All over the country there are Veteran's homes, nursing facilities and service centers. Some are state operated, and some are Federally funded. I have personally worked with the CalVet homes in Los Angeles, San Diego, Yountville and Fresno.  CALIFORNIA WARNING: the CalVet homes in San Diego, Yountville and Fresno are currently being serviced by myself or one of my team members and we ask that you do not contact them as we are continuing to service these locations. If you do contact them, I will find out and you will be removed from this course and all other products and services I offer.  Thank you! You can research nationwide facilities in your area here >>> or run a search here>>>

How you can help them:

Enroll residents into PDP Plans - some facilities are not funded or reimbursed by the VA, but manage their own pharmacy program in-house. If this is the case, most often the facility is taking a loss on fulfilling the medications on site with little or no reimbursements.  The home may be willing to pay the monthly premium for a resident to enroll into a PDP plan.  This may only cost the home a $30/mo and yet save them $100's if not $1,000's per month in medication reimbursements from the insurance carrier.  My personal favorite is SilverScript (learn more), because, at the time of this writing, their plans have a $0 deductible and cost around $30 per month. The facility has several approaches to coordinating payments:
  1. Have the resident pay (through SS check deduction / monthly coupon / credit card etc), and then reimburse the resident through:
    • A reduction in the monthly rent / fees / dues of the resident by the exact amount of the premium
    • Write the resident a check each month for the premium
  2. Pay the insurance company directly
    • The facility can place their credit card on file for the premium payment
    • Collect and pay the bill (coupon book) each month
Obviously, having the client pay the premium from their SS check and have their rent reduced by the facility is the easiest way.  Some facilities may even want to give additional rent credits as an incentive to enroll into the program. Speak to the facility's Pharmacy manager or financial manager - focus on cost savings for the facility and added benefits for their clients, and that this is in addition to their VA Benefits, and would not replace any of those existing benefits. Enroll Vets into Supplement Plans - our CalVet homes encourage enrollment into Supplement plans and credit back 50% of the monthly premiums if the Vet enrolls. This helps the home collect billable medical expenses that would otherwise be absorbed by the facility. Enroll Vets into Advantage Plans - some Part C plans offer medical coverage without Part D, enhancing the benefits and lowering most costs. The Vet would simply get their medications from the local VA or pay out of pocket for them.  Please move with caution as some homes refuse HMO policies, and these may cause more harm than good, so learn what the facility allows, and work with them. NOTE:  Do not attempt to enroll any Veteran with Tri-Care or Tri-Care for life.

When You Can Help Them: 

There are several times where you can "step in" and offer your help:
  • During the in-boarding process - this is when a new resident is due to arrive from another facility or from their home. Sometimes they are moving from another county or state. Determine if there is any SEP in order for you to offer different policies that they can enroll into once they arrive.  There is usually a dedicated member or a team of members at the facility that coordinate the in-boarding (or intake) process, so you'll want to meet them, and build a partnership with them. Offer to be their "medicare expert."
  • Quarterly Educational Events - you can grab an events calendar or speak with the on-site events coordinator to learn about speaking or sponsorship opportunities. Your presence can be as little as a prize for bingo night, or you can speak about Medicare 101 and how Veterans can supplement their current VA Benefits with additional coverage. Event coordinators are always looking to add events to the activities calendar.  If you're active 2 or 3 times throughout the year, asking to be there during Open Enrollment should be easy!
  • Open Enrollment - I always coordinate with my homes, an escorted day that I walk around speaking with seniors that lack the proper drug coverage.  I enroll 20 to 50 new clients each AEP at my one facility. Over the past few years, my residual income from this one property has grown to well over $5,000 per year in just PDP residuals!  Some days I walk around meeting with seniors in their rooms, in general meeting areas etc (all pre-arranged for me by the staff).  Other days I'll set up "camp" outside the mess hall from 10:30am to 2:00pm.  I have a 6' table set up with balloons, some Medicare information and some candy. I always write a few policies doing this, and hear some pretty incredible stories from our Veterans. It's amazing visiting them, stories you only read about in history books are walking by you, and some stop to tell you their story.  I always shake their hands and thank them all for their service.
  • VA Aid & Attendance (learn more) - Search for local companies that help secure A&A benefits for Vets and their families (there are many). As long as the Vet (or spouse) does not have Tri-Care, you can probably help them by finding them a DSNP plan that offers greater benefits. A&A service providers are a treasure trove of lead opportunities!

