Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Medicare Supplement Enrollment by State

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 @ 11:24 AM

Medicare Supplement Enrollment by State

Medicare Supplement Enrollment By StateOne in four people in traditional Medicare had a Med Supp plan in 2015. The share of beneficiaries with Medigap varies widely by state – from 3% in Hawaii to 51% in Kansas. In all but four states, insurance companies can deny private Medigap policies to seniors after their initial enrollment in Medicare because of a pre-existing medical condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, except under limited, qualifying circumstances, a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis finds.

Only Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New York require Med Supp insurers to sell policies to all Medicare beneficiaries 65+ either continuously during the year, or for at least one month per year. In all other states and the District of Columbia, insurers may deny a Medigap policy to seniors, except during their initial open enrollment period when they start on Medicare, or when they have other specified qualifying events, such as the loss of retiree health coverage.

In 20 States, 25% of Beneficiaries have Medigap Coverage

 

1 in 4 With Medicare had Medigap Coverage in 2015

This issue brief provides an overview of Medigap enrollment and analyzes consumer protections under federal law/state regulations that can affect access to Medigap. In particular, this brief examines implications for older adults with pre-existing medical conditions who may be unable to purchase a Med Supp or change their coverage after their initial open enrollment period.

Source

Additional Updates:
  • Mutual of Omaha enters the Medicare Advantage and Part D market - View
  • 2019 AEP Road Map - Start planning today - View
  • 2019 AHIP Training now available - $50 discount for PSM Agents - View
  • 2019 UnitedHealthcare First Looks now available - View
  • 2019 UnitedHealthcare certification now available - View
  • Great Read: Jim Rohn's Guide to Goal Setting - View
  • Increase your sales with our complimentary tools and tech - View
  • Express: Mutual of Omaha weekly updates - View
  • VALUES Quote of the Week - View
  • Current agent incentive trips and contests - View

Tags: Medicare Supplement, medicare updates

Mutual of Omaha Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans - Coming soon!

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Jul 05, 2018 @ 03:37 PM

Mutual of Omaha to enter Medicare Advantage
and Prescription Drug Plan Markets for 2019

Mutual of Omaha Medicare Advantage

In a recent blog post, we mentioned that Mutual of Omaha will be entering the Medicare Advantage and Part D markets in 2019. Being a long time distributor of Mutual of Omaha, we are excited to see them taking this next step and the opportunities it will present.

We now have detailed information on the following items:

  • Contracting Process - Current and New Agents
  • Certification Process - Both New Product Lines
  • 2019 Markets Available for Sale
  • 2019 Plan Benefits and Highlights
  • Training Opportunities
  • and more...

If you are a current Mutual of Omaha agent with PSM, we appreciate your business and look forward to updating you with additional details. You can call your marketing representative or go here to request more details

Not contracted with Mutual of Omaha? We would love to have the opportunity to work with you and provide all the benefits Mutual has to offer. To request more information, request details here or please call us at 800-998-7715.

Additional Updates:
  • 2019 AEP Road Map - Start planning today - View
  • 2019 AHIP Training now available - $50 discount for PSM Agents - View
  • 2019 UnitedHealthcare certification now available - View
  • Increase your sales with our complimentary tools and tech - View
  • Express: Mutual of Omaha weekly updates - View
  • VALUES Quote of the Week - View
  • Current agent incentive trips and contests - View

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Annual Election Period, AEP, mutual of omaha, medicare updates

More Clients Staying Put During the Medicare Annual Enrollment Window

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Jul 05, 2018 @ 02:49 PM

More Clients are Staying Put During AEP

A trend that many agents have been grappling with is decreased switching in the Medicare space. What used to be a yearly AEP “gold rush” has morphed into a shadow of its former self, with switching rates half of what they used to be. The reason for the lower activity is benefit stability due to good reimbursement. Since 2015, CMS reimbursement has been greater and more predictable, allowing plan designers to hold the line on premiums and costs shares. If anything, it sweetened benefits, not reduced them. The current dearth of switching in the Medicare space is just 9%.

