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Aetna Medicare Producer News: Pre-order 2020 enrollment kits | FREE SilverScript® PDP webinar | 2020 AEP marketing catalog

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Fri, Aug 30, 2019 @ 10:42 AM

Aetna Medicare header

Medicare Producer News

Individual MA/MAPD, PDP:  August 28th, 2019


 
Pre-order enrollment kits for 2020 MA/MAPD plans
Starting on August 29, If you're "ready to sell" for 2020, you can order an initial amount of enrollment kits for 2020 Aetna Medicare plans (MA/MAPD) for the early weeks of the Annual Election Period (AEP). Follow these instructions to pre-order enrollment kits through Producer World.

 


 
Start planning your 2020 AEP marketing campaign

The 2020 Aetna Medicare Marketing Studio catalog is now available for you to review on the Studio. You can use this catalog to see what's new for 2020 to start planning your AEP marketing campaigns. As you plan for AEP, you'll also want to keep in mind the key dates below.

  • Aug. 28 – Sept. 2: The Studio will be temporarily closed.
  • Sept. 3:  Ready-to-sell agents can start ordering AEP materials. 
  • Oct. 1: All pre-ordered materials will be shipped or mailed.
  • Oct. 1: You can begin downloading materials for free.

 


 

Don't miss out on 2020 SilverScript PDP plans this AEP

In 2020, SilverScript PDP*, offered by SilverScript Insurance Company, will have two PDP options across the U.S., featuring: $0 deductible for Tier 1 and Tier 2 generics; $0 Tier 1 copays at preferred pharmacies; and copays as low as $1 on Tier 2 drugs.

Make sure you complete all ready to sell requirements for 2020 SilverScript PDP plans, including certification, before AEP. You can access certification using the "SilverScript Agent Portal" site in the quick links section on Producer World.

 



We're excited about 2020 AEP — check out what's new

Value-based enrollments (VBE): The VBE program is coming to more markets this AEP. Soon, you may be able to earn up to $50 more per 2020 MA/MAPD enrollment by initiating a VBE after enrolling a client in a plan on the Ascend app.

Dual-Special Needs Plans (DSNP): We're launching DSNPs with great supplemental benefits in 5 new states. DSNPs will be available in: AL, FL, GA, IA, KS, LA, MO, NC, NE, OH, PA, TX, VA and WV for 2020. 

Preview our 2020 Medicare plans and check out some of the plan highlights coming to your market this AEP. For an in-depth review of the 2020 MA/MAPD plans coming to your market, attend a product training. To find and register for an event near you, visit aetnamedicareagenttraining.com.




Quick links


Need assistance? Here’s who to call (for brokers only)

Filling out enrollment applications

Aetna Medicare Broker Services Department
1-866-714-9301
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, M - F
(Open Saturday, November 17,
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET. Closed Saturday, November 25.)

Enrollment options (fax, mail, electronic/Ascend)

Application status

Ready-to-sell status

Getting access to the Ascend app

2020 plan benefits

Select prompt 2 to be directed to 2019 plan benefits

Looking up in-network providers

Before calling the hotline, check our online tools:

• aetnamedicare.com/findprovider 
• coventry-medicare.com/findprovider

Provider Lookup Hotline
1-855-242-9735
7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT
Monday - Friday 
(Available during AEP only,
for ready-to-sell brokers

Not appointed with Aetna? Request details here

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare Advantage, aetna, AEP

Medico announces agreement with AARP

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 @ 02:10 PM

Medico announces agreement with AARP

     


Medico Insurance Company is pleased to announce it will introduce a new Short-Term Care insurance product in early 2020. The new product, AARP Short-Term Care Insurance from Medico, will be available exclusively to AARP members. To view the full announcement, click here.

When AARP Short-Term Care Insurance from Medico launches, AARP members will have two options for how they purchase the product - directly through a dedicated program website or through a third-party call center. Details on the specific timeframe for a broader release, including independent agent distribution, will be shared in the future.

New sales of the current Medico Short-Term Recovery Care product will be discontinued prior to the launch of the new product. Existing policyholders will not be impacted.  

This announcement will be sent to agents tomorrow. Look for additional information to be shared in future email communication.

Request information on Medico Insurance plans here.

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: medico insurance, Medicare, aarp

Medicare's New Plan Finder Could Boost Insurers' Advantage Enrollment

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 @ 11:27 AM

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Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Medicare Part D

Medicare Plan Finder Aims for Price Transparency, Plan Comparison

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 @ 11:02 AM

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Medicare Part D

Medicare Plan Finder Gets an Upgrade

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 @ 10:34 AM

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Medicare Part D

Poll: 70% support adding dental coverage to Medicare

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Aug 26, 2019 @ 03:58 PM

Source: https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payer/poll-70-support-adding-dental-coverage-to-medicare

Image: Canva

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare, dental plans

AARP to Offer Medico Short-Term Care Insurance

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Aug 26, 2019 @ 03:42 PM

AARP will be offering short-term care insurance (STCI) to many of its 38 million members.

The group has picked Medico Insurance Company, a unit of American Enterprise Group Inc., to be the STCI provider.

Medico will provide a product designed exclusively for AARP members, AARP and American Enterprise announced last week.

Medico will try to have the product on the shelves in several states by early 2020

AARP is a Washington-based group that serves people ages 50 and older.

Medico is a Des Moines, Iowa-based issuer of life and health products aimed at older consumers. Its parent, American Enterprise, also controls American Republic Insurance Company and Great Western Insurance Company.

Medico now sells a short-term recovery care insurance product to consumers ages 18 to 79. That policy can pay for recovery care for up to 12 months.

Like the existing Medico recovery care product, the new AARP Medico STCI product will help purchasers pay for short-term use of home health care, adult daycare, hospice care, assisted living facility care and nursing home care, according to AARP and American Enterprise.

AARP and American Enterprise have not talked about what the new STCI prices or underwriting process will be like.

An agent field guide on the web shows the current individual product uses medical underwriting. Applicants can be declined if they have conditions such as a history of stroke, kidney failure, lupus, or an inability to dress themselves.

An applicant who was 5 feet 6 inches tall would have to weigh somewhere between 106 pounds and 254 pounds to qualify for coverage.

Source: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2019/08/26/aarp-to-offer-medico-short-term-care-insurance/

Image: Canva

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: medico insurance, Medicare

The Facts On Medicare Spending

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Aug 26, 2019 @ 03:25 PM

The Facts on Medicare Spending

Medicare, the federal health insurance program for more than 60 million people ages 65 and over and younger people with long-term disabilities, helps to pay for hospital and physician visits, prescription drugs, and other acute and post-acute care services.

