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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

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

New Great Southern Life (GSL) Med Supp States Coming Soon - AL, DE, KY, LA, MI, ND, NM, TN, VA, and WY

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Jul 31, 2019 @ 04:03 PM

Americo is excited to announce that we will be releasing new Medicare Supplement premium rates through their subsidiary company, Great Southern Life (GSL) in 10 new states.

Beginning August 5, 2019, GSL Medicare Supplement will be available in AL, DE, KY, LA, MI, ND, NM, TN, VA, and WY.

If you are already contracted to sell Americo Financial Life (AFL) Med Sup, there's nothing you need to do. You are ready to sell GSL Med Supp, use your current Americo Agent number. Rates are now available on the CSG Quoting Tool. If you have Americo selected as a "my company", on the CSG quoting tool, you will also need to add Great Southern Life to your "my company" list. Note that AFL Med Supp rates will no longer be available in these 10 states effective June 3rd.

Application packets, marketing materials, and sales tools are available on Americo.com and AmericoMedSup.com. The GSL eApplication will be available on June 3, 2019.

 Fore more information about GSL Medicare Supplement, see this helpful Information Sheet. If you are not appointed with Americo / GSL, you can request contracting details here.

Additional Updates:

Tags: americo medicare supplement, GSL Med Supp, Great Southern Life Medicare Supplement

Should you be selling short-term insurance plans

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Jul 31, 2019 @ 03:03 PM

Should you be selling short term

Should you be selling Short Term Care Insurance Plans?

Short-term care (STC) plans, also known as Recovery Care, are geared toward people who need temporary medical insurance in order to bridge the gap between longer term plans.

Although the premiums can be much less expensive than long-term care insurance, the coverage provided is also far less robust than with long term care.

Having said that, short-term plans do have their place. It is important to perform a good needs analysis to define the gaps in coverage for each of your clients to properly determine if they might benefit from Short-term care.


Statistics from the Census Bureau project that Americans 85 years old or older will grow an astronomical 189% by 2050. This will leave a lot of seniors who are simply unable to qualify for or afford a Long-term care.

When you add to that statistic the fact that 41% of LTC claims don’t last longer than 1 year, STC will likely be a piece of the puzzle that can alleviate the burden of healthcare costs for those seniors.

Commissions on short-term care (STC) are hard to ignore. Understanding the proper placement of STC will help fill coverage gaps for your clients, and help grow your bottom line.

What is short-term care insurance?

Short-term care insurance, also called Temporary health insurance or Term health insurance, can provide a temporary solution to help fill gaps in Medicare coverage or as an alternative option to long-term care insurance.

STC health insurance plans are intended to protect against unforeseen accidents or illnesses, and, therefore, don’t typically include coverage for preventive care, physicals, immunizations, dental or vision care.

Starting in 2019, in some states, consumers will be able to purchase STC which are renewable for up to one year with the option to extend twice. This could give those who qualify a 3 year extended coverage.

STC plans can be used to pay for services from any doctor or hospital. So, you’re client can keep their doctor. In addition, there are no open enrollment restrictions with STC plans.

Customers can apply any time of the year and it only takes minutes to find out if their application is approved. Once approved, they can use their coverage as early as the next day.

What are the average costs of STC plans?

According to eHealth, the average monthly premium for a 3 month STC plan was just $107 in 2018. For family coverage, a short term plan was $258 a month in 2018, compared to $1,168 a month for an ACA plan.

Plan costs will vary based on what is covered and the length of the coverage period. A plan that lasts one year may be 30% - 50% higher than the rates for a three month plan.

So a 90 day plan that costs $105 a month could go up to $150 a month for one year of coverage. Plans that are renewed up to three years without additional underwriting would be even more expensive.

It’s important to review all of these details in full with your client to align their expectations and ensure they fully understand the coverage being discussed and how long that coverage would last.

These plans are certainly less expensive than other plans, but it’s important to remind your clients of the difference in coverage.

Who is the ideal customer for short-term care insurance?

