Austin, TX, April 27, 2010 – Precision Senior Marketing (PSM), an industry leading Medicare supplement FMO, announced today that one of its leading carriers, Sentinel Life, is now offering a significant commission increase to independent insurance agents where the Sentinel Life Medicare supplement product is available.
“As an exclusive distributor of Sentinel Life’s new Medicare supplement product, we are committed to extolling the benefits of the product, such as its high paying commission level and competitive premiums for seniors. I’m confident this combination will greatly appeal to senior market insurance agents throughout the country,” says PSM President Lucas Vandenberg.
Since 1954 Sentinel Life Insurance Company has provided quality insurance protection and world class customer service to both agents and consumers alike. For 2010, Sentinel Life Medigap modernized plans are now available in 16 states.
“With 40+ million seniors today and 8,000+ baby boomers joining every day, it’s no wonder why Sentinel Life is aggressively adapting its business strategy to attract more agents,” says PSM agent Annabelle Castillo.
PSM encourages independent, senior market insurance agents to visit this page to learn more about the commission rate increase by Sentinel Life Insurance Company. And with PSM’s electronic licensing process, agents can get a top-level, direct contract for this product in as little as 5 minutes.
Located in Austin, Texas, Precision Senior Marketing, LLC is a full-service, national insurance marketing organization dedicated to recruiting, servicing, and supporting the best senior market insurance agents in the United States.
Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information
Noam Levey of the Tribune Washington Bureau is reporting that the recent health reform laws signed into law by President Obama may lead to lower Medicare premiums for our nation’s senior citizens. His report is based on last night’s issuance of an analysis on the new health legislation by independent actuaries at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The analysis is highly regarded as it is seen as the first comprehensive look at the legislation by neutral experts.
Mr. Levey says that the report suggests that the Medicare program will remain solvent until 2029 – better than estimates prior to health care reform which had projected that the program would be doused in red ink around 2017. And according to a statement issued by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Medicare monthly premiums will be lower than otherwise expected due to several measures in the bill, such as Medicare cuts, higher taxes, and a commission responsible for Medicare savings.
Of course not all is rosy with the analysis of the legislation. Fox News’ report on the analysis states that the bill will raise projected spending by about 1% over 10 years, and could be even larger since the analysis warned that Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable. The analysis also projected that Medicare cuts could result in sending 15% of hospitals and other Medicare providers into the red, thereby reducing access to seniors.
The report also estimated that a large exodus from Medicare Advantage would occur due to reductions in payments to private Medicare Advantage plans that would eliminate many of the extra benefits currently offered. The analysis projects that Medicare Advantage enrollment will decrease by 50%. This would leave seniors to seek out alternatives such as Medicare supplements, or be saddled with larger out-of-pocket expenses.
Sources: HHS, Los Angeles Times, Fox News
The Gerber Life Medicare supplement product is now available for sale in nine new states - Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, and Washington. Virginia is expected to be approved in the near future.
Gerber Life is offering very competitive rates in each of these states in addition to high commissions and a brand seniors know and trust. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-800-998-7715 for more info.
Medicare News Flash: Doctor Payment Cut Delayed
A 21% pay cut was scheduled to take effect yesterday (delayed from April 1 by Medicare holding off paying claims), but at the very last minute Congress approved legislation last night (59 to 38), as did the House (289 to 112), that delays the 21% Medicare physician payment cut to May 31. This extension is a part of an $18 billion bill that adds to the deficit. Since the bill is classified as an "emergency" it was able to bypass pay-as-you-go rules.
All major stakeholders on this issue agree that it needs to be permanently fixed but with that permanent fix estimated to cost nearly $200 billion over 10 years many politicians don't want to push for the added cost. The problem is that the delays are a viscous cycle, making the core issue more expensive with each delay. According to American Medical Association President Dr. James Rohack the issue needs to be resolved soon because baby boomers begin aging into Medicare next year and that is going to add millions of seniors onto the system over the next decade. This crush of seniors on Medicare will require a strong, robust health infrastructure, but the continued confusion and uncertainty regarding this issue threatens to undermine it.
