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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries Will Again See a Jump in Supplemental Benefit Offerings in 2020

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Nov 25, 2019 @ 04:24 PM

Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Advantage

Recent Changes Add Complexity to Medicare’s Fall Open Enrollment Period

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Nov 25, 2019 @ 04:11 PM

Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Part D, OEP

CMS unveils plans to resolve Medicare overpayments

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Nov 18, 2019 @ 03:58 PM

Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Advantage

Medicare Open Enrollment "Half-Time" Snapshot: 84% of Those Selecting Medicare Advantage Choose Plans with $0 Premiums

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Nov 18, 2019 @ 03:44 PM

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Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Open Enrollment Period, 2020

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Prescription Drug Plans in 2020

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Nov 18, 2019 @ 02:57 PM

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Tags: Medicare Part D

MACRA: Plan Changes and Eligibility

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Fri, Nov 15, 2019 @ 12:45 PM

macra eligibility explained

MACRA - Plan
and Eligibility Changes 

Due to some recent confusion over plan changes and eligibility from the recent Medicare Access and CHIP Re authorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), we thought we would try to provide some clarity.

      • If a consumer is eligible for Medicare Part A prior to January 1st 2020, they will not lose eligibility to enroll into Plans C or F and may still purchase the plans in 2020 and beyond. Effectively, nothing changes for this group of Medicare beneficiaries.

      • Changes to MACRA will prohibit first dollar, out of pocket coverage of all claims on Plan F, High Deductible Plan F and Plan C, requiring *newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries to pay some of the cost of their medical care that was once covered entirely by one of these plans.

      • If a consumer is eligible for Medicare Part A starting January 1st 2020 or beyond, then they will not be eligible to enroll or purchase Plans C, F or HDF as an option for Medicare supplement plans. They will continue to have access to all other Medicare supplement plans.

      • For *newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries who can no longer purchase Plans C or Plan F in 2020, Plans D and Plan G will become the new “Guaranteed Issue” plans of choice.

        *Note: “Newly eligible” is defined as those who turn 65 (or otherwise qualify) on, or after, the law goes into effect, or who first become eligible for Medicare Part A after January 1st, 2020.

MACRA - Eligibility Chart 2

MACRA - Eligibility Chart 1

Information not applicable for all states

Keep it clear and simple

It’s understandable that there might be confusion over the changes. As an agent you will need to clarify and explain the changes to your clients, as well as what plans may be good alternatives in the absence of Plans C & F.

Plans D, G and N will likely move into favor that was once held by Plans C & F for these newly eligible beneficiaries going forward. Discuss the options with your clients and see what fits them best based on their unique situation.

As always, our marketers are here to help.


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Medicare Part B Premium to Rise 6.7%

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Nov 14, 2019 @ 02:13 PM

The average deductible for
Part A is slated to rise 3.2%, or $44, to $1,408 in 2020. About 99% of Medicare beneficiaries don’t pay premiums for Part A coverage because they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment. In September, the CMS announced premiums for Medicare Advantage will hit their lowest point in the last 13 years in 2020: average monthly M/A premiums are expected to decrease 14.4% from $26.87 in 2019 to $23 next year. The CMS is preparing to publish the official 2020 Medicare rate notices in the Federal Register Nov. 13. A preview of the Part A notice is available here, and a preview of the Part B notice is available here.


Clicking third-party links will open a new tab and will take you away from YourMedicare.com. YourMedicare.com, LLC does not control the linked sites’ content or link.


Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare, deductibles, 2020

Telehealth in Medicare Advantage: Policy Issues and Recommendations

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Nov 14, 2019 @ 11:29 AM

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Tags: Medicare Advantage, Telehealth

WellCare PDP 2020 Bank Draft Details

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Nov 14, 2019 @ 10:32 AM

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Tags: Medicare Advantage, PDP, WellCare, 2020

7 Ways to Grow Your Insurance Business

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Nov 14, 2019 @ 08:50 AM

businesss growth v2

7 Ways to Grow Your Insurance Business

As a small business owner you should always be on the lookout for inexpensive ways to grow your business.

Of course, what might not cost you in dollars, will cost you in time and effort.

But the right effort in the right places can pay off in spades.

