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No Increase in Medicare Part B Premiums

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 @ 04:38 PM

blog picPremiums and deductibles in Medicare Part B will remain the same next year, saving seniors more than $125 compared with projections, federal health officials said Thursday. The CMS touted the news as a boon to seniors and evidence that the ACA is successfully slowing the growth of healthcare costs. Beneficiaries enrolled in the benefit will pay $104.90 and $147 for premiums and deductibles, respectively, the same amount as this year.


http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/220255-no-increase-in-medicare-part-b-premiums

Source: thehill.com

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Tags: Medicare Part B

Comprehensive Medicare Advantage Rankings Fact Sheet

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 @ 09:47 AM

blog picFact Sheet - 2015 Star Ratings
Star Ratings are driving improvements in Medicare quality. We continue to see increases in the number of Medicare beneficiaries in high-performing Medicare Advantage plans. This year there are significant increases in the number of Medicare beneficiaries in high-performing Prescription Drug Plans. The information included in this Fact Sheet is based on the 2015 Star Ratings published on Medicare Plan Finder (MPF) on October 9, 2014.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) publishes the Star Ratings each year to measure quality in MA and Part D plans, to assist beneficiaries in finding the best plan for them and to determine MA Quality Bonus Payments.






https://www.scribd.com/doc/242943563/Medicare-Advantage-Rankings-Fact-Sheet

Source: scribd.com

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Frequently Asked Questions About Medicare Open Enrollment Answered

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Fri, Oct 10, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

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What's new about Medicare this year? What is the prescription drug donut hole, and do you need to worry about it? We asked Mary Dale Walters, who oversees a nationwide Medicare plan selection service, to tell us what she’s hearing from Medicare beneficiaries.


http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/common-medicare-open-enrollment-questions-answered-article-1.1964260

 

Source: nydailynews.com

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Tags: Medicare Advantage, faq,, med advantage enrollment,

Medicare Open Enrollment Is Fast Approaching - Here's What We Know So Far

Posted by Jeremy Davis on Fri, Oct 03, 2014 @ 10:26 AM

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There will be somewhat fewer plans to pick from this year, but in general people will have plenty of options, experts say. And although premiums aren’t expected to rise markedly overall in 2015 - and in some cases may actually decline - some individual plans have signaled significantly higher rates. Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released some specifics about 2015 premiums and plans, many details about provider networks, drug formularies and the like won’t be available until later this fall. Here’s what we know so far about Part D and Medicare Advantage.


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2014/September/30/Medicare-Open-Enrollment-Is-Fast-Approaching.aspx

 

Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

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Tags: Medicare open enrollment, medicare enrollment october 15th, medicare deadline october 15 2014

New Med Advantage Guidelines Implemented OCT 1st

Posted by Jeremy Davis on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 @ 09:57 AM

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Due to the combined efforts of MA plan sponsors working with AHIP, CMS has revisited the telephonic guidance that was issued on August 14, 2014 which prohibited agents from calling existing enrollees to discuss other plan options (Section 70.6). CMS announced last night that they have decided to rescind this guidance. AHIP was able to convince CMS of the many benefits that our agents are able to bring to Medicare beneficiaries by discussing the new, potentially cost saving plan options available to them.

CMS has made the decision to revert to their previous guidance which states Plans/Part D Sponsors may do the following:"Call members to promote other Medicare plan types, (e.g., sponsors may contact their PDP members to promote their MA-PD offerings; sponsors that are also Medigap issuers may marketing their MA, PDP, or cost plan products to their Medigap customers), and discuss plan benefits."

This change is effective immediately and the Medicare Marketing Guidelines will be updated to reflect this change when the next version of the guidelines is published.

This means beginning October 1 you may call your current members and talk about other plan options for 2015! You can also set appointments now to meet with your members after Oct 1, without discussing any 2015 rates or benefits.


Click here to view the official announcement document

Click here to see the Medicare Advantage companies available thru PSM

Source: Humana

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Tags: New Medicare Advantage Guidelines 2015, New Medicare Advantage Guidelines 2014, New Med Advantage Rules

Medicare vs. ACA Exchanges (A Q&A Document)

Posted by Jeremy Davis on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 @ 09:16 AM

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There's a lot of confusion among many Baby Boomers (and the occasional insurance industry professional ...) about Medicare and how/if/when it integrates with the ACA's Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchanges). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services just issued new guidance that is as beneficial for agents and marketers as it is for consumers:


http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Eligibility-and-Enrollment/Medicare-and-the-Marketplace/Downloads/Medicare-Marketplace_Master_FAQ_8-1-14.pdf

 

Source: http://www.cms.gov

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Tags: medicare vs aca exchanges, medicare services, medicaid services, medicare integrate with aca health insurance

Final Expense Sales: $400 in 2013

Posted by Jeremy Davis on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 @ 08:54 AM

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In a positive piece of news for the life insurance industry, it has been reported that final expense insurance sales reached nearly $400 million in 2013. The Life Insurance Council and CSG Actuarial conducted a survey of 25 insurers, finding that final expense insurance new premium totaled nearly $400 million in 2013, representing 613,000 policies.