This issue brief includes the most recent historical and projected Medicare spending data published in the 2019 annual report of the Boards of Medicare Trustees from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary (OACT) and the 2019 Medicare baseline and projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Key Facts:

  • Medicare spending was 15 percent of total federal spending in 2018, and is projected to rise to 18 percent by 2029.
  • Based on the latest projections in the 2019 Medicare Trustees report, the Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) trust fund is projected to be depleted in 2026, the same as the 2018 projection. In 2018, Medicare benefit payments totaled $731 billion, up from $462 billion in 2008.
  • As a share of total Medicare benefit spending, payments to Medicare Advantage plans for Part A and Part B benefits increased by nearly 50 percent between 2008 and 2018, from 21 percent ($99 billion) to 32 percent ($232 billion) of total spending, as enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans increased over these years.
  • Average annual growth in Medicare per capita spending was 1.7 percent between 2010 and 2018, down from 7.3 percent between 2000 and 2010, due in part to the Affordable Care Act’s reductions in payments to providers and plans, and to an influx of younger beneficiaries from the baby boom generation aging on to Medicare, who have lower per capita health care costs.
  • Medicare per capita spending is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.1 percent over the next 10 years (2018 to 2028), due to growing Medicare enrollment, increased use of services and intensity of care, and rising health care prices.

Read the full briefing here

Source: http://files.kff.org/attachment/Issue-Brief-Facts-on-Medicaid-Spending-and-Financing

Image: Canva

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare

YourMedicare Tools Now Available On Agent Xcelerator

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Aug 22, 2019 @ 01:09 PM

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Agent Xcelerator® is designed to streamline the way you do business. To do that, we have partnered with YourMedicare to offer some exciting new features NOW LIVE in the Agent Xcelerator® portal, and they are completely free of charge! 

If you do not have access to Agent Xcelerator®, request access here.

Below is a brief overview of the four tools now available:

YourMedicare Enrollment Center:
(An Online Platform for Medicare Advantage and Part D sales)

  • Free to all Agent Xcelerator® contracted Medicare agents.
  • Multi-carrier platform that allows agents to compare, quote and enroll all in one place!
  • Personalized URL to send to your clients to enroll in a plan.

YourMedicare Online Agent Store:

  • Print on Demand Client facing materials including a monthly newsletter, which you can brand with your information.
  • Carrier branded promotional and event materials pre-approved and ready to order!

AHIP Certification Promotion:

  • $50 discount for completing your AHIP through the provided YourMedicare link.
  • Complete your Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA) training via the YourMedicare AHIP link as well - a one-stop-shop!

Medicare Agent Training:

  • A $250 value offered free to all Agent Xcelerator® contracted Medicare agents.
  • The platform is powered by MedicareRights.org, one of the largest non-profit advocacy groups in the nation that fields over 2 million Medicare beneficiary calls a year.

If you already have access to Agent Xcelerator®, these tools are now available for you to take advantage of.

If you do not have access to Agent Xcelerator®, Click on the link below.

Request Access Today

 

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Online Enrollment, Medicare, Quoting Tools, AgentXcelerator

Mutual of Omaha: Maximize Your Annual Enrollment Period Success

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Aug 21, 2019 @ 02:43 PM

Maximize your Annual Enrollment Period success!



Annual enrollment provides health insurance producers with an opportunity to write more business in a short window than any other time of year. Make sure you are ready to maximize your success by including Mutual of Omaha’s CareAdvantage HMO (Medicare Advantage) and Mutual of Omaha Rx (Medicare Part D) in your portfolio.

Mutual of Omaha is offering Medicare Advantage plans for Plan Year 2020 in the following markets:

  • Cincinnati (OH/KY) * — Boone, Butler, Clermont, Campbell, Hamilton, Kenton and Warren counties
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth – Collin, Dallas, Denton, Rockwall and Tarrant counties
  • Denver – Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties
  • El Paso – El Paso county
  • San Antonio* – Bexar county

*Also available for the remainder of Plan Year 2019

  • Mutual of Omaha Rx (PDP) plans are offered in all states except NY and the US territories.

A Few Helpful Tips to ensure for 2020 Success

  1. Get Organized– Don’t let AEP sneak up on you. Get organized before the busy period starts.
  • Become Ready-to-Sell. It’s just 3 easy steps
  • Familiarize yourself with the Mutual of Omaha CareAdvantage Plans and Benefits that are outlined in the Market Overview tear-sheets.  These can be found in Forms & Material on Sales Professional Access (SPA) mutualofomaha.com/broker
  • Organize your client information and reestablish contact if it has been a while
  • Pre-order supplies as they become available
  1. Stay Organized– Make the most of the 54-day AEP period.
  • Plan your work then work your plan
  • Keep track of appointments – it’s easy to get overextended during AEP
  • Make sure you have enough supplies on hand to cover appointments for the upcoming two weeks; or place an order to refresh your supplies.
  • Make use of electronic applications to avoid errors and speed up the enrollment process
  1. Post AEP– Now is the time to take a moment to relax – but just a moment
  • Organize your AEP book of business into a single tracking tool
  • Make yourself a Customer Relationship Manager by keeping in touch with beneficiaries to ensure they understand their benefits and how to use them
  • Watch for other enrollment period opportunities
  • Review your commission statements

AEP is just around the corner.  Are you ready?

Not appointed to sell Mutual of Omaha Medicare Advantage plans? Request details here

Note The plan information described are pending CMS approval and subject to change. Not intended for use as marketing material.  Do not distribute reproduce, edit or delete any portion of this document without the express permission of Omaha Health Insurance Company, Mutual of Omaha Medicare Advantage Company and Medicare Advantage Insurance


Navigating the MA Product Training Site
Ready to Sell Guidelines


Not appointed to sell Mutual of Omaha Medicare Advantage plans? 
Request details here

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Annual Enrollment Period, Medicare Advantage, Part D, AEP, mutual of omaha

7 Tips on How to Cross-Sell Insurance

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Aug 21, 2019 @ 12:16 PM


Cross-selling is an ideal way to generate more revenue for your insurance agency without starting from scratch.

You can build from the book of business you already have and your current client relationships. When done right, your cross-selling isn’t a pitch for more money from your clients.

