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Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage 2019

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Oct 25, 2018 @ 09:21 AM

Best Insurance Companies for
Medicare Advantage 2019

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Medicare eligible beneficiaries can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan from a private insurance company instead of choosing Original Medicare Parts A and B. U.S. News provides a tool for Medicare-eligible beneficiaries to find the best Medicare plans for their needs. All plan information and star ratings come directly from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at Medicare.gov.

U.S. News analyzed insurance companies’ offerings in each state based on their CMS star ratings, and below provides a list of the Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage. A Best Insurance Company for Medicare Advantage is defined as a company whose plans were all rated as at least three stars by CMS and whose plans have an average rating of 4.5 or more stars within the state. Read more about our methodology.

Click the links below to view the individual plans and their CMS star ratings. We also highlight Best Insurance Companies for Part D Prescription Drug Plans.

Other insurance companies have 5-star rated plans. Anyone researching Medicare Advantage plans should compare individual plans offered in their service area.

STATE COMPANIES
   
ALABAMA
CIGNA-HEALTHSPRING
ARIZONA
CIGNA
ARKANSAS
CIGNA-HEALTHSPRING
CALIFORNIA
KAISER PERMANENTE 
ANTHEM BLUE CROSS 
CHINESE COMMUNITY HEALTH PLAN 
SCAN HEALTH PLAN
COLORADO
KAISER PERMANENTE
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
KAISER PERMANENTE
FLORIDA
CAREPLUS HEALTH PLANS, INC. 
FLORIDA BLUE HMO 
HEALTHSPRING OF FLORIDA, INC. 
HEALTHSUN HEALTH PLANS, INC. 
CAPITAL HEALTH PLAN 
FREEDOM HEALTH, INC. 
OPTIMUM HEALTHCARE, INC. 
ULTIMATE HEALTH PLANS
GEORGIA
KAISER PERMANENTE
HAWAII
KAISER PERMANENTE 
HMSA AKAMAI ADVANTAGE
ILLINOIS
MEDICAL ASSOCIATES HEALTH PLAN, INC. 
SENIOR PREFERRED
IOWA
MEDICAL ASSOCIATES HEALTH PLAN, INC. 
AETNA MEDICARE 
SENIOR PREFERRED
LOUISIANA
PEOPLES HEALTH
MAINE
MARTIN'S POINT GENERATIONS ADVANTAGE
MARYLAND
KAISER PERMANENTE
MASSACHUSETTS
TUFTS HEALTH PLAN 
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS
MICHIGAN
UNITEDHEALTHCARE
MINNESOTA
SENIOR PREFERRED 
BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF MINNESOTA 
BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MINNESOTA 
HEALTHPARTNERS
MISSOURI
ANTHEM BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD 
ESSENCE HEALTHCARE
NEW HAMPSHIRE
MARTIN'S POINT GENERATIONS ADVANTAGE
NEW YORK
CDPHP MEDICARE ADVANTAGE 
INDEPENDENT HEALTH 
MVP HEALTH CARE
NORTH DAKOTA
HEALTHPARTNERS
OHIO
PRIMETIME HEALTH PLAN 
SUMMACARE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS
OREGON
KAISER PERMANENTE 
PROVIDENCE HEALTH ASSURANCE
PENNSYLVANIA
HIGHMARK CHOICE COMPANY 
HIGHMARK SENIOR HEALTH COMPANY
SOUTH DAKOTA
HEALTHPARTNERS
TENNESSEE
HUMANA 
CIGNA-HEALTHSPRING
TEXAS
KELSEYCARE ADVANTAGE 
SCOTT AND WHITE HEALTH PLAN
VERMONT
MVP HEALTH CARE
VIRGINIA
KAISER PERMANENTE 
ANTHEM BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD
WASHINGTON
KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN OF WASHINGTON 
KAISER PERMANENTE 
PROVIDENCE HEALTH ASSURANCE
WISCONSIN
CARE WISCONSIN HEALTH PLAN, INC. 
DEAN ADVANTAGE, PREVEA360 MEDICARE ADVANTAGE
DEAN HEALTH PLAN, INC. 
HEALTHPARTNERS 
MEDICAL ASSOCIATES CLINIC HEALTH PLAN OF WISCONSIN 
SENIOR PREFERRED

Every Year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5- star rating system. This is not a complete listing of plans available in your service area. For a complete listing please contact 1-800- MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877- 486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.

https://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-medicare-plans/best-insurance-companies-for-medicare-advantage-plans

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Humana, Cigna, Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Medicare News, aetna

U.S. News & World Report Announces the 2019 Best Insurance Companies for Medicare

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Oct 25, 2018 @ 09:08 AM

U.S. News & World Report Announces the 2019 Best Insurance Companies for Medicare

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in healthcare rankings, today released the 2019 Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans. The new ratings are a resource for Medicare beneficiaries and their families searching for the best coverage options during the annual open-enrollment period, which began October 15 and runs through December 7, 2018.

The Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage (a state-by-state list) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (same thing in this article) highlights insurance companies that consistently offer highly rated health coverage to Medicare beneficiaries, who are typically age 65 or older.

"Medicare beneficiaries face many complex considerations when it comes to choosing the best health insurance plan, including monthly cost and in-network and out-of-network benefits," said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis for U.S. News. "Our easy-to-navigate online tools and straightforward ratings help consumers identify which plan is best for their specific needs."

Insurance companies were recognized if either their Medicare Advantage or their Part D plans received an average rating of 4.5 stars or higher across all plans in a given state. Companies that consistently offer highly rated Medicare Advantage plans in multiple states include Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Cigna-HealthSpring, HealthPartners, Kaiser Permanente, Martin's Point Generations Advantage, Medical Associates Health Plan, Inc., MVP HEALTH CARE, Providence Health Assurance, and Senior Preferred. For Part D Prescription Drug plans, 12 states have one insurer that made the U.S. News list, with Blue Cross Blue Shield being the single insurer in 11 of those 12 states.

U.S. News uses plan-ratings data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to populate its comparison tool and identify the Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans. CMS rates individual plans on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. The U.S. News methodology analyzes insurers in a given state with plans rated 3-stars or higher by CMS.

The Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans serve the broader U.S. News mission to provide trusted information and rankings that help Americans navigate complex health care decisions, including their choices of insurance plans, doctors, hospitals and nursing homes.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-news--world-report-announces-the-2019-best-insurance-companies-for-medicare-300736160.html

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Medicare News, Part D

Politicians Hop Aboard ‘Medicare-For-All’ Train, Destination Unknown

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Oct 25, 2018 @ 08:32 AM

Politicians Hop Aboard ‘Medicare-For-All’ Train, Destination Unknown


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks during a health care rally at the 2017 Convention of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee on Sept. 22, 2017 in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

After decades in the political wilderness, “Medicare-for-all” and single-payer health care are suddenly popular. The words appear in political advertisements and are cheered at campaign rallies — even in deep-red states. They are promoted by a growing number of high-profile Democratic candidates, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Rep. Beto O’Rourke in Texas.

Republicans are concerned enough that this month President Donald Trump wrote a scathing op-ed essay that portrayed Medicare for all as a threat to older people and to American freedom.

It is not that. But what exactly these proposals mean to many of the people who say they support them remains unclear.

As a renegade candidate for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) opened the door to such drastic reform. Now, with Republicans showing little aptitude for fixing an expensive, dysfunctional health system, more voters, doctors and politicians are walking through it.

More than 120 members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors of a bill called the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, up from 62 in 2016. And at least 70 have joined Capitol Hill’s new Medicare for All Caucus.

But some worry the terms “Medicare-for-all” and “single-payer” are at risk of becoming empty campaign slogans. In precise terms, Medicare-for-all means bringing all Americans under the government’s insurance program now reserved for people 65 and over, while single-payer health care would have the government pay everyone’s medical bills. But few politicians are speaking precisely.

Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster, said, “People read into ‘Medicare-for-all’ what they want to read into it.”

For every candidate with a clear proposal in mind, another uses the phrases as a proxy for voter frustration. The risk, some critics say, is that “Medicare-for-all” could become a Democratic version of the Republican “repeal and replace” slogan — a vote-getter that does not translate to political action because there is neither agreement about what it means nor a viable plan.

“If you’re on the left, you have to have something on health care to say at town halls,” said David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund. “So you say this and move on. That’s part of the motivation.”

Dr. Carol Paris, the president of Physicians for a National Health Program, an advocacy group, said she has fielded a number of calls from candidates asking for tutorials on Medicare-for-all.

“I’m heartened, but not persuaded” that all the high-profile talk will result in any action, she said. She worries about what she called “faux ‘Medicare-for-all’ plans” that don’t live up to the mantra.

Continue to read the full article

Additional Updates:
 

Tags: Medicare, Medicare News

What Medicare Advantage means for private insurers

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 @ 03:36 PM

Medicare AdvantageAs seniors reach 65 many are faced with a lot of questions about their health, health coverage, and the many plans accessible to them. Currently there has been a tremendous enrollment increase for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans or Medicare Plan C as they are known. This growth has been on the rise since 2004, and it currently makes up about 25 percent of traditional Medicare enrollee opting for MA plans, reports the Kaiser Family Foundation. This trend has more the doubled beneficiaries’ enrollment from 5.3 million to 13.1 million in 2012.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, Medicare Advantage enrollment is expected to grow from 14 million, in 2013, to 21 million by fiscal year 2023.

