The Medicare Scope of Appointment is a form which Medicare beneficiaries must complete to designate, prior to their appointment with an agent, exactly which items they wish to discuss. In other words, this form is how you tell your agent which things he or she can present to you.
The form serves to protect you from unwanted solicitation. The background of the form is kind of interesting.
Here’s the deal:
When Part D was rolled out in 2006, it was the first retail drug coverage offered to people on Medicare. Prior to that, for over 40 years, Medicare provided no significant coverage for people to fill their ordinary prescriptions. So over 20 million people got the opportunity to join a drug plan for the first time.
Anytime you have that kind of massive enrollment, there will be dishonest people out there who will do just about anything to make a quick sale. For example, they might show up to talk about your Medicare needs, and then try to sell life insurance too. This is not allowed.
(This, incidentally, is why I advise you to never, never, never invite a stranger into your home to discuss any Medicare insurance products with you. It’s not safe these days. It’s also not necessary when there are honest agencies like Boomer Benefits who can explain all of this to you easily over the phone. PLEASE do not risk your safety or comfort by inviting a stranger to your house who might then try to pressure you into enrolling in a specific policy).
20+ Million Medicare Beneficiaries (Oh My!)
During this mass enrollment of people into Part D, there were complaints from beneficiaries who had invited an agent into their home to discuss drug coverage. Some individuals reported they felt intimidated into enrolling in a plan. Others said they had intended to enroll in a drug plan and then found themselves enrolled into a Medicare Advantage plan that they didn’t want and that their doctor wasn’t in the network for. Medicare Advantage plans have lock-in periods so they were stuck in these plans for as much as a year.
It gets worse:
Sometimes they fraudulently signed people’s names. They even enrolled dead people using old data. (Seriously if these con artists would just get a REAL job!)
Of course, all of this led to a series of Congressional hearings. Some new rules were created to help clarify the allowed process. So today, when you meet with an agent to discuss either Part D or Medicare Advantage products, that agent is required to document your permission at least 48 hours in advance on the Scope of Appointment form. On your form, you will check the items that you want to discuss with your agent. If you don’t check something, then the agent cannot discuss that type of policy when meeting with you.
The Medicare Scope of Appointment was originally designed just for in-person meetings. However, here at Boomer Benefits we have collected this form for years even though our appointments with Medicare beneficiaries are often by phone.
We feel it is respectful to you as the beneficiary. You get to designate what you would like us to help you with.
We know you hate extra paperwork. So do we!! As a business owner who runs an honest agency, it disappoints me that just a few bad apples out there have created so much more work for both you and us. Like anything else, there are always some bad guys out there willing to bend the rules.
The bottom line though is that these people DO exist. You should always read online reviews about anyone you are choosing to do business with.
An ethical agent will send you a Scope of Appointment form at least 48 hours prior to the appointment in which we go over the Summary of Benefits for the plans you are interested in. You can then feel comfortable that we have your best interests in mind and will only be discussing products which interest you.
Your Options When Completing the Scope Form
The Medicare Scope of Appointment form lists several products that you can give your agent permission to talk with you about. These include:
- Stand-alone Part D Drug plans
- Medicare Advantage plans (Part C)
- Dental/Vision and Hearing Plans
- Hospital Indemnity products
- Medicare supplement plans.
You will place your initials in the box next to the items you give permission to discuss. Then you’ll sign below where it says Beneficiary Signature. (You are the Medicare beneficiary).
Put your initials in the boxes next to the Medicare products you want help with. Sign where it says Beneficiary because you are the Medicare beneficiary.
Your agent must turn this form in along with any enrollment form you complete for a Part D or Part C plan.
What If I Don’t Know What I Need?
If you aren’t sure which products you need to know about, it’s okay to mark them all or ask us for help. I have 1000% confidence in my team to share with you only the products that best suit you based on what you have indicated to us is most important to you. We are the good apples here, and our 500+ online five-star reviews speak for themselves.
Please note that this form is only required if the appointment will include discussion of Part D or Medicare Advantage products. If you wish to speak about only dental or Medigap, we don’t need to collect one.
How do you feel about the Scope of sales Appointment form? Are there any other items you think should be included on the form? We’d love to hear your thoughts.