Below are 7 ways to help grow your business. They aren't all that complicated, or expensive. They just aren't always used to their fullest effect.

Individually they are all important, but, used together they are a force multiplier that will amplify your chances to grow your business.

Section Links

 Find Your Unique Value
 Improve Your Communication Skills

 Create a Client Communication Strategy
 Leverage all Media Channels
 Continue to Learn
⍟ Create a Referral System
⍟ Take Time to Review and Evaluate

1. Find your unique value

Start with your WHY. Is there a bigger purpose to selling senior insurance products?

Do you want to help seniors find the best solutions to access medical services so they can better enjoy their golden years?

Do you have a personal experience that people can relate to?

Maybe you have a family member that had a hard time accessing health care as they got older, and now you want to help people avoid that situation.

Whatever your bigger picture is, put it into words and make sure it really captures WHY you do what you do.

Let that purpose define your business.

Use it to describe not just what you do but who you are. Avoid a business introduction that just says “I sell this or that product”.

People don’t really care what products you sell.

There are plenty of people selling those same products.

There are a number of competitors who may sell what you sell, but how many of your competitors have the same WHY as you?

This is a unique value that makes you stand out from your competitors.

Lead with your WHY statement and show them you care about helping them.

When they show interest, answer their questions from that perspective, tying in products that might help them.

“ People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it. ” 
- Simon Sinek

2. Improve your communication skills

It goes without saying that communication is incredibly important.

Communication starts with listening. If you can’t listen carefully and understand why someone is seeking a solution you provide, then your chance of selling to that customer is greatly reduced.

Your ability to be empathetic and be a good listener is key to not only getting more sales but to maintaining a happy workplace.

No matter how good you think you are at communication, you will need to up your game over time.

There are a lot of ways to do that, but it’s critical you pick one, and put some quality effort into getting better.

3. Create a client communication strategy

It’s critical to keep the right notes on your clients, in a way that will facilitate future communication.

Besides the obvious personal info and relevant history, below are a few things you may need to think about (not an exhaustive list):

Communication Frequency

How often will you communicate with the client? This may vary per client.

Communicate too often and they will tire of hearing from you. Communicate too little and they will think you don't care.

Whatever you decide your communication frequency should be, share it with your client and ask if they are good with it?

Ask them if it is too much communication. Show respect for their time and understand that they are being barraged with email and calls as it is.

They will appreciate you asking them and will not feel interrupted when you contact them, since you get their buy in or permission for the communication.

Tone and Style

This may depend on your take-a ways from a client meeting.

What was their tone and communication style?

How can you best be in rapport with your client?

Make sure you understand their method of communication and mirror that to them. 

Preferred channels

Do they prefer phone call only? Email and phone call? Skype?

This can seem like a trivial detail, but consider it a part of matching the communication style of your client.

Meet them where they are and you will have a better chance of contacting them.

Event Specific Communication

Is there a birthday or other important event that might trigger a specific communication?


Did you promise anything to the client?

Forms, Product info?

A cool t-shirt with your face on it?

This is critical as you need to follow through on your promises.

Obviously there are endless items you may take notes on.

You will need to identify the most important items for your clients and your specific needs.

Although each client may vary a little, you could likely create a default template that will work with most clients that would really simplify the communication process.


“ If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles. ” 
- Jim Rohn

4. Leverage all media channels

There are a number of ways to reach out to your potential clients.

You should experiment with each and decide which work best for your business.

We can break these different ways down into 3 categories: Owned, Earned, and Paid media. Let’s define them real quick.

Owned Media 

This includes your brand’s website, blog, social media feeds, and any other media you own and control.

Just to clarify, you may not own a social media platform like Facebook, but you do control your presence on the platform.

Earned Media 

This includes channels that are controlled by your customers and media outlets.

This is the media that is spread without you having to pay for it.

Content you share on social media is Earned Media.

Mentions of your Brand on other domains or press coverage is Earned Media, as well as links on other posts that support your brand.

It’s considered earned for obvious reasons. If you want to benefit from it, you have to earn it.

Paid Media 

This includes outlets that will promote your brand for a cost.

There are many types of advertisement or sponsored content that fall into this category.