I have about 100 doctor's offices and pharmacies that have my information in them. This only took me about 10 days to complete.  I dedicated visiting 10 to 15 places per day and quickly obtained local placements of my tri-folds, cards and magnets.  I don't mind this type of "door knocking" because all the work is completed up front, then the leads trickle in over the next few months / years.  All I do now is revisit them every few months to refill my fliers and cards.

And Guess What?  Pharmacists don't have time to deal with Medicare Part D questions.  So offer them your free service as their "go to" person for all medicare questions.  View my Pharmacy Flyer.  

I simply "googled" all the pharmacies close to me, spent about 5 hours one lazy Friday and walked in and spoke to the first Pharmacist I could get to.  Out of 20 I spoke with, 3 work with me, including a Walmart!  They were ALL very receptive.  In California, the most receptive were Pharmacists in Von's (not sure why).   Hand them a flyer and your card, and explain what you do, quickly...they're busy. Stress that you're no cost, you're local, and you're happy to take some of the work off their shoulders.   Ask if you can leave a few cards and/or fliers with them to hand out to customers. Be sure to drop in 1x per month to "spiff" them out with some bagels or other treats.  Try to get 1 main contact's number or card.  They'll be your "champion" and encourage their peers to send people your way.

WHAT TO SAY TO PHARMACISTS:

Try to visit at a slow time. Wait in line, when you get to the front, say:

"Hi, my name is Peter and I'm a Medicare Broker.  I was just wondering if you ever get any questions about Medicare?"  

They will say yes, or "sometimes".  Then say:

"Well, here's a few of my cards, I help local pharmacists for free, there's no cost for my services. When you get too busy to answer questions about Medicare, just hand your customer my card, or give them my phone number.  Here's a magnet for your counter. You can call me anytime, or just have your customers call me. This will save you and your team a ton of time and frustration."

Then say:

"Do you think your store manager would allow me to put a few tri-folds over here by the [register / information board / waiting area]?"

Final thing:

"Do you have a card I can take with me?"

Use their business card to send them a thank you card, or to simply track who you spoke with.

Ask them if they ever have any inservice trainings (store meetings with all the pharmacists) where you can come and introduce yourself and just give them some Medicare information.

During AEP, you'll have the opportunity to participate in a "Pharmacy Event" where you will be booked into a local pharmacy to interact with customers.

I've worked 2 programs and they provided not only new business but lots of referrals as well.  Many different carriers partner with CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart etc. and will require you to be at the Pharmacy at a supplier provided "booth" or kiosk from 4 to 12 hours per week (varies by store & carrier guidelines).  

You essentially sit / stand there and greet customers as they enter the store - your kiosk will draw interested parties up to you to ask questions.  You can sell plans right then and there with a SOA or book an appointment for a future date. 

In years past, Blue Cross charged to be a part of this, but that was just to cover the polo shirt you had to wear and some give-away supplies (it was around $100).  Keep your ear to the ground about these events starting in July / August as they book up QUICK!

 SUGGESTION:  Book at least 1 day per week every AEP (4 to 6 hours per week).  If they require at least 2 days a week (or a min. # of hours per week), you may want to commit the 2 days for your first year only, then reevaluate in year #2 to see if committing this much time during AEP is worth it to you.  

This is also a great time to study your plans, review and follow up on leads, organize your paperwork etc., as there are many "lulls" in the day.  I would typically book appointments right after my time in the store (I'm already dressed up and have my cart with me). I used this "down time" to double dip, I would complete applications from the day before. I'm not normally a fan of these types of events, but I figured, "...If I'm going to be stuck at home in my office doing paperwork, I might as well sit in a store somewhere and do it, and hopefully hand out some cards, get some leads and maybe make a sale!"

This is a classic marketing technique that works, and I use it from time to time and get really good results (low cost, high return).

Put about 6 muffins, bagels, candy bars, doughnuts etc. in a cheap basket (make it look nice), add a stack of your cards to the basket (10 to 20).

