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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Medicare Supplement Market Projection

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jun 21, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

Medicare Supplements The Medicare Supplement market continues to have long-term sustainability. By 2022, almost 68 million consumers are expected to be enrolled in Medicare. The recent growth in the Medicare Supplement market can be attributed to the number of Medicare enrollees growing by 11%, as well as a recent slowdown in the growth of Medicare Advantage enrollments. Additionally, employers have continued to remove Medicare-aged retirees from their employer health plans further supporting a growth in Medicare supplement sales. Medicare Supplement enrollments are projected to continue to grow over the next ten years, creating ample opportunities for insurance carriers, agents, and marketing organizations in the senior market.

Three factors contributing to Medicare Supplement’s growth:

  • Overall Medicare Growth: The ongoing growth in the Medicare market from Baby Boomers will increase the number of Medicare beneficiaries by 17 million over the next 11 years. The total number of Medicare beneficiaries in 2022 will be 34% higher than in 2012.

  • Medicare Advantage Funding Reductions: Over the past few years growth in Medicare Advantage enrollment has slowed. Predictions show that enrollment will plateau when additional bonus payments from the quality based demonstration programs end after 2014.

  • Decrease in Retiree Health Benefits: Companies and municipalities are eliminating or altering health care benefits for their retirees due to economic changes. Many are now offering those retirees a monthly stipend to purchase their own Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage coverage.

All these factors show a positive outlook for the Medicare Supplement market in the upcoming years. If you are considering getting into the senior market – now is the time! With 10,000 seniors becoming eligible every day the market is booming with no signs of slowing down.

To read the entire 2013 Medicare Supplement Market Projection by CSG Actuarial, please go here.


Please give us your feedback!
What do you think of CSG Actuarial's findings? Have you seen an increase in your Med Supp business as well?

 

Source: CSG Actuarial

Additional Updates:
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Tags: Medicare Supplement, Medicare News, insurance news, industry news, Stonebridge Medicare Supplement, Medicare Solutions

Happy Holidays from PSM

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 @ 09:45 AM

 

 

Tags: industry news

Obama vs. Romney: Key differences in Medicare/Medicaid

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Nov 02, 2012 @ 12:47 PM

Medicare Supplements As the Presidential race draws to a close most people have chosen which candidate they are going to support next Tuesday in the election. One of the main topics this election season has been health care, with Medicare being a heated topic. The candidates differ from how much the government should be involved, to where the funding should come from, and in the case of Medicare, at what age beneficiaries should become eligible.

Here are a few key differences to consider about the future of Medicare and Medicaid based on each of the candidates’ platforms.

  1. Medicare
    1. Obama: Says that PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) has already made important changes for Medicare. Things like requiring basic Medicare to include basic preventive services to patients and reducing the size of the Medicare Part D doughnut hole. With his plan, the Medicare system would be structured the same way and begin at the same age that it does currently.

    2. Romney: For retirees and near retirees, Medicare will be the same. However, in the future seniors will receive vouchers and have insurance options that provide coverage as least as good as today’s Medicare, with traditional Medicare as one of the options to choose from. Romney says, “Competition among plans to provide high quality service while charging low premiums will hold costs down while also improving the quality of coverage enjoyed by seniors.”

  2. Medicaid
    1. Obama: Under his plan, Medicaid would work the same way it does currently.

    2. Romney: Says that he would replace the current funding for Medicaid with a “block grant” program providing every state with a set amount of funding that it could use as it wished. He says he would “limit federal standards and requirements.”

With only a few days left, most of us are excited and anxious to see what the outcome will be. For sports fans, that result might come a little bit sooner. Since the 1984 election, the winner of the Alabama-LSU game has coincided with the party who has won the election. With Alabama’s wins aligned with the Democratic Party and LSU with the Republican. Obviously, statistics are made to be broken, but it still adds another element of intensity to the SEC game this weekend and gives friends and family something to speculate about.

Hopefully you are having a productive and prosperous AEP so far. Remember that your marketer at PSM is available to answer any questions that arise and help you with any issues you encounter. Just give them a call at 1-800-998-7715.


