The largest portion of healthcare reform Affordability and Accountability Act "ACA" is set to go into effect in 2014. For the most part the Medicare Supplement market will be largely unaffected by ACA with most of the impact resulting indirectly from changes to Medicare Advantage.
Possible impact to Medicare Supplements:
- Section 3210 of ACA required the NAIC to add a nominal cost sharing to plans C and F (however, the NAIC has recommended no cost sharing to plans C and F due to lack of evidence this would decrease utilization. This has not been decided upon.)
- Mostly unaffected by ACA, as long as Plan F doesn't change
- Medicare Advantage plans will be held to a minimum loss ratio of 85%
- Restructures the funding levels to Medicare Advantage plans in order to reduce the payments closer to traditional Medicare
- CBO estimates this will cut approximately $145 billion over the next 10 years
- The payment restructuring was designed to be implemented over 3-6 years, which began in 2011
The changes to ACA may even prove positive for the Medicare Supplement market. Medicare Supplements will not be affected by minimum loss ratio changes or any major plan changes, whereas the Medicare Advantage market will most likely have a higher minimum loss radio requirement and continued political pressure on funding.
If there are any Medicare Supplement carriers you’d like to add to your portfolio, give your marketer a call at 1-800-998-7715; they can assist you with more information on all of the carriers PSM offers.
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Do you think the ACA will affect your Medicare Supplement sales? Your Medicare Advantage sales?
Source: CSG Actuarial
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The CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has released the maximum commissions a company can pay to an individual producer for Medicare Advantage and PDP for 2014. In some cases, commissions could be less than the amounts released, depending on that specific insurance company’s contract.
Part D (PDP’s):
- National - $425 initial and $213 renewal/replacement
- Connecticut, Pennsylvania and District of Columbia - $480 initial and $240 renewal/replacement
- California and New Jersey - $532 initial and $266 renewal/replacement
- All states - $56 initial and $28 renewal/replacement
Precision Senior Marketing will be closed Monday, May 27 for the Memorial Day holiday. Regular 8am-5pm CDT hours will resume Tuesday, May 28. We wish you and your loved ones a Happy Memorial Day. PSM would like to thank our Armed Forces for serving our country and protecting our freedoms.
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Introducing Hospital Indemnity plans designed specifically for Medicare Advantage members that cover Primary Care Doctor Visits, Inpatient Hospital Co-pays or Co-insurance, and much more. The average hospital stay for someone age 65 and over is 5.5 days. Would your average Medicare Advantage client be able to readily cover a $250 per day as a co-payment for days 1-5, totaling $1250?
Of the 14,500,000 people currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Program 56% of them are on a zero premium plan, many of which provide the member with a considerable monthly Part B premium giveback. With a Hospital Indemnity plan you can offer your clients a way to take their Medicare Advantage Part B premium giveback and apply it toward their plan to help them cover many of their most common co-payment with Medicare Advantage.
Benefits of a Hospital Indemnity Plan Include:
- Hospital Admission for Days 1-5
- Ambulance Transportation
- Emergency Room Coverage
- Laboratory & Radiology Benefits
- Skilled Nursing Facility Benefits
- Primary Care Doctor Office Visits (No Prior Hospital Stay Required)
- Annual Wellness Benefits
- Preventative Care Benefits
The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have said that a Hospital Indemnity Plan can be marketed and sold during a Medicare Advantage appointment as long as it was agreed on the Scope of Appointment form. You can also go back to your current clients with Medicare Advantage and do a basic Needs Analysis to see how the Hospital Indemnity Plan will benefit them and limit their out of pocket costs.
Not only will you be able to show your Medicare Advantage clients an affordable way to help protect themselves financially from large Maximum-Out-Of-Pocket (MOOP) liabilities, which can be as large as $6,700, but it’s also a great way to increase your commissionable income.
PSM offers several options for Hospital Indemnity. Plans from Sentinel Life, Equitable Life, GTL, and Heartland National are all available to be added to your portfolio. Please give your marketer a call at 1-800-998-7715 for more information on this versatile product for your senior insurance clients.
Article you may want to take into consideration for future product offering strategies
Coming Surge in Medicare Advantage?