Go into a Doctor's office and approach the receptionist and say:

"Hi, I'm [your name] and I help seniors with their medicare insurance.  I was in the area and thought I'd drop in and say "Thank You" for the referral you gave me.  One of my clients said she received my card from someone in this office.  I just wanted to drop off some goodies and a few more cards. If your clients ever have any Medicare questions, I'm happy to help and all my services are free."

Get the name of the receptionist, grab their card, and that of the doctors there (send a thank you card later). Stay in touch, drop by again in 30 days.  Give them your "magnet card" so they can always refer to you.

Ok ok ok...so it's not the most "truthful" way to create a lead source, but it works, and out of the 20 to 30 baskets I've handed to people over the years, no one has EVER handed it back to me...so I figured it's a fair trade.

 NOTE: If there are seniors in the waiting room when you walk in, make sure you speak loud enough for the seniors to hear who you are and what you do, be sure to add "I'm full service at no cost, and I represent all the major carriers in this area."  You'll be amazed at how many seniors ask you for a card!  As long as they ask you, it's ok by CMS standards.

Buy product in volume (Costco / Sam's Club). Get baskets cheap at a craft store like Michael's or JoAnne's.

Doctor's offices aren't the only place to go: senior centers, over 55 community offices, Women's clubs, etc.

I could speak for hours about this. Think "Over 55" community centers, senior dance halls, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Retirement Homes, bingo halls, women's groups, library events, assisted living homes, adult day care centers, etc.

There are dozens of opportunities for you to call upon to build a lasting relationship with key "centers of influence" (like the property manager, or events coordinator).  You can offer sponsorship (like juice & cookies for a dance), advertising dollars (for putting up a flyer or leaving cards), or exchange your time for marketing space (host a "Medicare 101" free seminar - give away inexpensive prizes - less than $15 MSRP each).  Ask to set up a table at their monthly meetings, dances, weekly bingo nights, etc.  

Any chance to get in front of seniors you should try. If you can build rapport with a key member of the organization, you can leverage your relationship to become a "preferred vendor" or referral source within their club or group.

Remember, event coordinators are ALWAYS looking to fill their calendars with new and different events for their Seniors to remain engaged. This is a perfect opportunity for you to befriend the Events Coordinator and offer to be a great free resource for them.

Here's what my sales pitch sounds like:

Download my Event_Pitch_Script

This is the most overlooked COI, so it needed to be listed!

Your goal here is two-fold,


    1) Book a "group" presentation to the entire property and
    2) Get your information posted on their central "information center" board / website / office / community center - whichever applies.

    Speak to the property manager and explain:

    • Your services are at no cost, there's never any charge for your help

    • You help seniors lower their insurance costs while increasing their benefits like transportation

    • If you can help them lower their costs, that means more money for them to help pay for things like rent, food, property upkeep, utilities etc.

    • In certain cases (medicaid), you can help completely eliminate their health care costs altogether

    • Explain you'd like to speak to the community as a whole at a free event held on property at their meeting center / pool area / etc. (any place where people can hold a meeting).

    • You'll bring snacks and a few door prizes to make it fun and interactive

    • Explain that you'll speak for about 20 minutes and answer all the questions the residents have, and that there's no selling at this meeting, it's against government regulations (this reduces their fears of some slimeball salesman swindling their residents).

    • You need the support of the property manager/owner to help advertise the event through:

      • Posting Event Flyers Where Appropriate

      • Allowing You To Distribute Flyers Door-to-door

      • Blasting Out An Email (if possible) On Your Behalf Announcing The Event

      • Including In The Monthly Newsletter

      • Inserting Flyer In Monthly Rent Invoice (if applicable)

      • Supplying You With Event Space (if applicable)

    No space on site?  Host it close by at a senior center, library or restaurant that will block off an area of the restaurant that's "slow" and make sure the meeting is before or after the lunch rush.

    If you get resistance.  Offer to pay the manager to rent the space (start at $50 for the event, as long as they will help advertise it, then bump up to $75 or $100 if needed).  OR, if you're dealing with the owner of the property, offer a referral "thank you" for each member you help. Explain that this would be paid to them as a lead expense only after you were paid on the submission of the policy. NEVER pay money or gift cards to your clients for any reason.

    Keep Digging.  Often times, the owners and or managers of mobile home parks control several parks spread out over the area...if you prove yourself at the first one, you may have an opportunity to do more at different locations.

