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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

2024 AHIP Medicare Training Details

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, May 18, 2023 @ 12:57 PM

Tags: AHIP, Training, 2024

Medicare Supplement Plan N is Rising in Popularity

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, May 16, 2023 @ 03:43 PM

plan n

In today’s marketplace, consumers want more control over their healthcare decisions and expenses. Popular plans, like a high-deductible health plan, offer lower monthly premiums and encourage consumers to take an active role in managing their own healthcare costs.

Similarly, Medicare Supplement Plan N is gaining traction as seniors opt to have lower monthly premiums. With Plan N, enrolled individuals only pay the Part B deductible when they access medical care. Additionally, the individual might incur copayments or Part B excess charges.

In a recent study by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Plan F continues to lose market share declining from 46% of all Medigap enrollments in 2020 to 41% in 2021. This decline is because F is no longer available to people new to Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. However, Plan G and Plan N are gaining popularity, with 32% and 10% market share, respectively.

Plan N is the third most popular Medicare Supplement plan, and as of 2021, more than 1.38 million people chose Plan N over other Medicare Supplement coverage options.

Help Your Clients Save Money With Plan N

The popularity of Plan N is largely due to the coverage benefits. This plan includes many of the Medicare benefits, but is structured in a way to keep plan costs low.

Plan N offers similar benefits to Plan G. With both plans, individuals are subject to incur the annual Part B deductible of $226, copayments up to $20 for doctor appointments, and $50 for emergency room visits.

Plan N highlights include:

Skilled nursing facility
Part A deductible
Foreign travel emergency

Plan N highlights exclude:

× Part B deductible
× Part B excess charges

For clients who are looking to save money, Plan N might be a great solution. Let’s look at an example:

Jane Smith is currently enrolled with a Plan G which costs her $180 a month in premium. By moving to a Plan N, she pays $120 a month. By switching to a lower premium plan, Jane saves $60 a month or $720 total a year. Jane can use the money saved to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses including the Part B deductible or copayments. Or, she can use the savings to purchase additional coverage like a Cancer, Heart Attack and Stroke policy or an Accident plan. With Plan N, Jane is in more control of her healthcare decisions and how she chooses to spend her money.

If you have a client who does not visit the doctor often, Plan N may be a great fit for them. Next time you are evaluating coverage options with your clients, take a look at Plan N. They might be a great fit for this affordable Medicare Supplement option.

For a list of carriers that offer Medicare Supplement Plan N, Please request details today or call us at  (800) 998-7715 and ask to speak to a marketing representative.

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Tags: Plan N, Medicare Supplement plans

Best Practices For Working Insurance Leads

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, May 16, 2023 @ 11:52 AM

best practices for working insurance leads

Working insurance leads effectively requires a combination of timely and personalized actions, trust-building strategies, active listening, education, persistence, technology utilization, and continual learning.

1-May-16-2023-04-45-51-4748-PMOne of the key best practices is to respond to insurance leads promptly. Speed is crucial in today's fast-paced world, as it demonstrates professionalism and increases the likelihood of connecting with potential clients. Aim to respond within minutes or hours of receiving a lead to make a positive first impression.

2-May-16-2023-04-46-24-7672-PMPersonalization is another essential element. Tailor your approach to each lead by addressing them by name and referencing specific details they provided. This personal touch helps build rapport and establishes trust, showing that you value their individual circumstances and needs.

4-May-16-2023-04-46-57-9962-PMActive listening plays a significant role in effectively engaging with insurance leads. Take the time to understand their requirements and concerns by asking open-ended questions. By actively listening, you can provide relevant solutions and demonstrate that you genuinely care about their specific situation.

5-4Building trust is fundamental in the insurance industry. Be transparent, provide accurate information, and follow through on commitments. Establish yourself as a knowledgeable and trustworthy professional. This approach helps alleviate any concerns and increases the likelihood of conversion.

6-4Educating and informing leads is crucial as many may not fully understand their insurance needs or the available options. Take the time to explain the importance of insurance coverage, discuss different policies, and provide guidance based on their specific requirements. By empowering leads with knowledge, you position yourself as a valuable resource and build trust.

7-4Persistence is key when working with insurance leads. Some leads may require multiple touchpoints before committing to a policy. Follow up regularly and utilize different communication channels such as phone calls, emails, and text messages to maintain contact and reinforce your commitment to assisting them. However, it's important to strike a balance between persistence and being pushy, respecting the lead's boundaries.

8-4Leveraging technology is vital to streamline lead management and follow-up processes. Utilize customer relationship management (CRM) systems to track leads, automate tasks, and manage communication effectively. Email templates, automated reminders, and other software features can help you stay organized and responsive.