It’s about adding value and delivering solutions to the insurance-related challenges your customers are facing. Below we've put together insurance cross-selling tips.

Here are seven tips to further your cross-selling efforts:

  1. Focus on the relationship

According to Gartner, an information technology research and advisory firm, 80% of your future revenue will come from 20% of your existing customer base.

Look at your outreach to current customers as another way to enhance your relationships with them – not just as an opportunity to sell more products.

Review your clients and their risks; ask yourself if you have a potential solution to address their needs. Frame yourself as offering total asset protection – from personal health to employee benefits, property risks, life insurance, and more.

  1. Know your clients

To address your clients’ needs, it’s important to know what’s happening in their lives. That includes marriage (or divorce), birth or adoption of new children, sending a son, daughter, or grandchild to college, and planning for or entry into retirement.

By building rapport with your clients, you’re able to establish stronger relationships – and create an opportunity for future cross selling.

  1. Slice and dice the data

Analyze your customers’ data as it compares to information for customers of similar age, gender, ZIP Code, etc. You may find you’re able to cross-sell based on profile information that is readily available to you.

  1. Make it a process

Just as you use systems for lead prospecting, you can do the same for cross selling. Meet with your customers regularly to review their full financial and insurance needs. You’ll find changes in their lives often present natural opportunities for you to cross sell.

  1. Use email marketing

Many, if not most, of your email subscribers are probably current clients. Use email to stay in touch with them and build awareness of lesser-known lines of insurance like identity theft coverage (often attached to homeowners or renters insurance), short term health (to ensure medical coverage between jobs), or business interruption insurance (to keep a business running in the event of a principal’s death or disability), to name just a few.

Communicate your value to prospects and customers as an ongoing consultant for their changing needs. It can often lead to more referrals, too.

You can build out automated email campaigns based on a particular behavior that makes your customers a candidate for cross sell.

This ties back to the idea of knowing your clients. In 1970, the average age for a first-time mother was 21.4 years.

NPR reported in January 2016 that the mean age has risen to 26.3 years. If you have clients in their 20s, 30s, and 40, they may be candidates for parenthood – and more insurance after the birth or adoption of a baby.

  1. Don’t give up after one shot

Cross-sale attempts don’t always work the first time you bring it up with your clients, or the second time. Although they may not happen this year, they could happen next year. Always be cross selling.

But always do it in the best interests of your clients. If you come across as just trying to get more money (and not helping your clients), it can undermine your relationship.

  1. Prospect during the sale

When gathering information in your initial contact, ask more questions about your prospect’s or client’s current insurance policies and needs. Understanding their situation and circumstances will help you cross sell more in the future.

Cross-selling can really help you build your insurance business. Get started today and watch your revenue grow!

If you would like some advice or effective sales scripts to help in your efforts, give us a call at 800-998-7715.

Source: https://hub.quotit.com/blog/seven-insurance-cross-selling-tips

Image: Canva

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare, cross selling

30 Policy Goals for Medicare’s Future

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Aug 13, 2019 @ 03:47 PM

The Future of Medicare Blog Pic

 30 Policy Goals for Medicare’s Future

Thinking ahead to the next 30 years, it’s critically important to broadly modernize benefits in both Original Medicare and private Medicare plans. At the same time, it’s essential to pursue changes that improve how 60+ million people with Medicare navigate their coverage on a daily basis. In no particular order, here are our evolving 30 policy goals for Medicare’s future.

1. Make Prescription Drugs More Affordable

Medicare Rights supports efforts to meaningfully reduce drug prices and lower costs for both people with Medicare and the program as a whole. Potentially effective strategies include allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, increasing pricing transparency and accountability throughout the supply chain, and imposing limits on beneficiary out-of-pocket spending. Changes to the current system must be carefully considered and only adopted if they do not threaten to undermine beneficiary protections or access to medications, such as by weakening the protected classes or introducing additional, inappropriate utilization management strategies.

2. Allow Open Enrollment, Guaranteed Issue, and Community Rating in Medigap for All People with Medicare

Though Medigaps help a growing number of people with Original Medicare afford needed care, not everyone is eligible to buy the plans, and most are only guaranteed the right to do so during very limited time frames. Congress must ensure that all beneficiaries have access to affordable, high-quality Medigap policies as well as the opportunity to re-evaluate their coverage choices as their needs change. This includes extending the same federal Medigap protections to beneficiaries under 65 as those provided to beneficiaries over 65 and providing for open enrollment, guaranteed issue, and community rating of Medigap for all people with Medicare.

3. Add a Standard Medicare Out-Of-Pocket Maximum for Beneficiary Cost Sharing

Original Medicare and Part D have no out-of-pocket maximums, exposing beneficiaries to limitless financial risk. While Medicare Advantage (MA) plans do include an out-of-pocket maximum in their benefit packages, this threshold is too high—permitting costs up to $6,700 in 2019. Congress should establish a standardized, affordable, out-of-pocket maximum for Original Medicare, MA, and Part D. To both lower costs for beneficiaries and the system, this change must be coupled with efforts address the underlying problem of high drug prices.

4. Eliminate the Observation Status Penalty

Medicare beneficiaries who need post-hospital care in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) may be forced to pay out-of-pocket for this care when the hospital chooses to assign them to “observation status” instead of admitting them as an inpatient. Congress should reevaluate the three-day hospital stay requirement, and all days in the hospital should count toward coverage for needed SNF care.

5. Ease Access to Medicare Low-income Assistance Programs

Medicare’s low-income assistance programs (Medicare Savings Programs and Part D’s Extra Help) were established to help low-income seniors and people with disabilities afford needed medicines. But today, complex, bureaucratic application processes and outdated eligibility thresholds unnecessarily limit participation. These policies must be modernized to reflect financial realities and to align with reforms made elsewhere in the health care system. Accordingly, Congress should ease or eliminate the asset tests for Medicare low-income assistance programs; lower and align eligibility thresholds; and integrate the programs’ application processes, qualifying criteria, and administration.

6. Address the Medicare Part D “Cliff”

Absent congressional action, an Affordable Care Act provision slowing the growth of the Part D catastrophic coverage threshold will expire after 2019. As a result, Medicare Part D enrollees with high drug costs will have to pay much more out of pocket next year, when the catastrophic coverage threshold increases from $5,100 in 2019 to $6,350 in 2020. Congress must take steps to protect beneficiaries from these higher costs.