Sources: KHN, NPR, AP, Health Leaders Media
Various news outlets, such as Kaiser, Bloomberg, U.S. News, and others are reporting Medicare Advantage plan payments to private health insurers will be frozen at 2010 rates throughout all of 2011. This is one of the results from the new health care laws signed by President Obama last month.
For those of you unfamiliar with the situation, you should know that the new health care laws mandate $130 billion in cuts over the next decade to Medicare Advantage. Politicians who voted for the cuts often defend their decisions by citing a report from Congress' Medicare Payment Advisory Commission that found the government compensated insurers 14% more that it spends on its own to cover people in traditional Medicare.
Since next year's payments will not match ever rising health care costs, many experts expect insurance companies to offset the loss of payment increases by raising premiums on customers. The freezing of the pay rate is actually better than what many insurance analysts expected - a 4% rate cut.
In other Medicare Advantage news, CMS also recently announced that it issued a final regulation requiring the elimination of duplication among MA drug and health plans. This means MA and prescription drug plan sponsors must have significant differences between their products with regard to plan types, client out-of-pocket costs, premiums, and formulary offerings. The goal of this regulation is to enhance protection from discriminatory cost sharing and the ability to compare plans in 2011. It is also consistent with the new PP&AC Act that requires Medicare Advantage to no longer impose more expensive cost-sharing requirements than those charged for traditional Medicare.
Along with the aforementioned changes the PP&AC Act does allow for bonus payments to be made to insurers who offer high-quality Medicare Advantage plans. The criteria for what the government considers a high quality MA plan wasn't explained in any of the sources I researched, so I'll report it here once the information comes available. How the high-quality designation will affect the market is unknown at this time.
One other important requirement is that starting in 2014, Medicare Advantage plans will have to spend 85% of health insurance premiums collected by insurers on providing health care to their customers. Whether this will reduce what the government sees as exorbitant executive compensation at insurance companies, or just end up raising costs to agents and consumers remains to be seen.
Sources: BusinessWeek, U.S. News, Kaiser
With the passage of the PP&AC Act comes many new laws, so many in fact that most American still know little about them and are confused about what it all means to them. One segment of the American population to be most confused and concerned about the changes affecting them are senior citizens. And where there is confusion you will always find devious individuals who will try to profit from that confusion.
Shortly after President Obama signed the PP&AC Act into law, there was a cable television advertisement that told viewers to call an 800 number to take advantage of a “limited enrollment” period to get special coverage that is now entitled to them by the passage of health care reform. There are also several news articles going around reporting that there are door-to-door salespeople going around selling “Obamacare” insurance policies.
Combine confusion about the new laws and the fear generated by the worst economy since the depression and you have a perfect mix for scammers to take advantage of consumers, especially senior citizens. As agents, we encourage you to talk to your clients and tell them to beware of any potential offers they receive in relation to their health care. This also means you’ll have to stay abreast of the latest scams as well. Here are some areas of the Act that could potentially be exploited:
The $250 prescription drug rebate for Part D – scammers may offer expedited payment for a price.
The creation of Plan B – federal and state governments have 90 days to create this program, but scammers may likely start selling policies for this Plan B though it won’t exist for quite awhile.
Better access to nursing home records – scammers may offer bogus data services whereby they try to get seniors and their families to pay a lump sum or for a subscription for data on nursing homes that is either falsified or that is freely available elsewhere.
Of course there are numerous areas of the bill that will be exploited so be prepared to see all manner of exploits. To verify any offer received by your clients, one of the best ways to do so is to call your state insurance department and see if the entity offering the deal to your client is licensed to do business in your state.
If you come across any scams, we encourage you to let us know so that we may warn the entire PSM community. Stay vigilant.
Precision Senior Marketing will close at noon CST in observance of the Easter holiday. For immediate inquiries e-mail us at email@example.com. Thank you for your business have a good holiday weekend.