Please give us your feedback!
Which candidate do you think has the better plan for Medicare? Do you think a voucher system is a good idea? If not, why? Do you think a state-controled program would better regulate the system? If not, what would?

(We realize this is a polarizing topic, please remember to be respectful of other commenters. Thank you.)

 

Source: LifeHealthPro

Additional Updates:
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Tags: Manhattan Life Medicare Supplement, senior market news, Medicare Discussion, Combined Insurance Medicare Supplement, industry news

Upholding the Health Care Law and its Effect on Medicare

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 @ 10:54 AM

Medicare SupplementsThursday the Supreme Court upheld the entire proposed health care law, concluding that Congress was acting within its powers under the Constitution to require most Americans carry a health insurance policy. This ruling is considered a victory for President Obama and the Democratic Party, passing the biggest reworking of the health care system since Medicare was introduced in the 1960s. This ruling also eliminates disruptions for hospitals, doctors, and employers who have spent the last two years preparing for the law to be put into place.

How has the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affected the senior market since its inception in 2010 and how does Health Care Reform impact the future of Medicare Supplements?

  1. Modernized Medicare Supplement plans, including new Plans M and N, created new opportunities for agents to sell more economical options for coverage.

  2. New carriers entering the market are providing more choice for consumers. The added competition is healthy and promotes new innovations to the market, including telephone and electronic applications, which can help reduce pending requirements and speed up issue time.

  3. Many employers are reconsidering if, or for how long, they should offer group coverage for their retired workers due to Taxation of the Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) effective January 1, 2013. This tax can affect large company’s bottom line by tens and hundreds of millions and many have already started transitioning from group to individual coverage using a Medicare Coordinator model.

  4. Deficit reduction talks have the politicians from both parties talking about ways to save money with Medicare. One suggestion is to add copayments to all Medicare Supplement plans, not just Plans M & N. Another proposal suggests charging up to a 20% tax on seniors choosing plans with First Dollar Coverage.

Other important things to note pertaining to the senior market is that from now until 2020 the “donut hole” is still in effect, with seniors receiving a 50% discount on covered brand name drugs; and, Medicare Advantage will continue with payment system reforms laid out in the ACA.

However, the debate is far from over. With the January 1, 2014 date of implementation and a Presidential election looming, there is certain to be several repeals and proposals before the final version of the health care law is agreed upon and actually goes into effect.

As an agent in the Medicare Supplement market, don’t worry. Medigap plans are the least impacted by health care reform so no big changes are on the horizon. Reduction in Medicare Advantage payment rates and the impact this will have on plan benefits appears to be the biggest unknown. For clients looking to avoid any unforeseen surprises, Medicare Supplements still appear to be the best solution for many of your clients.


Please give us your feedback!
What is your take on the health care law being upheld? How do you think it will affect senior market insurance and Medicare Supplements?

Source: Red Pen Edition, Wall Street Journal, Healthcare.gov

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Tags: senior insurance market news, health insurance news, Combined Insurance Medicare Supplement, health care reform, industry news, Omaha Insurance Company

Are You Offering the Best Med Supp Rates in Your Area?

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Mar 09, 2012 @ 11:30 AM

Medicare SupplementsAs blocks of business mature they tend to take lower rate adjustments than carriers who have recently entered the marketplace. Because of this, established carriers frequently resurface with a very competitive rate! Learn more >>


Additionally, many carriers have started pricing their products to attract clients between the ages of 66 - 70 years old. This helps improve risk evaluation and allows for better loss ratio management. Learn more >>

To learn more about the companies we have you appointed with and identifying the most competitive rates in your area, please select the Learn More button below.

Learn More about the Best Med Supp

Additional Updates:

Tags: Universal American Medicare Supplement, Medicare Supplement, health insurance industry, industry news, Medicare Select

Proposed 15% Surcharge to Med Supp Plans

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 @ 08:44 AM

Medicare SupplementsLast week the Obama administration proposed an effort to raise $2.5 billion over the next 10 years by implementing a surcharge to Medicare enrollees who purchase Medicare supplements. This surcharge would affect all new enrollees who purchase Medicare supplements by adding an average of 15% to the premium on their Medigap policy. Those currently receiving benefits and those near retirement would not be affected.