7. Require all States to Enter Part A Buy-in Agreements

Part A Buy-in agreements are contracts between state Medicaid offices and the Social Security Administration that allow eligible individuals with very low incomes and limited assets to enroll in Medicare outside of standard enrollment periods. Not only are Buy-in agreements helpful to beneficiaries who might otherwise face higher costs and gaps in coverage, they reduce state Medicaid costs, decrease costly reliance on emergency room care, and minimize future medical expenses by ensuring that those eligible for Medicare are enrolled in the program. Congress should require all states to enter into Part A Buy-in agreements.

8. Eliminate the Two-year Medicare Waiting Period for People with Disabilities

In 1972, Congress granted Medicare benefits to people receiving Social Security disability benefits. This historic step forward was marred by an arbitrary limit, requiring that people with disabilities wait a full two years before gaining access to needed coverage. This provision was included merely to cut costs. Now, people with disabilities are at risk of lacking coverage as they wait for Medicare eligibility. They are forced to navigate two benefit start dates and obtain temporary coverage during this gap. Congress should eliminate this outdated, complicated, and confusing waiting period and allow people with disabilities access to Medicare at the same time they receive their disability benefits.

9. Ensure Parity in Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage

Medicare Rights urges Congress to ensure equity between Medicare Advantage (MA) and Original Medicare, including both the scope of services provided and programmatic spending. This includes guaranteeing equal access to all services, such as supplemental benefits, implementing reforms that will eliminate overpayments to MA plans, and halting abuses of patient categorization rules—known as “upcoding”—that some health plans engage in to secure unacceptably high payments.

10. Provide Medicare Coverage for More Home Health and Long-term Care Services

Medicare (including Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage) does not cover many long-term services and supports. And it covers help with activities of daily living, like eating and bathing, only in very limited circumstances. Reflecting broad national trends, many callers to the Medicare Rights national helpline seek help paying for this care. Congress must modernize the Medicare program to meet this growing need by expanding coverage for services that allow beneficiaries to remain in their homes and for family caregiver supports, like respite care and adult day health care, and by filling existing coverage gaps, such as eliminating the requirement that Medicare beneficiaries need skilled care and be homebound to qualify for home health coverage, as well as the “use in the home” limitation on DME.

11. Strengthen Non-Medicare Home and Community-Based Services

Because Medicare generally does not cover many home and community-based services (HCBS) and long-term services and supports (LTSS), older adults and people with disabilities rely on a constellation of other programs to fully participate in their communities, including Medicaid and the Older American’s Act (OAA). Accordingly—while developing alternative, longer-term LTSS financing solutions—Congress must ensure these programs are up to the task. This includes best positioning Medicaid to serve beneficiaries in the least restrictive, most appropriate setting by expanding the Independence at Home demonstration, reauthorizing the Balancing Incentive Program, and making both the Money Follows the Person program and the HCBS spousal impoverishment protections permanent. At the same time, Congress must adequately fund OAA and other programs that help older adults and people with disabilities maintain their health and independence.

12. Support Family Caregivers and Strengthen the Health Care Workforce

The nation’s fragmented LTSS system means that people with Medicare who desire to age in the community often largely rely on unpaid family caregivers and undervalued home care workers to do so. Congress must better support these families and paid workers, including by creating federal paid family and medical leave that recognizes caring for relatives of all ages, adequately funding annually appropriated HCBS and caregiver support programs, and recruiting and retaining a robust home care workforce.

13. Address the Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. While comprehensively addressing the root causes of and health outcomes associated with social determinants of health is a complex, long-term endeavor, there are steps policymakers can take today to more holistically meet the needs of people with Medicare. We encourage policymakers to ensure that effective approaches are equally available to all beneficiaries.

14. Cover Oral Health Care

Despite the wealth of evidence that oral health is related to physical health, Medicare excludes routine dental care from coverage. While some Medicare Advantage plans may offer dental benefits, this coverage is often limited and can be inconsistent both across plans and from year to year. To address this unmet need, Congress must add a comprehensive oral health benefit to Part B. To best reflect the evidence base and align with the scope of current Medicare coverage, this benefit should be structured to include both medically necessary procedures as well as preventive care, and subject to the same cost sharing rules as other Part B services.

15. Cover Vision and Hearing Care

Lack of hearing coverage can increase the risk of dementia and contribute to social isolation, which can in turn heighten one’s risk for depression and chronic illness. Similarly, uncorrected vision acuity loss can also cause other, significant health issues and adversely affect quality of life. Despite these troubling—and costly—consequences, Medicare does not cover many routine vision or hearing care needs. While some Medicare Advantage (MA) plans may offer supplementary vision or audiology coverage, quality and cost vary considerably from plan to plan. The absence of meaningful coverage for these basic health needs represents a stark gap in coverage for older adults and people with disabilities. Congress should add standardized, high-quality, affordable vision and hearing benefits to Original Medicare and MA plans.

16. Provide Mental Health Parity in Medicare

Medicare is not fully subject to the federal law requiring equivalent coverage for mental and physical health conditions. As a result, unequal treatment remains. For instance, Medicare caps coverage for care at inpatient psychiatric hospitals at 190 days over a beneficiary’s lifetime. This same limit does not apply to inpatient psychiatric care received at non-specialized facilities, or for non-psychiatric care. Congress should eliminate this and other barriers to care, and ensure the full range of mental health services providers are eligible for Medicare reimbursement.

17. Expand Access to Telehealth

When thoughtfully designed and carefully implemented, telehealth can facilitate cost-effective care delivery. While administrative and legislative telehealth expansions tend to focus on increasing access within Medicare Advantage, we encourage policymakers to pursue parity with Original Medicare, so that all beneficiaries can access these services. Policymakers must also ensure robust consumer protections are in place before broadening telehealth options and require plans and providers to demonstrate how they intend to address inequalities in access to the internet and devices so that telehealth benefits are available to all enrollees.

18. Pass the BENES Act

Complex Medicare enrollment rules and lack of notification cause tens of thousands of older adults and people with disabilities to face lifetime penalties, coverage gaps, and other harmful consequences. The Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (S. 1280/H.R. 2477) would help people avoid making these costly errors by modernizing the Part B enrollment process. It would ensure that people approaching Medicare eligibility receive clear and timely information about Medicare Part B enrollment rules, simplify Part B enrollment periods, and improve transitions to Medicare by eliminating needless gaps in coverage.