 

Shopping/Switching Behavior
Base: All, n+3, 405

1-43

 

Agents and brokers have always been the switch catalyst in the Medicare market. Over the last three years, about 50% of switchers worked with an agent.

 

2

 

Deft Research also found that over the last three AEPs, the MA/PD market stabilized. The rash of private fee-for-service exits in the earlier 2000s has subsided, Part D benefits (which historically prompt switching) stabilized, and more carriers have the ability to hold the line on benefits and cost shares because of greater CMS reimbursement. When seniors see their coverage remaining the same from year to year, their shopping and switching activity grinds to a halt. Today, switching in MA/PD is down more than half, from 23% in 2015 to just 11% today, due to benefit stability.

Medicare Plan/Carrier Switch Rates: 2012-2018

3


Supporting Documents: 

The Dental Dilemma
The Omnipotent Omnichannel Approach

Source

Additional Updates:
  • 2019 AEP Road Map - Start planning today - View
  • 2019 AHIP Training now available - $50 discount for PSM Agents - View
  • 2019 UnitedHealthcare certification now available - View
  • Increase your sales with our complimentary tools and tech - View
  • Express: Mutual of Omaha weekly updates - View
  • VALUES Quote of the Week - View
  • Current agent incentive trips and contests - View

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Annual Election Period, AEP, medicare updates

Medicare Shopping and Switching and the Agent's Role

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Jul 03, 2018 @ 11:59 AM

Medicare Shopping and Switching
and the Agent's Role

Two thirds of all switchers this past AEP relied on the assistance of a health insurance sales professional, with agents and brokers leading the way. Agents and brokers have a significant influence on Medicare Member's decision making. Health insurers need to understand the key roles that agents play and what motivates them.

Deft Research has just published its 2018 Medicare Shopping and Switch Study which reports on the Fall annual enrollment period (AEP) activities of both senior consumers and health insurance agents. The study covers both the reasons seniors have for shopping and switching and the various information channels they use when making decisions.

The study re-affirms the idea that people need the help of an insurance professional when making health plan decisions. Consumers have reported that the tools found on Medicare.gov and other websites often provide them with lots of information but no help making a decision – in fact many wind up more doubtful than they began.

Part of the problem is that a set of health plans placed together for consideration usually produces more questions. A clear decision does not emerge. 

When faced with such a choice, consumers seek a way to make a selection based on trust. Trust is the most fundamental element of the consumer-health plan relationship and consumers seek it in various forms. One form is the trustworthiness to be found in brand reputation, "Does the brand take care of people if they get sick?" Another form comes through the affirmation of a knowledgeable person such as an insurer's own representative or an agent.

The Need for Agents

Over time, despite the emergence and refinement of on-line shopping resources, we have seen the percentage of seniors using health insurance agents has remained relatively stable. We have also seen that agents create an environment which makes seniors more comfortable with switching.

According to the study, agents facilitate almost 50% of the occasions when a senior switches from one plan to another.

When an agent talks with a senior, the respondents to our survey most often report that a Premium-to-Benefit analysis occurs. This analysis includes a review and assessment of drug coverage, as well as a check on whether the consumer’s doctors are in the network.

The conclusion one could reach is that senior health plan consumers who are serious about finding a plan that is better for themselves, often need personal assistance.

Medicare switchers were 3.8 times more likely than non-switchers to receive help from an agent during the 2018 AEP.

We find that agents gravitate toward products that are lucrative for them to sell.  For example,

  • 77% of agents in the health insurance business sell Supplemental Medicare coverage (Medsupp). While only 43% sell Prescription Drug Plans (PDP’s). A significant proportion of agents forgo the PDP opportunity, and only 3% sell PDP’s only.

We also find that Deft's 2018 Medicare Shopping and Switch Study results support the idea that agents must consider the ease and speed of sales. With a large bulk of business to be closed in the short AEP timeframe, if the agent is to meet sales goals, products that take more time to explain and inject more uncertainty cannot be favored over simpler products.