9-May-16-2023-04-49-40-8141-PMEstablishing referral networks is an effective way to generate more insurance leads. Provide excellent service to existing clients and encourage them to refer their friends, family, and colleagues. Offering incentives such as referral rewards or discounts can further motivate clients to refer others, expanding your network.

10-May-16-2023-04-50-06-9207-PMFinally, continue to learn and stay updated on insurance industry trends, regulations, and product knowledge. Attend industry conferences, participate in training programs, and engage in ongoing professional development. Being well-informed enhances your credibility and positions you as a trusted advisor in the eyes of your leads.


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Tags: Leads, Best Practices

New Portfolio Additions: Zing Health and Lasso Healthcare

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, May 15, 2023 @ 03:30 PM

lasso zing

We are happy to introduce Zing Health and Lasso Healthcare to our powerful lineup of Medicare Advantage options. 

Who is Zing Health?


Zing Health was founded in 2019 to address inadequacies in the healthcare system by creating collaborative, community-based Medicare Advantage plans.

In 2020, Zing Health served Medicare beneficiaries in Cook County, Illinois, and in 2021 expanded to additional counties in Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. In 2022, Zing Health will begin serving additional counties in Illinois and offering new plan types as well as enhancements to existing plans.

If you are interested in representing Zing Health Medicare Advantage plans, please request details here.

Why Lasso Healthcare?


With additional tax-advantages, the MSA has unique features not typically found in Medicare. It’s time to partner with Lasso Healthcare and offer a different type of Medicare Advantage plan!

What is the Lasso Healthcare MSA: A high-deductible health plan paired with a tax-advantaged savings account.

If you are interested in representing Lasso Healthcare Medicare Advantage plans, please request details here.

We take pride in providing our agents with high quality senior insurance products that bring a sense of security and peace of mind to the nation's exploding senior population. Our experienced insurance marketing team provides our agents with a robust product portfolio, game-changing technology and unrivaled support.


Tags: Cigna, Medicare Advantage

Cigna: Value-Based Enrollment (VBE) Updates

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, May 15, 2023 @ 11:54 AM

cigna vbe

At Cigna Healthcare, we believe in the primary care provider (PCP) and patient relationship. That’s why our model of care is PCP-focused, regardless of product. We know this model of care drives better health outcomes and increases customer satisfaction.

With that in mind, we are making a change in how our brokers earn payments through our VBE digital application program. This change applies to June 1 effectives and beyond.

Brokers can still earn up to $50 per electronic application (app), but they will need to include a valid in-network PCP and/or the customer’s email address to receive payment. We will no longer pay brokers $20 for the electronic app submission itself. Instead, we are increasing the payments for collecting the valid PCP and email information.

New VBE payment amounts
Applies to June 1 effectives and beyond

Brokers can earn up to $50 per approved digital application for new Cigna Healthcare Medicare Advantage (MA) customers and voluntary MA customer plan changes.

  • $30 if the digital app includes a valid in-network PCP
  • $20 if the digital app has a valid customer email address

How this benefits the broker

When a broker captures the PCP and email address at the time of enrollment, they give us the information we need to provide better care to the customer.

Better care leads to happier, healthier customers who are more likely to stay with Cigna Healthcare. That means brokers can focus on new customer growth rather than book maintenance.

So, in addition to the immediate monetary reward (i.e., VBE payments), they will also benefit from our higher retention rate and net promoter score (NPS).


Tags: Cigna, Medicare Advantage

CMS Memo: Definition of Marketing

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, May 15, 2023 @ 11:24 AM

CMS Memo- Definition of Marketing

Date: May 10, 2023

To: Medicare Advantage Organizations, Medicare Advantage-Prescription Drug Plans, Prescription Drug Plan Sponsors, and Section 1876 Cost Plans

From: Kathryn A. Coleman, Director

Subject: Definition of Marketing

📑 Download the official announcement

In order to ensure Medicare beneficiaries are making enrollment decisions based on up-to-date and accurate information, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing this memo to clarify the definition of marketing for Medicare Advantage-Prescription Drug Plans, stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans, 1876 Cost Plans, and Third-Party Marketing Organizations (TPMOs).

Regulations at 42 CFR §§ 422.2260 and 423.2260 define marketing as communication materials and activities which meet specific intent and content standards.

  • The intent component of the definition of “marketing” is met when any material or activity is intended to draw a beneficiary's attention to plan or plans, influence a beneficiary's decision-making process when selecting a plan, or influence a beneficiary's decision to stay enrolled in a plan (that is, retention-based marketing).

  • The content component of the definition of “marketing” is met when any material or activity includes or addresses plan benefits, benefits structure, premiums, or cost sharing; measuring or ranking standards; or rewards and incentives.