19. Expand Special Enrollment Period (SEP) Rights

More people new to Medicare should have access to a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), allowing them to more easily enroll in Medicare after their existing coverage ends. Currently, federal law only grants a SEP to individuals with employer-sponsored group coverage and for eight months after that coverage ends. Making SEPs more widely available would help prevent enrollment errors that often result when people transition to Medicare from other, non-employer coverage. Medicare Rights supports making SEPs available to people with pre-Medicare coverage other than employer-sponsored group health plans, including COBRA, VA coverage, retiree insurance, and Marketplace plans.

20. Strengthen Equitable Relief

Limited avenues for relief are available to those who make mistakes when enrolling in Medicare. Specifically, beneficiaries facing lifetime penalties and gaps in coverage can only remedy their situation if they can prove that an agent of the federal government misinformed them about enrollment rules. Yet many people turn to their employer or health plan—not a federal agency—when transitioning to Medicare. To provide adequate recourse for those who make honest enrollment mistakes, Congress should expand equitable relief to include misinformation from non-federal sources, such as employers, employer-sponsored or individual market health plans, and insurance brokers.

21. Reduce or Eliminate the Part B Lifetime Late Enrollment Penalty

Erroneously delaying Medicare Part B can have significant consequences—including a lifetime premium penalty. Designed to encourage enrollment when first eligible, this late enrollment penalty is also imposed on those who simply make a mistake. For as long as they have Medicare, these individuals will pay the regular monthly Part B premium plus an additional 10 percent for each year they delayed signing up. While it is important that a penalty appropriately deter anyone who might actively seek to avoid Medicare enrollment, it must not punish those who make honest mistakes. Congress should enact policies to reduce or eliminate lifetime premium penalties for beneficiaries who were misinformed or uninformed about Medicare enrollment rules.

22. Consolidate and Standardize Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans

Selecting a Medicare Advantage (MA) or Part D plan is a daunting task for many. Alarmingly, only 13 percent of Medicare beneficiaries opt to reevaluate their coverage options year to year—despite annual changes to premiums, plan coverage rules, and cost-sharing. This decision-making process is likely to become even more difficult, as plans adopt new flexibilities around uniformity and benefit design. Congress should enact legislation to consolidate MA and Part D plan choices and standardize options in order to facilitate informed beneficiary decision-making.

23. Improve Decision-Making Tools

Policymakers must ensure that people with Medicare have access to accurate, actionable, personalized information they need to make optimal coverage decisions, both initially and annually. This includes improving Medicare Plan Finder—the federal government’s primary enrollment tool—to be more accurate complete, and easy to use. Similarly, Medicare Advantage and Part D plans should be required to provide a tailored Annual Notice of Change to all enrollees. This notice should be based on claims data and clearly describe how the plan will change in the coming year.

24. Prohibit Medicare Advantage Plans from Dropping Doctors Mid-year without Cause

Beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans should be able to count on stability in their plan networks and the knowledge that their doctors will be there when they need them. Congress should pass legislation that prohibits MA plans from dropping doctors without cause in the middle of the plan year and strengthens beneficiary notice regarding provider network changes.

25. Adequately Fund Medicare Outreach Programs

Medicare State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) counselors—most of whom are highly-trained volunteers—provide one-on-one, unbiased, personalized counseling to Medicare beneficiaries, helping them understand their rights and coverage options. And through the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), SHIPs, Area Agencies on Aging, and Aging and Disability Resource Centers help low-income Medicare beneficiaries access programs that make their health care and prescription drugs affordable. Congress should adequately fund these programs and make MIPPA permanent in order to better meet current and future needs.

26. Improve Pharmacy Counter Communications with Beneficiaries

Knowing why a prescription drug is denied at the pharmacy counter is critical to helping beneficiaries determine their next steps—whether it is working with their physician to secure an alternative or appealing for coverage from their Part D plan. All Part D plans should be required to provide an individually tailored denial notice at the pharmacy counter, explaining why the prescription cannot be filled. Further, this notice should count as a coverage determination—eliminating a needless step in the appeals process for Medicare beneficiaries.

27. Improve Medicare Advantage and Part D Denial Notices

Among the most common calls to the Medicare Rights helpline are those from beneficiaries who were denied access to a health care service or prescription medication and don’t know how to proceed. Congress should require CMS to ensure Medicare Advantage and Part D plan denial notices include the correct information (including clinical content), are available in languages other than English, and are accessible to diverse health literacy levels.

28. Allow Independent Redeterminations

The first level of appeal following a plan’s initial decision must be a truly independent and good-faith effort to determine coverage eligibility. This would better ensure that plans are accurately effectuating their coverage determination decisions. Congress should pass legislation requiring that a plan’s initial coverage decision be reviewed by an independent entity, rather than the plan itself. In addition, overturned decisions must trigger a review of the file and necessary employee training.

29. Improve Transparency, Data Collection, and Plan Oversight

All Part D appeals conversations are hampered by limited data and transparency in the process. Beneficiaries and advocates alike can struggle not only to track an individual’s specific claims, but also plans’ or system-wide patterns that may be tied to hundreds of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries improperly going without their needed medication. Further, better data could lead to better solutions, as a more transparent system will lend itself to targeted recommendations and self-correction. Congress should require CMS to conduct and make publicly available a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the Part D appeals process. In part, this analysis should include data collection on specialty tier medications and should extend to all levels of appeals, from plans through the Medicare Appeals Council and federal court.

30. Allow Appeals on the Part D Specialty Tier

When medically necessary, people with Part D have the right to request that their plan allow them to pay less for high-cost medications when a similar, lower-cost medicine is available on their plan’s formulary—this is known as a tiering exception. Unfairly, these same rights are not granted to beneficiaries whose prescription drugs are placed on the plan’s specialty tier, where cost-sharing can be exorbitant. Congress should pass legislation allowing Medicare beneficiaries the right to a tiering exception for specialty tier medications.

Source: https://www.medicarerights.org/policy/30goals

Image: Canva

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare

Aetna Medicare Retail Program

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Aug 12, 2019 @ 01:34 PM

Aetna Retail blog

 

Aetna has just released details on their 2020 retail program and you do not want to miss out on this exciting opportunity. Below are some highlights.

Why should I participate?

  • Access to high traffic retail locations that can drive leads and sales
  • Program requirements that are more relaxed than industry norms
  • Cost efficient bundles that are competitively priced
  • Agents have the opportunity for a $100 MMS credit

How much does it cost?

  • CVS location will cost $275
  • All other retail locations will cost $175

Request details today and one of our marketing representatives with send you all the details on how to participate.