Enrollment May Rise 50 Percent in Next 10 Years
By Alex Wayne and Alex Nussbaum – Bloomberg – May 16, 2013
Enrollment in the U.S.-funded Medicare plans run by UnitedHealth Group Inc., Humana Inc. and other insurers may rise 50 percent in the next decade rather than declining as predicted earlier, U.S. budget analysts said. Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly and disabled will swell to 21 million participants by fiscal 2023 from 14 million this year, the Congressional Budget Office said yesterday in its annual review of the federal budget. The CBO didn’t explain the revision from its previous estimate that enrollment would fall to 11 million and a spokeswoman didn’t respond to an e-mail. The reversal shows that a recent slowdown in health-care cost growth may be permanent, said Joseph Antos, a health economist at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington who has advised the CBO in the past. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-15/unitedhealth-humana-may-see-surge-in-medicare-advantage.html
Cigna Medicare Supplement
There are a lot of benefits to working as a senior insurance agent. Frankly, the industry is booming, and with 10,000 seniors aging into Medicare every day it won’t be slowing down any time soon. If you are considering getting into insurance or switching from a different niche of the industry, there are some things you should keep in mind for best chance at success.
Five key "truths" about our industry:
- You are a salesperson. It’s important to accept that as a salesperson you need to be good at selling. Obviously, this doesn’t mean selling a senior a product they do not need or cannot afford at that time. It means becoming their trusted advisor and educating them to choose the products that will help them live comfortably from the beginning of their retirement to when their needs change as they continue to age.
- You are running a business. You are now the owner of your own small business and you are your only job security. This might seem scary at first – or it might seem liberating – however, your highest priority is going to be making a profit and staying in business. Three things that will help you are prospecting, closing, and servicing your clients. The majority of your time day in and day out should be spent focused on these activities.
- You cannot "wing it." You need to have a plan to follow every day; the number of calls you need to make and a script ready for every call. This way you can insure you say exactly what you need to in the most efficient way possible. Remember to practice your scripts until they come naturally and don’t sound canned or rushed. This will help you to increase your ratio of prospects turning into clients.
- You have to work hard. The Med Supp business is booming but it’s also competitive. You will need to push yourself harder than everyone else. As Zig Ziglar, a famous motivational speaker once said, "The harder you are on yourself, the easier life will be on you." If you put in the hours and are willing to do the work it takes, you will find yourself poised for a successful venture in the industry.
- You must take 100% responsibility for your business. If your numbers aren’t where you want them to be, own up to them. See that as a warning sign and make the necessary changes. Maybe you need to start marketing online with a website or selling Medicare Supplements over the phone. Instead of making excuses outside of yourself take control of your business and become in control of your success.
PSM is your partner for success in the senior insurance market. Build your portfolio with everything from competitive Medicare Supplements to Final Expense plans to Hospital Indemnity, Long Term Care and Annuities. If you find yourself stuck or need assistance, please call our marketers at 1-800-998-7715. We are here to keep you on track and help you navigate your way into and through this competitive and lucrative market.
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What tips do you have for those new to the industry? Anything you would add to this list?
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By building an effective brand for your business you can separate yourself from the competition in this industry. Creating an effective brand is one that convinced people to buy “you” before they step foot into your office or talk to you over the phone. Determine your brand in your community and see if people already know who you are. If they do, what is the brand they identify with your name? Does is help to separate you from the competition or does it lump you in with everyone else?
Here are some ways to develop a positive brand that allow you to stand apart from your competition:
- Old-fashioned values. This means treating people with respect; explaining things in a way people can understand, and listening intently so you can truly hear your client’s needs. You are always focused on your client’s agenda, not your own. If you say you’re going to do something you do it, and if you make a mistake, take responsibility and find a solution as soon as possible.
- Expert knowledge. Be among the absolute best at what you do. Study the art of our craft and become an expert in the field. Also, it’s important to know the products you represent. It’s been said the products you recommend will only account for 10 percent of your success in gaining new clients. So you should know 100 percent of that 10 percent.
- Genuine understanding. Since in the Medicare Supplement field you will be working almost exclusively with either retirees or people getting ready to retire it’s important to understand what your clients are going through. Become an expert in your niche. You don’t need to be jack-of-all trades but rather a specialist in your field. Genuine understanding can only be demonstrated over time by having a passion for serving the needs of your clients.
An effective message and brand along with a great marking plan can lead to the successful practice you’ve been working toward. If you have any questions, please give your marketer a call at 1-800-998-7715.
Please give us your feedback!
What steps have you taken to build your brand? How has it changed your business?
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