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An Early Look at 2021 Medicare Advantage Benefits
Now that marketing for Plan Year 2021 is underway, this is an excellent time to check on 2021 MA supplemental benefits and compare them to supplemental benefits in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
As shown in Table 1 below, the most popular supplemental benefits continue to be benefits with a long history in the MA program — including optical, audio and dental benefits, and relatively low-cost benefits that plug holes in original Medicare’s idiosyncratic benefit structure.
While readers familiar with MA benefits will not be surprised by the benefits on this list, they might be surprised by how many plans continue not to offer them.
Figure 1 below shows that, across the board, the number of plans that offer the most popular supplemental benefits has increased every year since 2018.
Figure 2 below analyzes the annual change in the percentage of MA plans offering the top eight supplemental benefits compared to total plans offered.
We saw a decrease in outpatient blood services, a benefit that is difficult to market, as plans increase more marketable supplemental benefits. All other popular benefits are increasing in frequency.
The percentage of total plans offering hearing aids, for example, as a supplemental benefit was the largest increase.
Over the last two years, we have consulted a number of MA organizations, associations and vendors about the new supplemental benefit flexibilities.
In these touch points, certain benefits are consistently discussed for their potential to provide a positive return on investment (because the costs avoided as a result of the benefit exceed the cost of the benefit) or marketing sizzle.
Figure 3 below shows the rising popularity of these most discussed benefits.
Readers will note that some of the benefits (Comprehensive Dental and Over-the-Counter Drugs, in particular) are now common MA plan offerings. Transportation and meal benefits are also gaining in popularity.
Other much-talked-about benefits, such as in-home support, remain uncommon but are growing.
Still, other benefits have been the subject of much discussion for their potential to treat chronic conditions in new ways.
These range from covering new provider types — such as acupuncturists, therapeutic massage and chiropractors (beyond existing Medicare-covered chiropractic services) — to creative benefits that increase member safety, such as bathroom/home safety devices.
Figure 4 below demonstrates a considerable rise in the number of MA plans covering new provider types, particularly with regard to acupuncture and chiropractic services.
Countdown to the 2021 AEP
With the 2021 AEP upon us, now is a great time to make sure you are preparing and staying ahead of the curve. AHIP Medicare Training has been released and we are also starting to get details on carrier-specific certifications as well as 2021 plan benefits and roll-out dates. Take a look at what is available now and keep a look out for future updates as we get closer to AEP.
✪ 2021 AHIP Training
Precision Senior Marketing is proud to be able to help support our agents that sell Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans. That's why our agents will be able to access AHIP's 2021 Medicare certification for only $125. That's a $50 savings to you just for being part of our team.www.YourMedicareAHIP.com
As an added "Thank You" to our writing agents we would like to pay for 100% of your AHIP costs after you have five issued 2020 Medicare Advantage enrollments. Ask your Marketer for details. *This is only available to street level agents contracted directly with Precision Senior Marketing.
✪ 2021 Carrier Specific Certifications
To keep things simple, we have all the carrier specific certification instructions available on our certification page. Most will require you complete AHIP in advance, but not all. Please take the time to review the requirements for the different carriers you represent.
✪ 2021 Medicare Advantage and PDP First Looks
As we receive first looks and product information from the carriers we represent, we will be sharing those details with our agents. You can sign up to receive this information by visiting the following web page and completing the form. You can also call one of our marketing representatives at 800-998-7715 and ask for more details.
✪ Online Quoting Tools and Submission Platforms
PSM Has made significant investments to make sure our agents have access to the best in class quoting tools and online submission platforms. Even better, these tools are provided at no cost to our contracted agents. Please visit the following web page for more details and to request access.
✪ Lead Incentives and Opportunities
PSM is proud to be able to help support our directly contracted Medicare agents.For every ten (10) Medicare Supplement* or Medicare Advantage enrollments placed and issued, you will qualify for a complimentary 1,000 piece lead mailer*. This offer includes the postage, printing, mailing data and return postage on all submitted business return cards ~ ZERO cost to you!
For agent use only. Not for use with consumers. Certain exclusions and limitations may apply. Not affiliated with the United States government or the federal Medicare program. Enrollments for this promotion must be with carriers the agent is appointed with through Precision Senior Marketing. Eligibility for this program will be determined by PSM. Only directly contracted writing agents may participate. Lead vendor and mailers for this program will be determined by PSM, and cash equivalents and reimbursements will not be offered. Agent must be trained and certified and must abide by PSM’s compliance program.
✪ Service and Support
As a reminder, We pride ourselves on a "Do the Right Thing" approach and will go above and beyond to service the needs of our agents. We look forward to having a successful AEP and supporting you with products, technology and the personalized service you have come to expect from PSM. We appreciate the opportunity to earn your business and wish you the best!