 

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, aetna, Retail Program

2020 AHIP and Carrier Certifications: Tips and Reminders

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Aug 12, 2019 @ 11:03 AM

2020 AHIP and Carrier Certifications: Tips and Reminders

Prepare. 2020 AHIP and Carrier Certifications take time and brain power. It's a good idea to set aside a sufficient amount of time and energy to thoroughly comprehend and complete the required training.

Pace yourself. Rushing though certifications can greatly hinder you from learning essential information. It can also decrease the likeliness of passing the course. Taking small breaks between sections is an effective way to pace yourself throughout the training.

Pay attention. There are oftentimes important updates within the certification training. It is imperative that agents grasp the information being shared. These certifications also serve as excellent refreshers. Take advantage of the materials provided and challenge yourself to learn the information rather than simply pass the tests. 

Don't procrastinate! These certifications are not only helpful to you as an agent, but most are required for agents to complete in order to sell the products. The longer you wait, the more opportunities you'll miss out on.

Remember! Do not write any new business until you receive the carrier's "Ready to Sell" notification.

For more information regarding AHIP's Medicare Course, and a discount for the AHIP certification,visit our AHIP Information page

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D

How to decide what to write on your Insurance blog

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Fri, Aug 09, 2019 @ 01:30 PM



How to decide what to write on your Insurance blog
(Using Keyword research to find what your customers are looking for)

This is a question we get regularly when talking to agents about using their blog or social media to grow their business online.

Luckily, there is a process that takes a lot of the mystery out of it.

In this article, I’ll assume you don’t want to be an expert but just want actionable tips you can quickly put to use to get a step ahead of where you are today, and where many of your competitors are.


How do you know what your customers are looking for?

Well, in case you haven’t yet, you could ask them. I think that’s a great starting point, just don’t stop there.

Next, begin by thinking of your customers and the problems they face, as well as the questions they have when deciding to buy your product or service. Those will always be ideas that can guide you, but you can dig deeper.

If you don’t know about keyword research yet, it may be time to learn a little about it.(I expand on this below) It’s just a small component of SEO(Search Engine Optimization), but it’s a good place to start getting found online and can bring big returns. Think of it as the low hanging fruit of SEO.

It’s fairly easy to apply and there are free keyword research tools available. It’s one of the easiest and best things you can do to help your business online until you either beef up your digital marketing skills, or hire an expert to take you further.

Whether you have something specific you want to write about or not, here’s how to find out what your customers are looking for online.

Open up a Google search page and type in words, phrases or questions you think your customers might have into google, like – “how to choose a life insurance policy”, and hit search. Notice that Google will try to finish your sentences.

It does that because it knows what people are searching for and is trying to help you. It may not guess your exact term but just be aware of those suggestions for now.

Look at the bottom the page in the “Searches related to..” section. That is a list of terms of similar queries people have searched for previously. That’s a very important resource. Google is giving you suggestions based on what you, and others, are looking for.

With this as a basic setup, let’s get a little more detailed and do some keyword research.

Simple, FREE tools to help you write relevant articles and social posts

Let’s start with some basic definitions just to clarify.

keyword is a word that describes the content on your page or post best. It's the search term that you want to rank for with a certain web page or blog.

Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they're closer to a point-of-purchase. These are the terms we will work with most that will bring the quickest results.

With a keyword search tool you can see the volume of any term. Meaning, you can see how many people per month are actually searching for that term. If they’re not, then your information may not be what your customers are looking for, even though you may think it is.

Download a FREE search browser tool like SEO Quake, or Keywords Everywhere. Even better, install them both. If you don't want to install a browser tool then try a tool like Ubersuggest. Another great free keyword tool that is indispensable when doing keyword research, it just won't be live in your search browser. I suggest you try them all, and more, and find what works best for you.

Once installed, and you search for a term in Google, you will see information beneath the search field at the top of the page (from SEO Quake) and the boxes on the right side of the page that were not there before, from (Keywords Everywhere).

keyword example

In the screenshot above, note the information provided for the keywords - Volume, CPC(cost per click), and Competition.  If you look below past the paid ads(the results with the little green Ad box next to them), you will find the organic search results are now numbered. This makes it easy to locate the organic search terms, and make it easier to tell what rank a search result is as you scroll through.

What you first need to pay attention to is the Volume. This is the monthly queries for the term you searched for. If there is 0, then that’s not something people are looking for. The higher the volume the more people are searching for it.

Every time you search for something it will tell you how many people are looking for that exact term per month. This is Golden Information. And, did I mention it’s FREE??

Now, this doesn’t mean that when you find a term with a volume of 100,000/month you should try to write an article to try and rank for it. With that much competition it will be way too competitive. (More on this below)

If your website isn’t already ranking #1 for a lot of key words, or you are just starting writing content for your site, you will want to start with keywords with smaller volumes. In general, less than a thousand. You will likely see the best result from searches with less than a few hundred in volume

If you see a keyword you really think is relevant but is way too competitive, just find a long tail version of that keyword with smaller volume. It takes time for your site to build the authority needed to rank for the more competitive terms.

What to look for

Search for a term in Google until you find one with a reasonable volume. Then take a look at the top 3-5 results Google shows you.

Is the content in these articles the same as what you intended for your search? If so, then look at the volume and the companies on the first results page. Are they well known, influential companies,? If so, you want to keep searching similar long tail keywords until you find a comfort zone you can compete in.

By that I mean – Instead of searching for “life insurance”-volume 368,000, search for “how to choose a life insurance policy”- volume 390. This is a long tail keyword that we discussed above and will usually have a much smaller volume, and therefore, smaller competition.

It is also much more specific. So, someone searching this term is much closer to making a buying decision than the larger volume term. These are the ideal terms you are looking for. The “People Also Search For” box will also be helpful here.

In general, when searching keywords, look to find results from other companies similar to yours. That’s when you know you’re in the right neighborhood. Continue to use Google’s suggestions and trying new long tail keywords and start a list of what terms you could write about where the volume and competition is reasonable.

Bear in mind, this is a simplification of SEO and how search engines work, but if you aren’t applying these tactics already, then starting with these simple steps will get you started on the road to growing your organic traffic.

And don’t forget to have a good call to action somewhere within the article. After you've educated your prospective clients, let them fill out a form asking for either a phone number or email, and let them know that you are there to help them with any questions they may have. 