To date, CMS has permitted the mentioning of widely available benefits (i.e., vision, dental, premium reduction, and hearing) in materials or activities without those materials or activities being considered marketing subject to the marketing regulations. We did not believe the general descriptions were made with sufficient intent to draw attention to a particular plan or subset of plans. This interpretation was predicated on the assumption that a beneficiary would be unlikely to make an enrollment decision based on widely offered benefits advertised without information on the associated costs for enrollees. CMS monitors both organization and TPMO marketing by reviewing marketing and communication materials and activities, reviewing complaints received through 1-800-Medicare, and listening to marketing and enrollment calls.

Due primarily to the recent proliferation of TPMO advertising, we have found, however, through our surveillance, reviews, and discussions with interested parties that many beneficiaries do inquire and some enroll based on the original advertisement of these types of benefits. Beneficiaries have contacted agents, made calls to 1-800 numbers, and responded to flyers asking about the dental, vision, hearing, and cost-savings being marketed. Therefore, we are expanding our interpretation of the regulatory definition of “marketing” to include content that mentions any type of benefit covered by the plan and is intended to draw a beneficiary's attention to plan or plans, influence a beneficiary's decision-making process when selecting a plan, or influence a beneficiary's decision to stay enrolled in a plan (that is, retention-based marketing) and thus subject to review.

As stated above, marketing requires both intent and content. Content that beneficiaries can receive benefits such as dental, vision, cost-savings, and/or hearing services is sufficient information about plan benefits, benefits structure or cost sharing to meet the content standard in the definition of marketing in §§ 422.2260 and 423.2260. Further, the use of these statements in advertisements and activities directed to Medicare beneficiaries clearly meets the intent standard. Therefore, beginning July 10, 2023, any material or activity that is distributed via any means (e.g., mailing, television, social media, etc.) that mentions any benefit will be considered marketing and must be submitted into HPMS. This clarification, along with the new marketing safeguards codified in the Contract Year 2024 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, Medicare Cost Plan Program, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly final rule (CMS-4201-F), will help ensure that beneficiaries have accurate information when shopping for Medicare coverage and are protected from potentially misleading marketing activities.

Questions may be sent to marketing@cms.hhs.gov. Please copy your Marketing Reviewer.

Tags: CMS, Compliance, Marketing

Avoid These 5 Common Compliance Mistakes

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, May 11, 2023 @ 10:20 AM

Compliance Mistakes-1

Here are five common mistakes and what you can do to remain in compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) when working with Medicare beneficiaries on their coverage.



1. Not Keeping SOAs on File
Beneficiaries must sign a scope of appointment before discussing Medicare Advantage or Part D plans. Remember to have your client sign an SOA at every appointment, and keep the forms on file for 10 years.

2. Not Determining Health Care Providers
Before you can help someone with their Medicare plan, you need to know every physician and specialist that client sees. Compare current providers with those in their chosen plan’s network so their service isn’t disrupted.

3. Not Reviewing the Drug Formulary
An unexpected increase in prescription prices can quickly change the client-agent relationship. Be sure to review enrollment data and fix it on the spot so the application isn’t returned.

4. Not Discussing Summary of Benefits
Provide your client with this at the time they enroll, summarizing key features, such as covered benefits and cost sharing. This summary needs to be discussed prior to signature collection and verification of intent to enroll.

5. Not Submitting Applications on Time
Be sure to submit all applications in the required 24-48-hour time frame, after doublechecking all the details and ensuring the application is complete.

In this industry, we’re busy year-round, and unintentional mistakes can always happen. It’s important to stay on top of the application process and to know exactly what’s needed to remain compliant as we do business.


Tags: Compliance

Lead Generation Advice for Today’s Savvy Agents

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, May 11, 2023 @ 10:01 AM

Lead Generation Advice for Today’s Savvy Agents

The number one question facing agents in today’s complex lead generation environment is, “what lead generation technique is best?” What we’ve learned is that the most effective Medicare lead generation approach involves a smart mix of techniques to attract, engage, and nurture customers across a variety of channels. This approach ensures you are reaching customers in the places and spaces where they're most comfortable communicating. Remember: be where your customers are.


The most successful agents start with a compassionate understanding of a customer’s life journey and demonstrate empathy and knowledge.

People eligible for Medicare can find navigating the process complex. Therefore, it's critical to employ a comprehensive approach to building a thoughtful content strategy to communicate and inform. Effective lead generation starts by providing your target audience with education. Approaching your content marketing strategy by understanding the customer journey and motivations puts you in a stronger position to answer the most meaningful questions.


Traditionally, conventional marketing materials such as direct mail, print ads, referral programs, and educational brochures were sent directly to the customer’s home address. TV or radio spots were market-specific, but still targeted customers in their hometowns. Over the past ten years, a different dynamic has emerged.

It’s no secret that the internet has changed everything, and social media platforms are now viewed as the primary source of mainstream news and information across all age demographics, even the aging population.

The adoption of social media by the aging population can supercharge your online marketing efforts when they are shared with your target’s entire social networks, exponentially expanding your potential customer base.


