which types of Medicare products you want to talk about on these paper forms that you fill out in person. You can either be there in person or sign, send, or email these forms back.
Electronic Scope of Appointment
A lot of people are using electronic SOAs these days. The person will fill out the E-form and send it to you by email or text message. You will look over and sign an easy electronic document once it is received.
Recorded Scope of Appointment
SOAs that have been recorded are pretty new. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services can okay a script read word-for-word on a recorded line because most Medicare enrollments happen over the phone. You need to say that you do agree to talk about certain goods.
Scope of Appointment Requirements
There’s no specific format that the SOA has to follow, but there is a list of things that need to be included in the SOA, no matter which type you’re using.
- Date of appointment
- Products you’re willing to discuss
- Your contact information
- The agent’s contact information
- Your signature, or your authorized representative’s signature
- Agent’s signature
- Agent’s statement that includes:
- There is no obligation to enroll in any plan discussed
- Notification that your enrollment status, current or future, will not be affected by any decisions made during the appointment
- Enrollment will not begin automatically
What to Expect During Your One-On-One Meeting
After you sign or agree to the Medicare Scope of Appointment form, your Medicare insurance agent may give you plan materials, talk about the plans you listed on the form, tell you how to get more information, give you an enrollment form, help you fill it out (if you decide to move forward), and give you their business card to give to your friends and family.
Plan Options on an SOA
As we noted, you don’t need an SOA for Original Medicare. SOAs are only required for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, or Medicare Part D plans.
Medicare Advantage, which is also known as Medicare Part C, is a type of plan that private insurers that have made a deal with Medicare can offer. This agreement makes sure that private insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage Plans follow the rules that Medicare sets out. You will still be a Medicare recipient if you sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan through private insurance. However, your plan will cover most of your Parts A and B costs instead of your Original Medicare plan.
Your Medicare Advantage Plan may also offer extra benefits for things like hearing, vision, dental care, and health and wellness programs. Medicare gives Medicare Advantage Plan insurers a set amount of money for every person who signs up for the plan. You will also send your medical bills straight to your insurance company. Even though your insurance company has to follow Medicare’s rules, you should know that they will be able to make their own rules about how much you have to pay out of pocket. Also, find out if you need a referral to see an expert.
This is an extra part of Original Medicare called Part D that covers prescription drugs. This is something that Original Medicare does not cover. Part D is the newest part of Medicare. It is offered by private insurers that have been cleared by the federal government. There are different Medicare Part D plans that cover different drugs and have different ways of splitting the costs. You may have to pay a monthly fee that is different for each plan and is based on your state, county, and ZIP code.
You may also have to pay copays and other costs. Part D is not required by law, but there are consequences for not enrolling on time if you do decide to join a Part D plan later. All Part D plans must meet a certain amount of coverage because of Medicare. All plans must cover the same types of drugs, like those used to treat asthma or high blood pressure. Plans can choose which drugs are covered in each drug group, though. There are plans that cover both generic and brand-name drugs.
Because different plans cover different drugs, each Medicare Part D plan has a formulary that shows the drugs it does cover. As was already said, this list will probably have both brand-name and generic drugs on it. Along with at least two medications from the groups that are most often given. So, a plan’s formulary might not include your exact drug, but it might include one that is similar. “Tiers” are often used to organize the drugs that many plans cover. Most of the time, drugs in lower levels cost less than drugs in higher levels.
There are Medicare Supplement Plans that help fill in the gaps in coverage between Parts A and B of Original Medicare. Original Medicare is run by the government, but Medicare Supplement Plans are sold by private companies. You’ll have to pay your insurance company a monthly premium and be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. However, you’ll pay less than with Original Medicare because your low monthly premium will usually cover most of the costs you have to pay for Parts A and B.
All Medicare Supplement Plans must cover the same benefits across the country, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). If you have one of these plans, you will never be turned away from a Medicare-accepting provider. But your rates may be different depending on the insurance company. That means you should look at plans from several insurance companies before making a decision. There are a lot of different Medicare Supplement Plans, which is one of the great things about them. You can be sure to find one that fits your needs and your budget. There are 10 different Medicare Supplement Plans that most people can choose from. You should look at all of your choices to find the plan that fits your needs the best with your Medicare agent.
Is a SOA required for Original Medicare?
No, you don’t need to fill one out to sign up for Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B). Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Medicare Part D drug plans, Hospital Indemnity Plans, and Dental, Vision, and Hearing Plans all need it.
Will I have to fill out more than one SOA?
If you ask for information about a different type of plan than the one you originally asked about, you may have to sign an extra Medicare Scope of Appointment. For instance, you might only be interested in a Medicare Supplement plan at first. You might want to look into a Medicare Part D drug plan, though, if your health needs change over time. After that, you’ll need to sign a new Scope of Appointment so that your Medicare insurance agent can talk to you about your Part D choices. When you talk to an insurance agent on the phone about your plans, they may just ask you to agree verbally.
When does the SOA form need to be filled out?
On the day of your meeting with your Medicare insurance agent, you must fill it out. If you’re talking on the phone, a licensed agent must go over the Scope of Appointment with you.
What if I don’t fill out the SOA?
A Medicare insurance provider can’t hold a meeting with you if you don’t agree to the Scope of Appointment. Your agent is required by law to get this form.
Working With EZ
It is very important to compare the pros and cons of each Medicare Supplement Plan before choosing one. That takes a lot of work because you have to call a lot of insurance companies to get rate quotes, which can take a long time. You can check prices in half the time if you work with an EZ agent. When you work with a qualified agent, you can compare Medicare Supplement Plans from a number of different companies and plans all in one place.
Your agent can tell you about the changes between each plan and compare prices for you. Your adviser can also help you compare out-of-pocket costs and premium costs to find the plan that will save you the most money in the long run. Call us at 877-670-3602 right now to start looking for a Medicare Supplement Plan or simply enter your zip code into the bar below for free instant quotes.