Key Takeaway

Ok, this can get a bit dry so let’s put it all together. Doing some simple keyword research can tell you not only what people are looking for, but what google is serving up for each term and who the competition is.

The point of this exercise is, you don’t have to guess what people want to read about. Start searching for what your customers may be interested in, and let the volume of searches and google suggestions be your guide. It’s not infallible, but it is a great start.

Take a good look at the first couple articles. Google put them there because they have content that it thought was the best of the best. Read through and get an understanding of what they did, and do it even better. Add some more detail, take pieces of the top 3 or 5 articles and make a more complete article.

You’re not trying to copy, just getting an idea on what made those articles great, in Googles eyes, so you can provide even more value to your prospective clients.

It takes time for articles to rank on the first page, but when they do, they will deliver for you day after day. 

If you want organic traffic from search engines, and you should, then you need to know what people are searching for. Nevertheless, that does not mean you should never write about something that has no search volume.

You know your business best. If you know that some information is important but just doesn’t have a lot of volume, according to google, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be written. You always need to use your expertise and discernment before making a decision.

Writing and posting content is a lot like investing. The results can be slow at first, but over time it will compound and really start to add up. Hopefully you see your business as a marathon and not a sprint.

Take the time to plant those seeds today. You'll be glad you did.

Best of luck.

Additional Updates:
Social Media Marketing For Insurance Agents
14 Ways To Generate Medicare Leads
Online Enrollment Tool For Medicare Advantage
An Easier Way To Manage Your Business - Agent Xcelerator

Mutual of Omaha: New Med Supp Benefit – Mutually Well

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Aug 07, 2019 @ 03:28 PM

MOO LOGO

Mutually Well Fitness and Wellness Benefit

Mutual of Omaha is excited to announce a new benefit for our Medicare supplement policyholders coming soon. We have partnered with Tivity Health to provide our customers with a comprehensive fitness and wellness offering called Mutually Well. This new benefit allows an individual to tailor a fitness and wellness plan to meet their needs.

Customers will have access to:

  • Discounts of up to 30% on healthy living products and services from 20,000+ specialists. Examples of discounted services are chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy and nutritional programs
  • Flexible, budget friendly fitness program with access to 10,000+ fitness locations with no enrollment fee or contracts for a low cost of $25.00 a month
  • Free 30-day walking program and personalized weekly planning for their nutrition, fitness and wellness needs

A press release will be sent in a couple of weeks announcing this new benefit, and effective October 1, our Medicare supplement policyholders will have access to begin using this great benefit. Watch for more detailed information and additional resources that will be provided as we get closer to launch.

Not appointing with Mutual of Omaha? Request details here

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement

State of Medicare Advantage

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Aug 06, 2019 @ 01:09 PM

 

Every day 10,000 seniors age into Medicare.

According to the US Census Bureau, the number of Americans over age 65 is projected to double over the next four decades, growing from nearly 48 million seniors today to about 98 million by 2060.1

 

By 2030, the entire baby boom generation will be older than age 65, meaning one in five U.S. residents will be over 65. In 2035, just five years later, roughly 78 million Americans will be over age 65.2

Not only is the aging population growing but older adults are also living longer, and many are living with serious chronic conditions. 67% of Medicare beneficiaries have two or more chronic conditions. Nearly all health costs are driven by patients with chronic conditions, for whom the federal government is the dominant payer. Individuals with multiple chronic conditions account for 94% of Medicare spending.3

As health care costs continue to increase and consumer costs rise, there is an urgency to improve quality and manage costs. The future of Medicare is the move away from traditional fee-for-service (FFS) models, which reimburse care based on volume of services provided. Medicare Advantage instead rewards the value of health outcomes delivered, which is essential to achieve better outcomes and better costs. Medicare Advantage, the modern, private-public option, is the future of Medicare.3

Medicare Advantage is leading the innovative use of value-based care offering beneficiaries the choice of an integrated care plan, with a focus on patient-centered primary care, early intervention, and care coordination. It means greater simplicity, affordability, and enhanced benefits to improve health and well-being for the millions of individuals.

Today, one in three Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, benefiting from a higher quality of care at lower consumer costs.4


Source: https://www.bettermedicarealliance.org/about-medicare-advantage/state-medicare-advantage

Image: Canva

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D

Mutual of Omaha: New Medicare Supplement Release - Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Aug 06, 2019 @ 11:27 AM

 

Mutual of Omaha has some exciting new opportunities with the release of a new Medicare Supplement in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Check out the below details for more information.

Alabama

Converting from Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company to Omaha Insurance Company

  • The paper application and outline of coverage are attached
  • Producers can start taking paper apps in Alabama on August 5th, with an application sign date of August 5th or later; however, as we have system updates to install later this month, the soonest applications can issue is August 23rd
  • Orders for paper applications may be placed starting today by calling our Sales Support team at 1-800-693-6083
  • Paper applications and outlines of coverage can be downloaded from our agent portal Sales Professional Access on August 7th
  • The e-Application will be available on August 23rd
  • The household discount is 12%
  • Commissions are not changing. New schedules will be available on Sales Professional Access soon 
  • Alabama is included in our Q3 Med supp Broker Bonus program
  • As of September 30, 2019, we will no longer accept Mutual of Omaha Medicare supplement apps in Alabama    
  • An official announcement regarding this new product launch will be in Express on August 7th

Mississippi

Converting from Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company to United World Life Insurance Company

  • The paper application and outline of coverage are attached
  • Producers can start taking paper apps in Mississippi on August 5th, with an application sign date of August 5th or later; however, as we have system updates to install later this month, the soonest applications can issue is August 23rd
  • Orders for paper applications may be placed starting today by calling our Sales Support team at 1-800-693-6083
  • Paper applications and outlines of coverage can be downloaded from our agent portal Sales Professional Access on August 7th
  • The e-Application will be available on August 23rd
  • The household discount is 12%
  • Commissions are not changing. New schedules will be available on Sales Professional Access soon 
  • Mississippi is included in our Q3 Med supp Broker Bonus program
  • As of September 30, 2019, we will no longer accept Mutual of Omaha Medicare supplement apps in Mississippi    
  • An official announcement regarding this new product launch will be in Express on August 7th