An STC plan may be beneficial to some of your clients based on their insurance needs and employment situation. Your client may be a fit for STC if:

  • They have been declined for traditional long-term care coverage.
  • They are waiting to be eligible for Medicare coverage.
  • They are without health insurance, outside of Open Enrollment.
  • They are between jobs.
  • They can’t afford long-term care.
  • They’re preferred doctor or hospital doesn’t accept Obamacare or an Obamacare plan isn’t available in your area.
  • They are too old for long term care.
  • They are a single woman (STC rates are not gender based like LTC rates.)
  • They are concerned of the elimination period of their LTC plan and would appreciate a STC plan to cover that gap.
  • In most cases, Medicare Advantage plans and Original Medicare only cover the first 20 days of home health care or nursing home stays. After that period, the patient is responsible for part of or all of the costs. Short-term care insurance is a great solution for some clients who need that gap coverage.

We should also consider who would NOT be a good fit for an STC plan:

  • People that may have had a major health event may have a hard time qualifying for an STC plan to cover their pre-existing condition.
  • People with poor health or chronic conditions.
  • People with complex medical needs, mental health needs, or may require maternity coverage.

Summary of short-term care

Insurance agents are selling more short-term insurance to seniors to fill in the gaps left by medicare and as an alternative to long-term care when cost, age, or health are an issue.

With the right mix of plans in your portfolio and an understanding of your customers needs, you will be able to offer a wide range of coverage for clients of all ages for years to come.

Talk to one of our experienced marketers today about what plans may be right for your portfolio.

Thanks for reading and happy selling.

Additional Updates:
2020 Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) Checklist
What is AHIP Certification and How do I Get it?

DSNP - Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans
MACRA 2020: What the Changes Mean for Insurance Agents

CMS Admin Endorses Medicare Advantage

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Jul 25, 2019 @ 03:58 PM

CMS Admin Endorses Medicare Advantage


CMS Administrator Seema Verma declared Medicare Advantage the most successful (function) of Medicare. “What works in the Medicare program is Medicare Advantage, because plans are competing on the basis of cost and quality, driving toward value and increasing choices for beneficiaries,” Verma told attendees at the Better Medicare Alliance 2019 Medicare Advantage Summit. “Many of you are driving success in Medicare Advantage, and I thank all of you for the important work that you do.” M/A added 600 new plans in recent years, which Verma attributed to the reduced regulations. Patients enrolling in M/A also benefit from premiums that decreased 6% since last year.

Medicare Advantage enrollment increased 10% since last year.

Source: https://healthpayerintelligence.com/news/verma-supports-medicare-advantage-decries-public-option

Image: Canva

Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Advantage

Bright Health To Expand Medicare Advantage To Six More States in 2020

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Jul 25, 2019 @ 03:16 PM


Bright Health is the latest health insurer to announce plans to sell private Medicare Advantage plans in several new markets, hoping seniors flock to such coverage following federal rule changes that allow plans to offer more benefits.

The startup insurer said it will add seven new markets in six states for 2020. They are: the Orlando and Daytona areas of Florida; Palm Beach, Fla.; Chicago, Illinois; Omaha, Neb.; the Cleveland and Akron area of Ohio; Greenville, South Carolina and Memphis Tennessee. Bright Health currently sells Medicare Advantage plans in six metropolitan markets: Birmingham, Ala; Phoenix, Arizona; Denver, Colo.; New York City: several Ohio cities including Cincinnati and Nashville, Tenn.

Bright Health’s expansion into new regions is the latest expansion for such plans, which contract with the federal government to provide extra benefits and services to seniors, such as disease management and nurse help hotlines with some also offering vision, dental care and wellness programs. And now insurers are rolling out more supplemental benefits in their Medicare Advantage plans following rule changes implemented.

In Bright Health’s case, the new Medicare offerings are part of a major expansion of all of its business lines that include individual coverage, “family plans,” Medicare Advantage and supplemental Medicare plans.