This type of media exists on business owned channels that will not show up organically through web searches or on social media.

They will exist as an ad placement only.

Try as many as you see fit, but don’t use just one.

Use multiple channels and you will find a much greater success.

5. Continue to learn

As an entrepreneur you’re expected to have a knowledge base that covers a lot of ground.

From your own industry to business fundamentals, marketing, communication, and on and on.

Even if you have a solid knowledge of all of those things, everything is changing at hyper speed today.

Luckily online learning has come a long way in recent years.

There are endless ways to study just about any subject, and get it done quickly and inexpensively.

Sites like Udemy and Coursera, among others, have an amazing line up of courses that are very affordable and self paced.

Business technology is also changing at a break neck pace.

Whether it’s a social media platform or a CRM software, you can’t afford to get left behind.

It’s important to understand which of these tools might be right for you and your business needs.

If you don’t, you can be sure your competitors will.

Make learning a lifelong journey and explore what means the most to you and your business.

Stay out in front of coming changes, or you risk getting run over by them.

6. Create a referral system

I’m sure we don’t have to talk about how important referrals are. So, let’s talk about how you get referrals.

For starters, before you can get referrals you have to first be referable. In order to be referable you have to create a first class customer experience.

How do you pick the right referral source?

Maybe it’s a client that is very appreciative of the work you do, or maybe a local business with customers in common that could bring referrals your way.

Make sure your referral sources know how to refer you.

Don’t leave anything to chance.

Give them some content to pass along or send an email detailing how you want your business to be referred.

Give multiple points of contact so customers can find you where they like to communicate. Phone, email, text, Facebook, Linked-In, etc.

This should all be set in a methodical system.

There are software applications that can really streamline this process. Decide what works best for you, just make sure you take the time to do this right.

Don’t forget about an incentive for your referrals.

You want to be referred over and over again, so make it worthwhile to those referring you.

A steady stream of referrals is business gold, and will be pay off big time. Take your time and get this process wired tight.

It’s better to put the time into developing a good referral process than it is to get out there and find new clients by yourself.

“ The purpose of a business is to create customers who create customers. ” 
- Shiv Singh


7. Take time to review and evaluate

Since you’ve developed so many good business practices and have been keeping such good data on your clients and prospective clients, you will need to review these processes from time to time.

No strategy lasts very long without needing change.

How will you know if your strategy is working? Should anything be changed, added?

Every year, take some time to view things from a higher perspective. Is what you are doing now going to work next year?

Are there new tools that could help grow your business?

Review your processes objectively and don’t go easy on yourself.

If you see something that could be changed for the better, set goals to change it.


Remember to show off your own unique style that communicates WHY you do what you do. The WHY is what people will connect with.

Put these tactics to work in a meaningful way and you will find customers are much more excited to work with you, bringing you continued business and the success you desire.

We wish you luck on your journey and, as usual, our marketers are always here to help.

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Now Available: All Plans View on YourMedicare Enrollment Center

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Nov 12, 2019 @ 10:49 AM

Additional Updates:

Tags: Online Enrollment, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, online sales, YourMedicare

Mutual of Omaha: New Montana Med Supp Rates

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Nov 12, 2019 @ 10:40 AM

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Tags: Medicare Supplement, mutual of omaha

Mutual of Omaha: Just in time for AEP business - HOT new Med Supp rates in VIRGINIA

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Nov 12, 2019 @ 10:25 AM

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Tags: Medicare Supplement, mutual of omaha

WellCare Expands Medicare Benefits for 2020 Annual Enrollment Period

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Nov 12, 2019 @ 10:08 AM

Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Advantage, WellCare, 2020

2020 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Nov 11, 2019 @ 04:39 PM

Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare, deductibles, 2020

Humana To Add 530,000 Medicare Advantage Enrollees This Year

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Nov 11, 2019 @ 04:30 PM

Additional Updates:

Tags: Humana, Medicare Advantage

6 Tips To Improve Client Communication

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Fri, Nov 08, 2019 @ 04:24 PM

6 Tips to Improve Client Communication
(With Tips To Remain Compliant)

6 tips on communicating more effectively with your client


Your clients are trusting you to help them with some very important decisions.