Tennessee

Converting from Omaha Insurance Company to United World Life Insurance Company

  • The paper application and outline of coverage are attached
  • Producers can start taking paper apps in Tennessee on August 5th, with an application sign date of August 5th or later; however, as we have system updates to install later this month, the soonest applications can issue is August 23rd
  • Orders for paper applications may be placed starting today by calling our Sales Support team at 1-800-693-6083
  • Paper applications and outlines of coverage can be downloaded from our agent portal Sales Professional Access on August 7th
  • The e-Application will be available on August 23rd
  • The household discount is 12%
  • Commissions are not changing. New schedules will be available on Sales Professional Access soon 
  • Tennessee is included in our Q3 Med supp Broker Bonus program
  • As of September 30, 2019, we will no longer accept Mutual of Omaha Medicare supplement apps in Tennessee    
  • An official announcement regarding this new product launch will be in Express on August 7th

Not appointing with Mutual of Omaha? Request details here

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement

Humana's Medicare Advantage Enrollment Soars

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Aug 05, 2019 @ 04:15 PM


 

Humana increased its full-year projections for Medicare Advantage growth to a “range of 480,000 to 500,00 members,” or 16% growth for 2019. That compares to a previous range of 415,000 to 440,000, the insurer reported.

Humana is the latest health insurer to tout solid profits thanks in part to seniors flocking to Medicare Advantage. Centene, WellCare Health Plans, UnitedHealth Group and Anthem have already reported record Medicare Advantage enrollment as well and Cigna will release its updated second-quarter figures on Thursday.

Medicare Advantage plans contract with the federal government to provide extra benefits and services to seniors, such as disease management and nurse help hotlines, with some even providing vision and dental care and wellness programs. And the federal government has changed rules to allow private health insurers to offer more supplemental benefits in Medicare Advantage plans they sell.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2019/07/31/as-democrats-debate-humana-sees-record-medicare-advantage-growth/#229eed0e12eb

 
Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Humana, Medicare Advantage, Medicare

New Report Examines Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefit Policies

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Aug 05, 2019 @ 03:32 PM

 

A new report from the AARP Public Policy Institute examines changes to Medicare Advantage (MA) supplemental benefit policies and the implications for people with Medicare.
 
MA plans have long been able to offer benefits beyond what is required by law. However, the Balanced Budget Act of 2018 and recent regulatory decisions, including those in the 2019 Part C and D final rule and the Final Call Letter for 2019, have greatly increased this authority.
 
Among the reforms with significant consequences for consumers are those that expand the array of benefits MA plans can offer and grant the insurers more latitude to design and target those packages.

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D

Medicare Plan Finder Being Updated

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Aug 05, 2019 @ 03:10 PM

 

Process is too complex for beneficiaries to use it effectively

The CMS is planning to launch updates to its Medicare Plan Finder this month after a report from a government watchdog flagged significant usability concerns with the tool. The GAO analyzed the experience of comparing plans on MPF and found 58% of beneficiaries described the process as “difficult” while just 13% of beneficiaries said it was easy. “These selections can be difficult due to the Medicare program’s complexity, and can have important implications for beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs and access to providers,” the GAO said. This can limit a beneficiary’s ability to compare their options in traditional Medicare fully with Medicare Advantage plans, according to the report. The tool also lacks information on provider networks offered in M/A plans, which can also confuse the selection process, since it requires a beneficiary to visit individual plan websites to find that information.

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D

Answers to Everything Medicare

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Aug 05, 2019 @ 02:14 PM

 

In its annual Data Book report, MedPac’s exhaustive 206-page report on All Things Medicare addresses pretty much anything and everything you ever wanted to know about Medicare. Such as: the Congressional Budget Office projects nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries (47%) will be in a Medicare Advantage plan by 2029; Medicare paid M/A plans about $230 billion in 2018 to cover Part A and Part B services for M/A enrollees; the number of M/A plans from which beneficiaries may choose in 2019 is higher than at any time since 2012; in 2019, beneficiaries may choose from an average of 23 M/A plans operating in their county.

Medicare Advantage Enrollment: 2003-2019


In 2017, 88% of Beneficiaries Were Enrolled in Part D

 

In 2017, more than three-quarters of Medicare beneficiaries either signed up for Part D plans or had prescription drug coverage through employer-sponsored plans. Other enrollees in stand-alone PDPs accounted for 30% of all Medicare beneficiaries. Another 22% of beneficiaries were enrolled in MA–PDs and did not receive low-income subsidies.

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D

Medicare In The Future

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Aug 05, 2019 @ 01:58 PM


What will the population of America look like in 2050 – and how will that affect the cost of Medicare? That’s one of the questions Politico looked at
in a recent article by Tucker Doherty, which described the “Medicare time bomb” coming, with 7 charts.

One chart, showing expected age distribution by year according to U.S. Census estimates, shows 16% of the population, 52+ million people, eligible for Medicare. By 2050, estimates are that 23.6% of the population will be of Medicare-age, at more than 98 million people.

But the real distribution change is at the very top, of the oldest Americans. While 65-years-old or older Americans will grow by 67% from now until 2050, 85-years-old or older Americans will grow by an astronomical 189%.

And with more Americans living longer, than older group will make up for a large percentage of overall Medicare spending. As we’ve previously written about, 74% of Medicare spending goes to beneficiaries with four or more chronic conditions. According to politico, “by age 85, nearly 1-in-4 has more than five chronic conditions.”

Communication can help – a recent Healthmine survey found that 46% of Medicare members receive no communication from their plans about their chronic condition, while 19% report communication occurring just once per year. Plans communicating more with their members can help control costs and prevent further expensive conditions from getting worse.

“The combination of all of these factors has set the program on a path to dramatically expand as a share of the economy,” reports Politico’s Doherty. What plans and political leaders do in the near future will have major reverberating financial effects.

Source: https://www.healthmine.com/node/109

Image: Canva

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare

As Medicare population booms, MA plans eye growth opportunities

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Aug 01, 2019 @ 04:06 PM

As Medicare population booms, MA plans eye growth opportunities

 

Business is booming in Medicare Advantage, and many insurers say they have plans to grow M/A, says a new survey; 201 insurance executives who work with M/A plans found 92% were either growing or intended to grow their M/A business more quickly than traditional Medicare business lines. In 2019, 22 million people chose an M/A plan over traditional Medicare, which is about 34% of the total Medicare population. “It's a super competitive market, where you don’t have to hit that big of a critical mass number,” said Steve Krupa, CEO of HealthEdge. “If you have 10,000 to 20,000 members, you have a substantial revenue base.”

Source: https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payer/survey-as-medicare-population-booms-ma-plans-eye-growth-opportunities

Image: Canva

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare Advantage

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