One official said, "Of particular concern are Medigap plans that cover substantially all Medicare copayments, including even the modest copayments for routine care that most beneficiaries can afford to pay out of pocket." Administration officials explain that the reason for the surcharge is that since there is so little out-of-pocket charge seniors often do not think about the costs associated with the care they receive.

Bonnie Burns of California Health Advocates warns that this surcharge would be terrible for consumers. Burns, along with several insurance industry representatives and consumer advocates, agree on the need for affordable insurance costs for seniors.

Burns said, "Blaming Medigap issuers and customers for any over-use of care seems particularly unfair because federal law prohibits sellers of Medigap insurance from determining whether the care a policyholder has received is medically necessary." Instead, she encourages the government to guard against Medicare by requiring providers to document that the care received is medically necessary.

This surcharge plan will go into the federal fiscal 2013 budget proposal, beginning October 1st, and if passed would take effect in 2017.

Please give us your feedback!
Have any of your clients asked you about this surcharge? What do you say to them about it? How do you think it will affect your Medicare Supplement business in the future?

Source: LifeHealthPro

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Tags: United Healthcare Medicare Supplement, senior market news, health insurance news, insurance news, industry news, Gerber Life Medicare Supplement

Big Changes to Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 @ 08:53 AM

Medicare SupplementsIn the next few months Mutual of Omaha will be implementing some big changes to their Medicare Supplement plans. For seventeen states, their Med Supps will be introduced under different companies in order to offer lower rates, a household discount in most states, and increased commission.

In order to receive your advances on the new United of Omaha and Mutual of Omaha products you will need to complete an updated advance agreement. Also, for several states, the new Omaha Insurance Company Medicare Supplement product will be available and those currently contracted will need to fill out an updated General Agent Agreement and Advance Agreement (optional). Omaha Insurance Company is the newest Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement carrier and offers all the benefits you would expect from their company.

The states directly affected by these changes are as follows:

New United of Omaha states
AL, MT, UT, WA, WY - Approved for sale
Download United of Omaha Advance Agreement

New Mutual of Omaha states
MO - Approved for sale 03/17/2012
ID, IL, TN - Pending approval
Download Mutual of Omaha Advance Agreement

New Omaha Insurance company states
KY, MD, MI, OH, PA, SC, WV, CT - Pending approval
Download Omaha Insurance Company Contract Addendum

In order to avoid delays in New Business, please return the documents to PSM as soon as possible. If you need any updated supplies or have any further questions about the impending changes, please contact your Marketing Director at 1-800-998-7715.

Additionally, PSM offers top Omaha Insurance Company contracts and commissions to qualified agents. Request information online or give us a call.

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Tags: Medicare Supplement, Assured Life Medicare Supplement, industry news, Omaha Insurance Company, Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement, United of Omaha Medicare Supplement

Penalties for Seniors Who Delay Filing for Medicare

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Feb 03, 2012 @ 09:05 AM

Medicare SupplementsAs you are talking with seniors just aging into the Medicare market, it is important to advise them about the penalties they will pay if they do not sign up for Medicare Part B at the right time. For those seniors who have already filed for Social Security, they will automatically be enrolled in Medicare at age sixty-five. However, seniors who continue in the workforce, either by choice or necessity, and delay their Medicare coverage need to notify Medicare of their decision. Otherwise they will face a 10% Part B penalty for each year that they do not file. So someone filing for the first time at age seventy will face a 50% Part B penalty. The penalty is permanent and can translate into thousands of dollars in unnecessary penalty charges.

For your clients who decide to continue working, advise them to notify Medicare of their decision as soon as they turn sixty-five to ensure they will avoid penalties later. Especially, those seniors who work at a company with over twenty employees, as their employer will continue to provide their benefits. They can do this by choosing the option on the back of the Medicare card that is sent, calling the Social Security Administration, or visiting the SSA website. For their Part D prescription coverage, seniors can delay filing as long as their employer provides equal or better coverage.

Those seniors earning more should also be informed about the surcharges on high-income seniors. Currently, this affects only 5% of seniors, however those still in the workforce are more likely than those retired to fall into the income bracket. The extra charges can be applied not only to Part B, but also Medicare Advantage and Part D coverage.