It goes without saying that your clients are the backbone of your business. They could also be a continuing source of praise and referrals for years to come, if you treat them properly.

When I say “if you treat them properly”, the measure of that isn’t how well you think they were treated. If your client doesn’t feel like they were treated well, then they weren’t. It’s that simple.

When you meet a client for the first time there is a natural gap between the both of you. That gap is your lack of understanding of their needs and feelings.

The bridge to get you closer to your client is built with communication.

Below are some key aspects of communication that, if done properly, can help ensure you and your client will both benefit from your interactions.

Section Links

Be a Careful Listener
Be Ready to Ask the Right Questions at the Right Time 
Be Empathetic
Be Honest & Transparent
Be Clear & Build Rapport
Be Consistent With Your Follow Up
Tips to Remain Compliant While Communicating With Clients

⍟ Be a Careful Listener

Sometimes the best way to listen is to allow a little pause after a client is done speaking. You don’t always need to respond. A space of silence can encourage your client to offer more of what they are thinking and feeling.

This will give you the best insight into what your client is thinking or what objections they may have.

Note: If you’re just nodding while thinking about what you’re going to say next, you aren’t listening.

" Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply. "  - Stephen R. Covey

⍟ Be Ready to Ask the Right Questions at the Right Time

Powerful questions are your key to understanding the thoughts and emotion your clients are experiencing. The goal is to understand their fears, goals and desires.

The Powerful questios are those that allow you to understand the motivation behind your clients decisions.

These questions will vary depending on your business and your relationship with the client or prospective client.

Be Empathetic

Empathy is the ability to understand, be aware of and vicariously experience the feelings, thoughts and experience of another.

In order to put empathy into practice you will need to be able to resonate with another persons experiences. You will need to put yourself into a place where you can feel what they’re feeling (to some extent) and understand their situation from their point of view.

This is more than just a simple understanding of what they are going through and a pat on the back. If you can imagine yourself in the circumstance of a client, you should be able to appreciate what they are going through enough to reach a measure of the feeling they are experiencing.

If a client is becoming emotional about anything while you are trying to assess their needs and move them forward, just pause and give them space. Give them time to express themselves, and just listen.

At some point, the fact that you just listened for a time, while they vented, can be enough to get them back around to the issue at hand.

When a client shows a willingness to start discussing business, you have the green light to proceed.

If a client is overly emotional or using an excessive amount of your time in the process, It might be a good time to ask if they would like to re-schedule with you.

" Selling is not something you do to someone, it’s something you do for someone. "  - Zig Ziglar


Be Honest & Transparent

This should be a given, and I almost didn’t include it since it should be so obvious.

Nevertheless, we continue to hear people complain about dishonest sales tactics, or outright lies. People today are skeptical by default. Get caught in a lie or hide information for your own benefit and it will come back to you.

Let’s be clear. Pretending you know something in order to avoid admitting you don’t is a lie. Leaving out important information that your client should know just to get a signature, with the intent to tell them later, or not at all, is dishonest.

In today’s environment, being honest and transparent is seen as a breath of fresh air. There is no reason to be dishonest.

No one is expecting you to be perfect. They will, however, reward you for being honest and acting with integrity.

Be Clear & Build Rapport

Whether you’re having a conversation in person or or via email, keep your discussions as clear, direct and specific as possible. Avoid over-explaining things when not necessary.

A key to great communication and being understood better by others is adapting your style to the person that you are speaking with.

Through careful listening, being empathetic, honest and truthful, your are building rapport with your client.

If your client uses a direct formal tone, respond in kind. If they are more casual and playful, respond similarly. This is the most direct way to get someone to understand you clearly.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be an entirely different person or change the way you are—but if you want your client to feel a stronger bond with you, you should adapt your communication style to fit theirs.

When you tailor your communication in this way you will find that you will have much more success being understood by your client.

" The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven’t given them anything else to care about. " 

- Seth Godin

Be Consistent With Your Follow Up

Good follow up is a big part of successful communication. Just because your client enrolled in a plan, doesn’t mean you can forget about them.

If they are confused or unhappy about anything concerning their choice you want to know about it. If you don’t, you can be sure the next agent that talks to them will, and you will no longer have that client.

