Patient Care

Is Your Pharmacy Ready for Medicare Open Enrollment?

Helping patients navigate Medicare Open Enrollment creates value, builds relationships & improves customer loyalty. Here are some key concepts for success.

Medicare Open Enrollment is almost upon us; the weeks between October 15th and December 7th in which those enrolled in Medicare coverage can evaluate existing plans, and make changes in their enrollment and coverage. 

It's an important time for any Medicare enrollee. And, because many of your patients will be impacted by Open Enrollment, it's a great opportunity for pharmacies to lend a helping hand. 

Helping your patients evaluate and choose a plan and navigate the Open Enrollment process creates value, builds relationships, and improves customer loyalty. But it's no small feat to build an Open Enrollment program. And, when you do get one up and running, it takes ongoing work to make your program thrive. 

After talking with some experts about how they handle open enrollment, we've discovered a few key concepts that can help pharmacies find success.  


First things first, you have to get the word out about having a program to help with open enrollment challenges. Many customers simply may not know that they can come to you. There are a ton of great options for spreading the word. Here are some ideas: 

  • Proactively reach out to 65 and older patients to schedule appointments.

  • Use your IVR system to place automated calls. And make sure your intro/hold message has open enrollment info.

  • Put bag stuffers in every bag. Even a 20-year-old customer might know someone who can benefit from your help. 

  • Set up your Point-of-Sale system to print a promo on the bottom of your receipt. 

  • Make it an event. Create buzz with a day dedicated to open enrollment. Schedule appointments throughout the day, have snacks, giveaways and in-store promotions to make your pharmacy an open enrollment detitanation.

  • Make sure to send emails, create social posts and update your website with all the information about your program. 


Help your patients realize they should be shopping for their Medicare Program every year during Open Enrollment. Highlight the benefits, like saving money, so they see the value in participating with your pharmacy program every year. 


As you help patients choose their Medicare coverage, make sure to look at the prescriptions they are taking to look for instances where a particular plan might not cover all of their medications. This will help to create value and avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. Listen to your customers to see what they are fiving you to identify additional concerns or potential difficulties. 


Keep a tally of how much you are saving your patients. Set a goal, get a poster board, and regularly update the tally so everyone can see your progress. And, because staff buy-in is also important, meet regularly with your team to go over metrics and success. 


Bask in the glow of appreciation when it comes your way. And share that with your team as well. If you meet or exceed your goals for Open Enrollment period, have a party, or buy lunch. And make sure to celebrate the small successes along the way, too. 

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