Consistent with this statement, the study found that:

  • Although only 25% of Medicare Advantage enrollment is in a PPO, agents report that over half of their sales are PPO’s.
  • Forty percent of agents said their PPO sales had grown this year and a similar percent (43%) said they expect PPO sales to grow again next year.

PPO’s have larger networks and fewer restrictions on access to doctors and hospitals.  This fits our idea of simpler, easier, and faster to sell. This means that without changes to the system, we cannot expect agents to be leaders in promoting new products with more complicated networks, formularies, and tiers.

Health plans are under pressure to control costs and engage consumers. Agents are important players in this market. If health plans are to succeed in their charge, agents will likely play a role in that success. In order get the best out of agents we have several actions insurers can take:

  • We have found in several studies that insurers could develop agent tools that go beyond the plan selection tools currently available. These would certainly include easy interfaces for checking on doctor and hospital availability. They also need to go further in helping consumers understand what would happen in various dire circumstances – if you needed to go to the emergency room, where would you be taken?  What would it cost? Under situations of distress, who would help you and assure your coverage would work? What services are likely to be needed in an entire episode of care?  Agents can’t be expected to provide these answers, but they would communicate them to their clients, and with this we see a tool for understanding whether a narrow network plan would work for them.

  • The study suggests that insurers should know that agents are critical of the agent service they receive from health plans. 95% of agents said they were more likely to sell the health plans who provided good service to them over others who do not.

  • The study also found that providing extra incentives, vacations, trips to conferences, additional bonuses and gifts to agents, is motivating to the majority. Two-in-five agents are not given the opportunity to earn extra incentives. Here is perhaps a gap in the market for insurers to help fill.


Supporting Documents: 

The Dental Dilemma
The Omnipotent Omnichannel Approach

Source

Additional Updates:
  • 2019 AEP Road Map - Start planning today - View
  • 2019 AHIP Training now available - $50 discount for PSM Agents - View
  • 2019 UnitedHealthcare certification now available - View
  • Increase your sales with our complimentary tools and tech - View
  • Express: Mutual of Omaha weekly updates - View
  • VALUES Quote of the Week - View
  • Current agent incentive trips and contests - View

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, medicare updates

2018 Medicare Supplement Conference Overview

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Jun 27, 2018 @ 08:59 AM

10th NationalMedicareSupplementInsurance IndustrySummit

The 10th National Forum was held in St. Louis from June 12-14, and was attended by agents, carriers, marketing organizations, actuarial and administrative firms, and consultants from across the Medigap industry.

The CSG team presented in two sessions, discussing the status of the Medigap market, and trends we anticipate will impact the industry.  Details for each session are listed below, as well as a copy of the presentation for you to download.

2018 Medicare Supplement Industry Overivew:  Latest Data, Trends & Outlook 

Jared Strock, Consulting Actuary at CSG Actuarial, presented with Ryan Wolfe from Mark Farah Associates on the current state of the Medigap market, including trends in new sales premium, enrollment, and rate increases.

2018 Medicare Supplement Industry Review

Market Overview:  The Latest Data for Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage Sales

Doug Feekin, Principal and Consulting Actuary at CSG Actuarial, presented a review of the Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage environment today and helpful insights into where the market is trending

Market Overview:  Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage Sales

Source

Additional Updates:
  • 2019 AHIP Now Available - $50 Discount for PSM Agents - View
  • UnitedHealthcare 2019 Certification Now Available - View
  • Medicare Advantage Members Satisfied as Enrollment Surges - View
  • These 9 New Medicare Advantage Benefits are a Big Deal - Here's Why
  • Be an Inner Coach Instead of an Inner Critic - View
  • Express: Mutual of Omaha Weekly Updates - View
  • VALUES Quote of the Week - View
  • Current Agent Incentive Trips and Contests - View

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, medicare updates

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage and PDP Certification Details for 2019

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Jun 25, 2018 @ 12:55 PM

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage and PDP
Certification Details for 2019

unitedhealthcare

Mark your calendars! Starting Monday, June 25, you can certify to sell 2019 UnitedHealthcare products.

https://www.uhcjarvis.com

2019 UnitedHealthcare Certification User Guide

Certify early! The sales materials portal will open mid-August for Enrollment Guide orders! By certifying early, you can ensure you’ll have materials ready to go by

October 1. The longer you wait to certify, the less likely you are to receive materials by October 1. More information coming soon!