While there may not be one perfect way to follow up for everyone, there are some general ideas that can help guide you.

For starters, don’t wait to make a follow up appointment with your clients. Follow up appointments should be scheduled at the initial appointment.

Let your client know that you would like to follow up with them and suggest a schedule. Whether that’s 3 days after the initial appointment, 30 days later, 60 days later, that’s up to you, just make sure you discuss it with your client so they agree to the schedule and know what to expect.

Always make it easy for your client to get in touch with you. Make it clear that they can contact you with any questions and give them at least 2 methods of contact.

Some agents send holiday and or birthday cards to their clients. This kind of gesture is up to you, but if others are doing it and you aren’t, what will your clients think when they see a friend get a card from their agent wishing them well for the holidays?

Tips to Remain Compliant While Communicating With Clients

It’s important to keep compliance in mind with everything you do as an agent. As I’m sure your aware, there are a couple rules to communicating with prospective clients.

We will outline some for reference, but please check with the Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines and keep up with Medicare related news for updates. There are many stipulations that depend on your specific situation and they tend to change.

First, let’s mention the Scope of Appointment (SOA). Before you make an in person visit with someone you need to complete an SOA form.

For more specific details on how to complete a Scope of Appointment, see our blog on Scope of Appointment.

Remember, It is now allowable for an agent to contact someone via email without an SOA, as long as you have an opt-out function. For more see our article on Medicare Communications & Marketing Guidelines.

Don’t forget to ask for referrals!
Especially since it is now allowed by the Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines, on a one on one appointment.


The Final Say

There are many techniques and schools of thought on communication. This is one them.

I think it covers some of the important bits. Through experience and practice you will find your own groove. Keep what works but don’t stop learning and trying new things.

We are always learning more about the human mind and how it works. That will inform how people are influenced, and therefore, how you can best reach them.

And, of course, the rules and regulations will continue to evolve.

You must be aware of those regulations if you want to have the opportunity to keep communicating with prospective clients.

If you have any questions, as always, our experienced marketers are here to help.

Happy selling.

" The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph. "   
  - Marvin Phillips

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Turn Your Medicare Sales Green

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Nov 07, 2019 @ 02:23 PM

Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, Enrollment Tools, YourMedicare, SunFireMatrix

YourMedicare Enrollment Center Updates - All Plans Now Available

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Nov 07, 2019 @ 02:07 PM

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, Enrollment Tools, YourMedicare, SunFireMatrix

ACL Medicare Supplement Continues to Expand its Competitive Product Line!

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Nov 07, 2019 @ 02:00 PM

Tags: atlantic coast life medicare supplement, acl

Your Solution to Medicare Plan Finder Changes

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Nov 07, 2019 @ 01:32 PM

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Enrollment Tools, Quoting Tools, Medicare Plan Finder

CareAdvantage from Mutual of Omaha

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Nov 07, 2019 @ 01:16 PM

Use these tools to help clients make the right choice ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
Mutual of Omaha Medicare Advantage (HMO)

Do your clients understand the quality of Mutual of Omaha's network? They intentionally built a network focused on quality of care and health outcomes more than anything else.

That means they chose to only work with physicians who want a better health care experience for their patients. And to help them do that, Mutual gave them the right tools for the job in the form of proprietary analytics that help them track (and predict) their patients' progress. This selective, deliberate approach to building a network allows them to better impact your client's health.

Listen to what Medicare Advantage Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Manoj Pawar, says.

Senior Couple Walking Along the Beach

And just like we do for our providers, we believe in providing our front lines the right tools for the job. When network comes up in client conversations, share our consumer-ready brochure with them. If you want a little more detail for yourself, download the producer version.

Consumer Brochure
Producer Brochure

*These are also available via Storefront if you want them printed and shipped to you.

For clients where quality of care and a strong doctor-patient relationship matter, talk to them about CareAdvantage from Mutual of Omaha.

Tags: Medicare Advantage

Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Early Assessment of 2020 Medicare Advantage Plans

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Nov 07, 2019 @ 09:15 AM

Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Advantage

Top 10 States for Medicare Advantage Enrollment

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Nov 04, 2019 @ 04:37 PM

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Tags: Medicare Advantage

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