In all, Bright Health said it will begin selling its array of plans in 13 new markets across seven states beginning next year. “This market expansion brings Bright Health Plan’s footprint to a total of 22 markets in 12 states, building on its sizable growth last year when it added products in Arizona, New York, Ohio and Tennessee,” the company said in its announcement Wednesday.

The expansions are still subject to final regulatory approvals by state insurance departments, but executives say the expansion shows financial strength and confidence consumers and investors have in the company.

“In just four years, we’ve grown from serving consumers in our pilot market of Colorado to serving tens of thousands of members across six states,” Bright Health CEO Bob Sheehy said. “This substantial growth shows that consumers are hungry for a new healthcare model that is simple, personal and more affordable. We’ve been able to meet this demand because our Health Plan Care Partner Model allows us to scale quickly and effectively, and our significant expansion in 2020 is further validation of that.”

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2019/07/24/bright-health-to-expand-medicare-advantage-to-six-more-states-in-2020/#24f2596f2a82

Image: Canva

Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Bright Health

Growing Opportunity: Hispanic Population Reaches New High

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Jul 24, 2019 @ 04:02 PM

The U.S. Hispanic population reached a record 59.9 million in 2018, up 1.2 million over the previous year and up from 47.8 million in 2008, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Between 2008 and 2018, the Latino share of the total U.S. population increased from 16% to 18%. Latinos accounted for more than half (52%) of U.S. population growth over this period.

From 2005 to 2010, the nation’s Hispanic population grew by an average of 3.4% per year, but this rate has declined to 2.0% a year since then. The Latino population in the South grew 33% during this period, reaching 22.7 million in 2018, up 5.6 million from 2008.

Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/08/u-s-hispanic-population-reached-new-high-in-2018-but-growth-has-slowed/ft_19-07-08_hispanicpopulation_us-hispanic-population-reached-nearly-60-million-2018/

Image: Canva

Additional Updates:

Mutual of Omaha: New Medicare Supplement Plans in Texas

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Jul 23, 2019 @ 05:20 PM

Omaha Supplemental Insurance Company

Mutual of Omaha has filed a Medicare supplement product under their new affiliate Omaha Supplemental Insurance Company (OSIC) in the following state – TEXAS

  • Plans A, F, G, High Deductible G and N are available for sale effective July 29, 2019
  • Plan F may be sold to applicants with a policy effective date through December 31, 2019; Plan F may not be sold to applicants who become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, per MACRA regulations.
  • Plan F also may be sold to applicants who are Medicare-eligible through December 31, 2019, but not purchasing Plan F until January 1, 2020 or after.
  • High Deductible Plan G can be sold to any individual with a policy effective date of January 1, 2020 or later.

Besides the new low rates, OSIC offers:

  • A 12% household discount, and
  • Anniversary rating

Not appointing with OSIC / Mutual of Omaha? Request details here

Additional Updates:

Tags: Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement, Omaha Supplemental Insurance Company

Senior Market Hot Spots

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Jul 23, 2019 @ 02:10 PM

Senior Market Hot Spots

The Oldest Counties in Every State

According to U.S. Census Bureau projections, retirement-age adults will outnumber Americans under age 18 by 2035 for the first time in history. The aging of the U.S. population is driven by a falling birth rate and long-term improvements in life expectancy. While these demographic shifts are novel on a national scale, in many parts of the country, they are nothing new.

View Counties by state here

The median age in the United States is 38 years and is projected to hit 43 years as early as 2060. Age demographics vary considerably by region, and in every state, there are counties where the median age already exceeds Census Bureau’s 2060 projection. 24/7 Tempo reviewed median age by county using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey to identify the oldest county in every state.

As the population ages, the United States will face new economic and public policy challenges. These challenges include increased health care, social security, and pension expenditures, with fewer workers to foot the bill. Not all states will be able to deal with those challenges well. As social and environmental factors vary by region, so too does the quality of life of elderly Americans – these are the worst states to grow old in.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/15/oldest-county-in-every-state/39668785/

Image: Canva

Additional Updates:

Tags: retirement, Seniors

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