Passing the prerequisite Tests (Medicare Basics Test, Ethics and Compliance Test, and AARP Course) certifies you to sell Medicare Advantage (MA) AND Part D plans! Don’t forget to certify for Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans and Special Needs Plans to help grow your business. 

NEW! A built-in Fraud, Waste and Abuse course

No need to visit the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS) site to take the Fraud, Waste and Abuse course. The content is now built into our Ethics and Compliance module and streamlined to ensure you get the exact information you need while reducing content by 70 percent. A huge time saver for you!

NEW! Improved Conflict of Interest Disclosure

To make this annual process easier, we’ve simplified the Conflict of Interest Status Disclosure language (find it in the 2019 Ethics and Compliance Test).

NEW! Events Basics refresh

Based off your feedback, we’ve streamlined the Events Basics course content – a 21% reduction from last year – and designed an easier navigation. The course can be found in the electives section, be sure to take it so you can be ready to conduct marketing events.

How to take certifications

  • Certification modules and tests are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week on Jarvis>Knowledge Center>Training>Certifications.
  • You will have six attempts to complete an assessment with a minimum passing score of 85 percent.
  • Each time you launch the assessment an attempt is counted, whether you complete the assessment or not. Important: Be sure to schedule uninterrupted time in order to complete the entire assessment without losing an attempt.
  • Upon answering a question, immediate feedback lets you know if you answered the question correctly or incorrectly.
  • For more information, refer to the 2019 Certification User Guide on Jarvis>Knowledge Center>Training>Certifications.

UnitedHealthcare will once again accept America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) certification in place of the UnitedHealthcare 2019 Medicare Basics Test (including Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans). More information here.

Contact Us

Additional questions? Contact your agent manager.

Agent Support via Producer Help Desk (PHD)

  • Phone: 888-381-8581
  • phd@uhc.com
  • Secure email request via Jarvis. Go to the Contact Us page and click ‘Get Started’, and then click ‘Create SR’.

Compliance questions? Email compliance_questions@uhc.com.

Confidential and proprietary. For internal/agent use only. Do not distribute.

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: UnitedHealthcare, AEP, medicare updates, Medicare Open Enrollment Period, certification

Medicare Supplement Costs Ranked By State

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 @ 03:44 PM

Update

Medicare Supplement Costs Ranked By State
See how much extra coverage costs in each state, and Washington DC

HealthView Services provided Business Insider with the average annual cost projections for Medicare Supplement Plan F, the most popular level of Medigap coverage, across every state.

Most to Least Expensive Med Supp: (Sample)

#1: Massachusetts - Average annual Medigap plan cost; $1,947;
Average monthly Medigap plan cost: $162.25 

#9: Florida - Average annual Medigap plan cost: $1,831;
Average monthly Medigap plan cost: $152.58

 #51: Hawaii - Average annual Medigap plan cost: $1,310; 
Average monthly Medigap plan cost: $109.16

Check the full article to see how much Medigap Plan F costs in every state, plus Washington, DC.

 

READ FULL ARTICLE

 

Additional Updates:
  • How To Market To Seniors - View
  • Stand-alone PDP premiums rise modestly - View
  • 1 in 4 major health systems preparing to launch Medicare Advantage plans - View
  • Differentiate yourself early and close more sales - View
  • VALUES Quote of the Week - View
  • Current Agent Incentive Trips and Contests - View

Tags: Medicare Premiums, medicare updates

CMS Expands Benefit Flexibility In Medicare Advantage

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 @ 11:13 AM

Update

CMS Expands Benefit Flexibility In
Medicare Advantage

Beginning in 2019, MA plans can leverage the new flexibility to partner with community-based organizations to create services aimed at addressing barriers to access to care or avoiding costly care.

