Build your Medicare credibility this fall by teaching an adult education class
Editor’s Note: Ron Iverson is the President of the National Association of Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage Producers, Inc. (NAMSMAP). He is sharing how he created a Medicare adult education class that he teaches at his local community college, using a book he wrote as the text. While he is making his book and accompanying PowerPoint presentation available for those who would also like to utilize it to teach a Medicare class, the intention with the article is to show how an agent can establish credibility and position the agent as a Medicare authority in their community by teaching an adult education class, as well as important topics a course like this should include. Information about how to get the book and PowerPoint presentation is included at the conclusion of the article.
For those of you who thinking about offering Medicare adult education classes to colleges (or other groups) in your area, you must contact them almost immediately.
Now is when the colleges start finalizing their adult education courses for the fall. Most have not yet completed their class schedules, but soon will, and then will print the fall course offerings. In most cases, you will have through the month of July to get your classes included for the fall term, but my suggestion is not to wait until that time.
And if you are going to commit to teaching a Medicare adult education class, you need to have the class content nailed down to ensure it covers what people need to know and provides value for the time and money they spend to attend.
Last fall I wrote another book on Medicare – my fourth one – but the first one directed at consumers. I wrote it because in my own world, I have a lot of friends who are turning 65 and know nothing about Medicare, or their own involvement in Medicare. As you know, this dilemma faces most of those aging into Medicare and many of them count on you as an agent to provide answers and solve problems.
I have been teaching a Medicare course at Helena College in Montana, so I introduced the book as the text for the class. I recently updated it with 2016 figures, as I do each year with my books WebCE uses as Insurance Continuing Education courses.
The title of the new edition is “Medicare’s Mysteries—A Consumer’s Guide.” I approach the matter as finding answers to questions, and make the reader a sleuth as he or she works their way through the book.
Using the book (and an accompanying PowerPoint presentation) as the basis for teaching a Medicare adult information class can give confidence to agents who would like a track to follow, but have not yet been able to devise their own.
With the presentation effort some fine things are bound to happen. Your status as a presenter actually creates familiarity and exposure to you as the agent/teacher, and establishes credibility, which should lead to increased sales production.
I know it works because I have had several class attendees want to buy Medicare products from me after the classes. In fact, I was surprised in December, when a doctor who employees 11 radiologists in his group, called me and asked for an appointment. He told me he was appreciative of knowing about Medicare from the consumer’s side, even though he was very familiar with Medicare from his provider’s experience.
Also, both the book and slide show are totally generic versions of Medicare, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and Part D, so there is not a problem of presenting a “sales” seminar — this is an “educational” presentation. Be careful not to go too far with your own ideas during your presentation and turn it into a sales presentation.
Anyone interested in choosing this path is welcome to call me (contact info below) and I will share how I set this up for myself at Helena College last summer. Each college will have its own way of doing things, but by and large, the details will be somewhat the same.
There likely will be differences on how much they charge the public for the classes, and from your standpoint, they probably will not offer any compensation to you for teaching the class.
If you plan to use “Medicare’s Mysteries” or another book as the text, you need to inform the college so the fee for the books can be included in what they charge the students.
By offering out the book and PowerPoint presentation, I want to reiterate this is in no way a “get-rich-quick” scheme on my part. All I want to do is make the book available to you at a fair price in the event you are interested in using it with your own client base or to teach a class. It sure can’t hurt to hand somebody approaching 65 the book and say, “Here’s a very useful tool to get you started with your Medicare knowledge. It was written by a friend of mine, and I believe you’ll find it very valuable and worthwhile.”
Here is what I suggest as to how to best approach and present the course you would like to offer to the college:
1) The best way is to just visit the campus (a cold call, so to speak), ask where the adult education department is located, and make your proposal. The next best way is to call ahead to the adult education department and ask for an appointment. I recommend the first, and am pleased to report that two of our NAMSMAP members have already done the groundwork, and were surprised to find that the adult education departments were happy to receive them.
2) Prepare a nice-looking paper presentation booklet, identifying yourself, your credentials, and your course offering. As you use the book’s Table of Contents presentation which I will include below, as your outline, the college will realize that you know what you are talking about, and realize that you are not just presenting a short sales seminar, but an actual bona fide presentation of Medicare information.
3) Remind them that you will be using a generic PowerPoint slide presentation, which follows the text of the book. The slide show has been built so that it creates a lot of “dancing” slides, which keeps it from becoming boring. (I tell all our participating members, there will have to be some modification of the slide show to establish the member’s identity at the beginning, and may want to reduce the number of slides, or rearrange them to fit your specific presentation).
My slide show is built for two two-and-a-half hour sessions. I do these one week apart from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. The people stay for both entire presentations — they do not get up and leave — so I know the effort is having an impact on them.
• For information about ordering the “Medicare’s Mysteries” book and accompanying (and customizable) PowerPoint presentation, contact Ron Iverson at [email protected], at 406-442-4016 or toll free at 888-333-1844. You don’t have to become a member of NAMSMAP to take advantage of this.
• Thoughts about Ron’s approach to creating a Medicare adult education class? Please share them on this new thread: Teaching a Medicare adult education class
Next page: Class content outline
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