“The final expense market has great potential. According to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute research, 1.5 million Americans are projected to retire each year until 2025 and many of them will need the protection final expense insurance will provide,” noted Jeffrey S. Shaw, LIC executive director. “We are seeing renewed interest from larger insurers, as well as new firms entering the market.”


http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2014/09/08/final-expense-insurance-sales-400-million-in-2013

 

Source: http://www.lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: Final Expense, Medicare Supplement, Life Insurance Council survey

Sorting Out Medicare Enrollment Dates

Posted by Jeremy Davis on Fri, Sep 05, 2014 @ 11:10 AM

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Medicare has many enrollment periods for the various parts of Medicare. These enrollment periods provide beneficiaries with the chance to get Medicare coverage, but the different periods and their acronyms can be confusing for agents, marketers and beneficiaries alike.

A beneficiary who doesn’t act carefully may miss a window of opportunity to have various parts of Medicare coverage and face a waiting period to get coverage, incurring high out-of-pocket costs in the interim as well as paying lifelong penalties. By understanding Medicare enrollment periods, agents and marketers can help their clients avoid these problems.

Click on Graphic Below to Enlarge


http://www.onefpa.org/journal/Pages/AUG14-Understanding-Medicare-Enrollment-Periods.aspx

 

Source: http://www.onefpa.org

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Tags: Medicare Supplement, medicare enrollment, medicare deadline

19 things to know about Medicare Advantage

Posted by Jeremy Davis on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

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Medicare Advantage (formerly known as Medicare+Choice) permits contracts between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and a variety of different private managed care and fee-for-service entities. Most Medicare beneficiaries may choose to receive benefits either through the original Medicare fee-for-service program (Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)). Main types of Medicare Advantage plans include:

  • Coordinated care plans, including Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), and Provider-Sponsored Organizations (PSOs).
  • Private fee-for-service plans which reimburse providers on a fee-for-service basis.
Click on the link below to view all 19 things every agent should know about Medicare Advantage.

 

http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2014/08/21/19-things-to-know-about-medicare-advantage

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage information, Medicare Advantage blog

Getting the appointment: Use a well-practiced script

Posted by Jeremy Davis on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 @ 10:06 AM

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Most financial professionals are really good talkers. We like people and we tend to be out-going and friendly.

This trait is important when you are in a relationship-oriented business. However, sometimes your natural ability to talk does not work for you on the phone.

When setting an appointment with a new prospect, it is critical to come across in a professional manner. Although you want to sound natural and friendly, that does not mean eliminating a script. It means having a script that:

  • says what you want it to
  • sounds like you and the way you normally talk; and
  • has "natural-sounding" sentences that get your point across.
The challenge starts with your script. If you write a "literary" script that would work for an SAT exam, then it won't come across in a conversational way. So the trick to sounding natural is to write the script and then PRACTICE!!

I conduct role-playing sessions with several agencies. I am appalled that someone who professes to be a financial professional would get on the phone without knowing what they are going to say. And the newer you are, the less you can fake your way through a call.

I hear producers say many, many good things over the phone, but when they aren't linked together properly (i.e. having a beginning, middle and end that matches my ABCDEFG format) the impact of the words gets lost.

You have to clearly identify yourself based on your relationship to the prospect; then:
  • tell them why you are calling (and it's not to get the appointment);
  • mention the idea of getting together; and
  • give them the benefit of the appointment. Don't interrupt the flow with a yes-no question ("Does that interest you?") or you lose control of the call. You end with your alternative choice close and then you are done. Then wait to hear their response.
If you think you sound scripted, then improve your delivery. Don't throw out the structured format just because you haven't mastered your use of it!

You can be sure that if your managers and peers think you sound like you are ad-libbing, then the prospect hears it too. Ad-libbing does not come across as friendly; it sounds like you are grasping for words and that reduces the professionalism of your call.

Write a good script, practice it so you can "talk" it, then make your calls!

Keep smilin' and dialin'

 

http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2014/08/20/getting-the-appointment-use-a-well-practiced-scrip?t=senior-market

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: Medicare Supplement, How to get an appointment with a client, sales advice

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