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September 25, 2023
The new 48-hour Scope of Appointment (SOA) Medicare rule requires agents to obtain a signed form from beneficiaries 48 hours before a meeting to discuss plan details and benefits.

We are committed to ensuring your complete understanding of Medicare plan options and assisting you in making informed healthcare decisions. In line with Medicare regulations, we want to inform you about the mandatory 48-hour waiting period that must be observed by insurance agents before contacting you to discuss plan specifics or coverage options after receiving your Scope of Appointment (SOA).

The SOA is an important document that allows you to define the areas of coverage you wish to discuss with an agent. It serves as a safeguard to protect you from unwanted solicitations and to ensure that your privacy and preferences are respected.

Please be aware that once you have submitted your SOA, our agents are required to honor a 48-hour waiting period before contacting you to discuss specific plan details or coverage options. This waiting period is designed to provide you with ample time to review the information provided and consider your options without any undue pressure.

During this waiting period, feel free to take advantage of the resources and information available to help you make an informed decision. You can research plan options, review the materials provided, and compile any additional questions or concerns you may have.

If you have explicitly requested immediate contact, our agents will honor your preference. However, if no such request has been made, they will reach out to you after the 48-hour waiting period has elapsed. This waiting period ensures that you have the necessary time to gather your thoughts, clarify your preferences, and be prepared for a comprehensive discussion.

48-hour Medicare SOA rule

There are two exceptions to the new 48-hour Scope of Appointment (SOA) Medicare rule that requires agents to obtain a signed form from beneficiaries.

Under the 48-hour Scope of Appointment Medicare Rule, there are two exemptions. The first exemption allows beneficiaries to obtain a same-day scope of appointment during the last four days of an election period, facilitating timely access to plan discussions. The second exemption applies to "walk-in"/"inbound call" meetings initiated by the beneficiary, providing flexibility for beneficiaries to have immediate discussions about plan specifics and coverage options. It's important for beneficiaries to be aware of these exemptions, as they ensure that individuals have the opportunity to engage in discussions about Medicare plans when time is limited or when they initiate the meeting themselves.

Controversy Surrounding the 48-Hour SOA Requirement: Impeding Informed Healthcare Decision-Making for Beneficiaries

The 48-hour SOA requirement introduced in the 2024 Medicare final rule has been met with criticism and concerns from various stakeholders. One of the significant arguments against this requirement is that it imposes unnecessary delays and restrictions on beneficiaries, hindering their ability to make informed decisions about their healthcare.

Critics argue that the 48-hour waiting period between signing the SOA form and the meeting or call with the beneficiary undermines the efficiency and effectiveness of the enrollment process. This waiting period may impede beneficiaries who are ready and eager to make timely decisions regarding their healthcare coverage. Some individuals may have already thoroughly researched their options, discussed them with trusted advisors, or have pressing healthcare needs that require prompt action.

Moreover, opponents argue that the 48-hour SOA rule places an unfair burden on independent insurance agents who pride themselves on providing personalized advice and support to beneficiaries. This requirement may limit their ability to serve their clients promptly and effectively, as they are now constrained by regulatory timeframes that may not align with the needs and preferences of beneficiaries.

It is important to consider these concerns and assess whether the 48-hour SOA requirement truly achieves its intended goals of protecting beneficiaries and promoting informed decision-making. Evaluating the potential drawbacks and balancing them with the benefits is crucial to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive the level of flexibility, support, and choice they need when making decisions about their healthcare coverage.

Support and Assistance During the 48-Hour Waiting Period: Your Trusted Partner in Navigating Medicare Plans

We are here to assist you at every step of the way, and we value your trust in our services. If you have any questions or require further information during the 48-hour waiting period, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Our dedicated team is ready to address any concerns and provide the support you need.

Thank you for your attention and understanding regarding this important regulatory requirement. We are committed to your peace of mind and guiding you through the complex world of Medicare plans to ensure you make the best choices for your healthcare needs.

>> Access the Scope of Appointment

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