Building a content strategy is the process of establishing your personal brand, defining your relationship goals with target audiences, and creating a plan to deliver valuable and engaging content.

There are six key steps in developing a robust, effective content strategy:

  1. Determine what you want to achieve with content and define your goals
  2. Identify what your customers are looking for and build your content around this critical question
  3. Review your existing content bank to identify what you can reuse to build credibility and bring customers into your funnel
  4. Create an annual content plan, and outline the types of content you'll create and the channels you'll use to distribute it
  5. Establish your space. With your plan in place, start creating your content. Make sure it is high-quality and engaging, and always relates back to your target audience
  6. Analyze and optimize: Regularly track and measure the performance of your content and adjust your content strategy based on these insights

Most agents make the mistake of thinking of offline and online marketing as two entirely separate marketing approaches. The most-successful agents understand that using precise online data is a force multiplier for boosting the effectiveness of traditional
Medicare lead generation campaigns.


  • Medicare lead generation isn't about whom you reach; it’s about what you teach
  • Understand your target audience and their life journey. Remember that a small amount of empathy and understanding will go a long way in relationship building
  • The most effective Medicare lead generation approaches involve a mix of techniques to attract, engage, and keep customers
  • Establishing an online presence is essential for any business looking to reach new customers
  • Creating a content strategy is the process of defining your goals and creating a plan to deliver valuable and engaging content to Medicare eligible customers
  • Think about data differently and apply it across all marketing efforts



Tags: Lead Generation, Marketing

New CMS Rules To Impact Medicare Advantage Marketing

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, May 11, 2023 @ 09:02 AM

New CMS Rules To Impact

On Wednesday, April 5, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued long-awaited rules pertaining to, among other matters, the marketing of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. These rules were developed with the intention of protecting Medicare beneficiaries from misleading or deceptive advertising practices. Our leadership quickly activated a task force to study the newly published rules in detail and clarify their implications for our agents' businesses.

The new rules go into effect on June 5 and will be applicable on Sept. 30 for coverage beginning January 1, 2024. This means that they will impact activities that will take place during this year’s Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which begins on Oct. 15.

What can you do now?

While the new CMS rules are applicable on Sept. 30, there are steps agents and agencies can start right now.

  • Audit lead generation and marketing materials and evaluate against the newly issued CMS regulations. Lead generation and marketing materials include:
    • Internet ads
    • Direct mail pieces
    • Call scripts
    • Web pages
    • Emails
  • Identify marketing materials, including materials that mention plan benefits, premiums, and cost-savings; and evaluate.
  • Be cautious where the Medicare logo is used on any advertising or in a misleading manner when used for MA or PDP marketing.

PSM anticipates rolling out insight and guidance over the coming weeks. While these efforts are underway, please continue to adhere to current compliance guidelines and submit any marketing materials developed over the normal course of business through your usual approval processes.

Should you have questions related to the CMS announcement, please email them to info@psmbrokerage.com



Tags: Medicare Advantage, CMS, Marketing

LifeShield Medicare Supplement | Now Available In Kansas and North Dakota

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, May 08, 2023 @ 02:22 PM

Life Shield KS and ND-1

Medicare Supplement is now available in Kansas and North Dakota 

LifeShield National Insurance Co. Medicare Supplement plans are now available in Kansas and North Dakota! Applications will be accepted as of May 8th through both paper applications and eApp.

As of May 8th, Kansas and North Dakota clients will benefit from:

  • A 7% household discount on Medicare Supplement plans.
  • A 10% multi-product discount is applied to the DVH plan when combined with an approved Medicare Supplement policy*.
  • Policyholders can enjoy market leading rates across Plans F, G, and N, while producers can enjoy a great commission rate that’s paid daily.

The Kansas and North Dakota state-specific materials are available on the Digital Agent Kit. No need to remember your portal credentials - the Digital Agent Kit is just a click away, with immediate access to all your sales resources. Visit lifeshieldcombo.com to get your materials now!incentive

Expedite your client’s application with same day processing – no longer will your client need to wait days or weeks for their coverage to start. Point-of-sale underwriting decision notification for clean apps and declines, with 48-hour turnaround for referred underwritten cases.

LifeShield National Insurance Co. is an Oklahoma City-based life and health insurance company, and a member of the LifeShield National family of insurance companies. Together with its affiliates Individual Assurance Company Life, Health, & Accident, and Life Assurance Company, LifeShield has been protecting families for nearly 50 years with affordable life, health, and accident insurance solutions to help you live the life you choose. LifeShield National Insurance Co. is rated B++ (Good), the 5th highest rating possible out of a total of 16 by AM Best, a widely recognized independent insurance industry ratings firm. For the latest rating information, visit www.ambest.com


Tags: LifeShield

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