Scope of appointment form
Anyone who sells Medicare plans should understand the importance of the Scope of appointment form.
Why do I need to get a signed SOA:
A scope of appointment is in place to insure that agents do not try and push Medicare beneficiaries into buying products they have not previously agreed to discuss. The scope of appointment includes Medicare Advantage (MA), Medicare Advantage plus Drug Plans(MAPD), or Stand alone prescription drug plans (PDPs). The SOA states that you have permission to speak to the client about the products they noted on the form.
CMS used to require agents to have this form signed at least 48 hours before a scheduled appointment. However, this rule changed as of 2018. The change was put in place to make it easier for agent to comply with the regulation. Agents are now able to collect the signed SOA right before they start to speak about Medicare plans. If this is the case, the agent needs to list a reason the SOA was not accepted earlier.
When do I need the SOA:
The SOA is required anytime you meet a client/potential client or anyone who asks for advice on behalf of a beneficiary. Agents must document all appointments. You must save the SOA for 10 years in case there is any question that arises at a later date. This will protect both the client as well as the agent from possible misunderstandings. You need to submit a copy of the SOA with the client’s application for enrollment for a MA, MAPD or Part D plan.
If you meet with more than 1 person at an in-person meeting, you must get a scope of appointment for each possible beneficiary. An in-person meeting means a meeting that was neither advertised nor open to the general public. The in-person meeting was initiated by the beneficiary and attendees are there by invitation only.
When an agent meets with a client and someone else shows up to the meeting (ex. the client’s friend or relative), the agent must collect a SOA for each additional person who requests information.
It is necessary to keep the SOA even if the client does not purchase a plan.
You do not need a SOA when:
You hold an advertised sales/marketing event that is open to the general public. When you hold an educational event, you do not need to collect an SOA as long as you do not engage in any sales or marketing activities.
If a client meets with you to discuss questions that are not sales or marketing related, you do not need a SOA.