The major new flexibilities for 2019 and beyond include:

Benefit Uniformity Flexibility:

In 2019, MA plans can design disease-specific benefits for individuals with certain chronic conditions or other high-risk health conditions if 1) they are available to all enrollees, 2) MA plans use objective and measurable medical criteria, and 3) beneficiaries’ diagnoses have been certified by a provider...

Supplemental Benefits:

The previous “primarily health-related” definition has been expanded for supplemental benefits to permit coverage of services to diagnose, prevent, or improve the effects of injuries or health conditions, or reduce avoidable emergency healthcare utilization...

READ FULL ARTICLE

Additional Updates:
  • UnitedHealthcare acquires Peoples Health, an HMO in Louisiana - View
  • New Federal Law could spur Medicare Advantage plans to avoid enrolling sick beneficiaries - View
  • Stand-alone PDP premiums rise modestly - View
  • 1 in 4 major health systems preparing to launch Medicare Advantage plans - View
  • Differentiate yourself early and close more sales - View
  • Express: Mutual of Omaha Weekly Updates - View
  • VALUES Quote of the Week - View
  • Current Agent Incentive Trips and Contests - View

Tags: medicare advantage updates, New Med Advantage Rules, medicare updates

Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment May top 3% in 2019

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 @ 10:58 AM

Update

Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment

May top 3% in 2019

The annual Social Security (SS) cost-of-living adjustment for 2019 could top 3%. That would be the largest increase in seven years, according to The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan advocacy group.

A 3% cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2019 would be the biggest annual hike since 2012, when SS benefits grew by 3.6%. This year the COLA was 2%. If Social Security benefits increase next year, Medicare premiums for the typical retiree may also rise.

A "hold harmless" provision – enjoyed by about 70% of beneficiaries who have Medicare premiums deducted from their SS – prohibits annual increases in Part B premiums from exceeding the dollar amount of the COLA increase in annual SS benefits. Part B premiums are normally deducted directly from Social Security benefits.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Additional Updates:
  • How To Market To Seniors - View
  • 2019 Aetna medicare Advantage / PDP Certification Details - View
  • Stand-alone PDP premiums rise modestly - View
  • VALUES Quote of the Week - View
  • Current Agent Incentive Trips and Contests - View

Tags: health care costs, Life Insurance

Medicare Extends Late Enrollment Amnesty

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 @ 10:29 AM

Update

Medicare Extends Late Enrollment Amnesty 

Call it the Obamacare-Medicare penalty: you sign up for the ACA sometime before you turn 65 and then mistakenly stay there past age 65, when you must switch to Medicare.

That results in costly lifetime late-enrollment penalties on your Medicare premiums. Confusion about the transition from ACA to Medicare has been so widespread that the CMS opened up a window for a limited time last year allowing people caught in the switches to apply for relief from the penalties.

CMS decided to allow people who should have signed up at 65 to apply for “time-limited equitable relief,” allowing them to enroll in Part B without penalties.

Now CMS is expanding that opportunity, but the deadline for straightening out the problem is Sept. 30.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Additional Updates:
  • UnitedHealthcare acquires Peoples Health, an HMO in Louisiana - View
  • New Federal Law could spur Medicare Advantage plans to avoid enrolling sick beneficiaries - View
  • Stand-alone PDP premiums rise modestly - View
  • 1 in 4 major health systems preparing to launch Medicare Advantage plans - View
  • Differentiate yourself early and close more sales - View
  • Express: Mutual of Omaha Weekly Updates - View
  • VALUES Quote of the Week - View
  • Current Agent Incentive Trips and Contests - View

Tags: medicare updates, Medicare Open Enrollment Period

    Subscribe by Email

    Like Precision Senior Marketing on Facebook!





    Follow Precision Senior Marketing on Twitter!

    Most Popular Posts

    Posts by Topic

    Click for More