    Find Your Parks.  Simply search Google for "mobile home park".  If you're in CA, try this link to search by city:
     https://ssw1.hcd.ca.gov/ParksListing/faces/parkslist/mp.jsp

    Or to find parks nationwide, try: http://www.mobilehomeparkstore.com


There is a growing industry of MediCaid consultants that help seniors qualify for more benefits, or help design a spend down plan in order to trigger additional "perks" from the state.  One of the best ways to "spend down" someone with a Share of Cost is to sell them a Dental Plan. 

Now, I'm not a fan of dental plans, but in this case I am, because it's generating more revenue for me (which they can't let go of or they lose their extra benefits) and it truly does help a senior that needs the extra perks.  I typically sell them Ameritas Dental or Standard Life.

Click Here To Get Contracted with Ameritas Dental.

Start your search online for a Medicaid consultant, you might want to search for:


  • Help with my medicaid
  • medicaid spend down
  • medicaid help
  • medicaid expert / adviser / consultant
  • eliminate medicaid share of cost
  • no share of cost benefits

Find a company that specializes in helping seniors with their Medicaid, some will be licensed agents so you'll want to skip over those.  Once you locate them, simply offer to work with them to find the right plan that will satisfy the spend-down requirement (my dental premiums range from $10/mo to $500/mo). Tell them you'll handle all the paperwork.  Additionally, you can offer to send other Medi-Medi's you meet to them, so you're both exchanging leads.

This is a fantastic revenue and lead source.  I don't commission split these but I do send thank you gifts to my sources (flowers, cookies, lunch for their staff etc).

Local business are a GOLDMINE for people turning 65.  Contacting medium to large companies that are based in your area is really easy.  I focused in on companies with at least 500 or more employees locally, or within the state that I'm licensed in.

Call in and ask to speak to Human Resources. If asked by the receptionist what the call is regarding, simply say "Medicare Insurance for one of your employees," this should get you connected with HR.

Once on the phone with HR, let them know what you do, and that you'd be happy to send them information about your free service.  Tell them you can handle all inbound Medicare-aged employees and can handle all the paperwork and help reduce health care costs, all at no cost to the company or the employees.

This is what I say:
  "Hi Jennifer, my name is Peter Palmiotto and I work with HR departments here in San Diego. I offer a free Medicare Transition service at no cost to your company and at no cost to your employees. Medicare seems to be one of those HR issues that is underserved and takes up more of your time than it should. If you want to learn more, I'd be happy to mail you my information or set up a time we can briefly meet."

Most HR managers suck at dealing with Medicare (and know nothing about it), and most companies simply push T65 employees out into the great unknown of Medicare without any support or information, even if the T65 remains employed there.  Offer the HR manager to take over their T65 or retirees' transition into Medicare (like a 68 year old finally retiring) - tell them you're happy to help the employee get into Medicare without any cost to the company or the employee.  Stress the fact that all your services are free and that you offer virtually all the plans in the local area.

Some companies will continue to pay for employees to stay on their work place insurance, even after the employee turns 65. One of your goals is to present to the HR department and/or the CFO with an analysis of how cost effective it would be to push all the T65 employees out into Medicare and into a Supplement with a PDP. Besides, a Plan F (or G) with a Drug Plan is typically more flexible and less costly for the employee as well (no co-payments or deductibles).

Explain that the company could issue a Medical Insurance monthly stipend for less than it's costing them to keep a 65 on the group insurance plan (if they still wanted to give the employee a medical insurance off-set or benefit or incentive to do this).

BE PREPARED
You'll first need to speak with a Group Health Insurance broker in your area and get some general costs of what a 65 year old costs per month in a Group Health setting.  $600? $800? $1,000?    Create a simple "A/B" comparison for costs and benefits to show the HR department what Medicare costs vs. keeping the employee on their group plan.

Once the HR department "gets it", you can tell the HR department that this could be a financial "win" for the company and that they should move this up the chain of command so the CFO or CEO can review the cost savings (and mention the HR person will look like a hero for saving the company so much money!).

And remember, HR folks run in the same circles.  It's fairly likely that once you're in at one company, the HR department will start talking with other company's HR departments and word will spread about what you did for their company.