Advising your prospects of these penalties is great for client retention and relationship growth. While they continue to receive their healthcare from their employer, you can work with them on their final expense, long-term care, and annuity needs until they require a Medicare Supplement.

Please give us your feedback!
Do you have clients who didn't know about these penalties and have suffered inflated costs due to delaying? How do you go about avising your clients who want to delay their Medicare benefits?

Source: KHN

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Tags: United Healthcare Medicare Supplement, Final Expense, Annuities, Senior Market Advice, Medicare Discussion, health insurance news, industry news, Stonebridge Medicare Supplement

Stonebridge Life Medicare Supplement Now Available through Precision Senior Marketing

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 @ 10:41 AM

Medicare SupplementsPrecision Senior Marketing is now a national distributor of the new Stonebridge Life Medicare Supplement product. Scheduled for release in several states, this product is now available for agent contracting and will be released to the public in April 2012.

Austin, TX January 20th, 2012 -- Precision Senior Marketing (PSM), a national Medicare Broker, announced today that it is now distributing the Stonebridge Life Medicare Supplement product. Scheduled for a broad release, Stonebridge Medicare Supplement brings the financial stability and national brand recognition of the Stonebridge name, to the senior market.

"This is one of the most prominent Medicare product release in years," says PSM President Lucas Vandenberg. "PSM is honored to be a distributor of Stonebridge Med Supp, which we believe will be highly sought after by senior market insurance agents throughout the country."

Stonebridge Life Insurance Company is a Transamerica company with more than 20 markets in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Currently, Stonebridge Life covers over 3.7 million consumers with a variety of life, health, accident, dental, and now Medicare Supplement insurance plans. They offer quality products with quick response times as well as courteous and dependable service.

"Stonebridge Life is a trusted name in the insurance industry and I am excited about presenting this product to my senior clients," says PSM agent Steve Wilson. "That trust factor, in combination with competitive premiums, is why I anticipate a fantastic reception across the country."

PSM encourages independent insurance agents to visit its website and/or call 1-800-998-7715 to learn more about the new Stonebridge Life Med Supp product.

Located in Austin, Texas, Precision Senior Marketing, LLC is a full-service, national insurance marketing organization dedicated to recruiting, servicing, and supporting the best senior market insurance agents in the United States. You can visit their website at www.psmbrokerage.com.

LL 25605066

 

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Tags: United Healthcare Medicare Supplement, Medicare Supplement, Medicare News, industry news, Stonebridge Medicare Supplement, insurance companies

Proposed Increase for Medicare Eligibility to Save $148 Billion

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jan 13, 2012 @ 08:53 AM

Medicare SupplementsThis week the federal government released a projected savings of $148 billion dollars over the next 10 years by increasing Medicare eligibility by two years to age 67 by 2021. This is lower than the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) March estimate of $162 billion, however that calculation did not include premiums paid by seniors into the program. Even though the savings will not significantly affect the budget deficit, they will be able to pay for “doc fix”; a permanent pay raise legislated by Congress for Medicare doctors every year with the proposed money accumulated by raising the eligibility age.

President Obama supports increasing Medicare’s eligibility whereas most Democrats in Congress are against it. Some of the CBO’s findings warn that raising the eligibility age may lead to more people applying for Medicaid, therefore receiving lower quality care and paying more out-of-pocket than they would on Medicare.

However on the positive side, those between 65 and 67 who need private health insurance could have better access to doctors. This is especially true if Obama’s healthcare law remains in place. Seniors would have access to private coverage though the new insurance exchanges.

The CBO also found that increasing the Social Security age in two-month increments for those born between 1949 and 1960 will save an additional $144 billion. However, increasing the Social Security eligibility age has remained politically untouchable by both parties in the 112th Congress.

Please give us your feedback!
What do you think about the proposal to increase the Medicare eligibility year from 65 to 67? How will that affect your Medicare Supplement business? What is your opinion on the decision to propose increase the age of eligibility for Medicare rather than Social Security?

Source: The Hill

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Tags: senior market news, health insurance news, industry news, Gerber Life Medicare Supplement, Stonebridge Medicare Supplement

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