FINDING COMPANIES

Here are a few simple ways to locate businesses in your area:
  • Trolling LinkedIn is a very easy way to hunt HR departments down.
  • Google "[your city] chamber of commerce" - there are usually reports you can run or someone you can call to find out how to find this information
  • In Southern California, we have a Business Journal that sells local company data. View Here>>  Check your city for business journals and call to see if they have lists for sale (pretty inexpensive - $25 to $100).
  • Stay away from HUGE Fortune 1,000 companies - they typically are too large to be willing to hand this type of business over to you (unless you know someone in HR at one of these companies).
  • Check out American Business Journals as well here>>>
  • Sometimes your Secretary of State, City or County entities have a free search function on their websites

MAILING COMPANIES


Yes, mail still works.  This is the piece I mailed out and received 5 responses to out of 50 and signed up 2 different companies.  I paper-clipped a brand new, crisp $1 bill to the letter to grab their attention. You can also use this as a basis for an email as well.  Please edit anything in RED.

HR_Letter (word)  

HR_Letter (pdf)

You can reduce your costs by following up with a postcards, emails or a phone call. This is what I presented at the meetings:

Costs V Employer (pdf) Please adjust your numbers to reflect current rates.

Why SDMO (pdf)


I have several lead sources from Group Insurance brokers that simply don't care about Medicare.  I take all their "aging out" people (T65) and I split the first year's commission with the broker. They call me all the time for questions about Medicare, and in return, they send me anyone that needs my help. 

Yes, they can write Supplements, but not PDP's or MAPD's.  But even with their ability to write supps, they STILL send me people that want supplements because they're too busy or it's a complicated case.

Farmers Insurance Agents are great resources because they typically have a fairly large territory and book of business, and they don't offer Medicare products. You can offer a lead swap, a commission split or just to be their "go to" Medicare adviser on their monthly newsletter, website or email blasts (share your content with their book!).

If you live near water, check in with some Boat Insurance brokers, they typically deal with older people (with money!). They're always open to exchanging business.

Same holds true for Life Insurance brokers, Property & Casualty brokers etc.

These companies are EVERYWHERE and have little knowledge about Medicare. Your knowledge will amaze them! You can add a ton of value to their services for free, and reap the rewards of being their main Medicare broker for all their past, present and future clients.  Offer to share your free content on their website, or ask if they'd include a link to your video on their next email blast or newsletter.

Just google:

  • "A Place For Mom"
  • "senior care referral services"
  • "elder care referral services"
  • "senior placement management services"
    • be sure to add your "city" name or county name after each search term to find local services
You'll find tons of companies that handle referrals in many different types of markets. Some niche markets are:
  • Rest home location services
  • Senior moving experts
  • Alzheimer's care centers
  • Adult day cares
  • Independent living placement services

Contact local reps and let them know how you can help them add value to their services. Offer to be their resident "Medicare Expert".  Offer to write monthly blogs, or a tidbit for their monthly newsletter (you can offer the SAME EXACT articles to other service providers so you only have to write them once). Ask for a link on their website (link exchange), and offer to do a live meeting or teleconference.

Ask them to add a Medicare Insurance Review as part of their in-take process for new clients. This can help establish if their client has the best insurance for their situation.

There are DOZENS of ideas you can give these service providers to add-value to THEIR business (not yours), and in return you'll start getting leads and business!

Check out Senior Advisor.


You'll find many of the people above in networking groups. I joined two separate groups and became the ONLY medicare broker allowed in each of the groups (they typically limit the # of professions in each group so leads from other members aren't diluted). Lots of these folks join local networking groups like:

You'll often find lawyers, hair stylists, real estate brokers (and real estate folks that specialize in the senior markets), carpet cleaners, mortgage brokers, etc. at these meetings, and virtually ALL of them have clients that are over 65 or about to turn 65!

Check out the website / app: Nextdoor.com  This is a community based social networking site. Your neighbors exchange news, classifieds, discussions etc. I have written close to 30 deals from my neighborhood alone simply because I place a few FREE classifieds during AEP on my Nextdoor groups.

Throughout the year I chime in from time to time so people know what I do.  And since you "live down the street" from these folks, when you do get into their homes, rapport building is easy and referrals are much easier too!