What it means to seniors?
More and more seniors choose to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans because these plans provide comprehensive medical coverage which are of higher-quality care, with better services, and provide additional benefits. These plans are also used by elderly and people with disabilities to cover additional medical expenses that Medicare does not already cover.  Additionally, MA plans are more likely to be purchased by healthy seniors than other supplemental insurance options because these policies are more affordable on a monthly basis.

Cost savings is the driving force behind the increased enrollment of Medicare Advantage plans. With Medicare’s Part A, the insured is provided with inpatient hospital care; however, the enrollees are stuck to cover fluctuating deductibles associated with this plan yearly. Part B covers doctor’s expenses and preventive services, such as, flu. Medicare Part C is the Med Advantage plan that covers the additional expenses not covered by both Part A and B plans, excluding End-Stage Renal.

Further savings can be seen with MA premiums. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that 50% of seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans have no extra premiums, and two-thirds enrolled in the HMO Advantage plans pay nothing extra.

What does this growth mean to private insurers?
Earlier this year the House mandated a proposal that would make payment cuts to MA plans beginning 2014. By law, Medicare Advantage plans are required by law, to lower cost as much as 7 to 8%, and use 85 percent of their revenue on medical care and quality improvement efforts. Those who fail to meet the requirements will be prohibited from accepting new enrollees, and their plans will be terminated after five years of noncompliance.

However, that proposal changed when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) decided to increase payments by 3.3 percent. The proposed change could average $50 or more per month for a Med Advantage enrollee.  According to the CMS, the change was made to improve program stability and payment accuracy.

Selling Medicare Advantage plans is not as simple as having a basic health insurance license. By law, CMS requires agents, brokers and all licensed sales representatives to complete a CMS certification program before any marketing and selling can be done.

Additionally, with the certification comes responsibility. It is very important for agents to educate enrollees to what exactly the products they are buying.

Another factor private insurer’s face is the CMS Complaint Tracking Module. The CTM is a complaint tracking module used to track the accuracy of incidents and complaints, responses to those complaints and to ensure compliance.
  
With the advancement in technology, private insurers should embrace the latest technologies to facilitate the response time to any compliance needs. And with the help of their well-trained CMS certified representatives and producers, they should be able to quickly address any concerns or request their clients may have.


Please give us your feedback!
Question: Do you feel that the CMS abrupt change to increase MA payments by 3.3% will further encourage the quality of care seniors receive? Will this help insurers improve CTM compliance?

Source: LifeHealthPro
Additional Updates:

    • 2014 Medicare Advantage and Part D Certifications are now available! Learn More

Tags: Beneficiaries, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Medicare benefits, Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Medicare News, Medicaid

CMS keeps steady Medicare Part B premiums

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Nov 08, 2013 @ 10:50 AM

Medicare Supplements The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have decided to keep Medicare Part B monthly premiums at bay.

Medicare Part B helps pay for physician services, medical supplies, and other outpatient services not covered by Medicare Part A service plan.

In 2014, the monthly base actuarial rate for seniors’ participants will be $209.80 per month, while those low to moderate-income enrollees will pay premiums at $104.90.

2013 monthly premium levels remain unchanged and the $147 deductible will continue for Part B plans per year.

Less relevant to participants are the Medicare Part A hospitalization premiums, this is highly due to about 99% of Medicare enrollees qualify for Part A coverage without having to pay a premium, says CMS.

In a notice published at the Federal Register, October 30, CMS notice, CMS-8055-N, enrollees that do pay monthly premiums will range between $15 $426 in 2014.

An income-related monthly adjustments amount has been imposed by the Medicare program on beneficiaries with an annual taxable income less than or equal to $85,000 or joint annual taxable income less than or equal to $170,000, is $104.90.

The most a Medicaid enrollee can pay in monthly premium is $335.70, with an annual taxable income greater than $214,000 or joint annual taxable income greater than $428,000.


Please give us your feedback!
Question: Do you think the government will keep Medicare Part B premiums at bay in 2015 or will there be a premium hike?

Source: LifeHealthPro
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Tags: Beneficiaries, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Medicare benefits, Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare, Senior Market, Medicare News, Medicaid

Impact of Healthcare Reform on the Medicare Market

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Sep 06, 2013 @ 11:15 AM

Medicare SupplementsAs the Affordability and Accountability Act inches closer to the October 1st launch date, many insurers are anticipating major changes in the regulatory and funding under the new health care reform law. With all this anticipation going around, how will the Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage programs be affected by the changes?

For Medicare Supplement program, health care is hardly unaffected by the ACA. Under the new changes (Section 3210 of ACA), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) was required to add a minimal cost to the C and F plans. In December 2012, in a letter to Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius, the NAIC recommended a no cost sharing to the plans, stressing that that the additional cost would decrease usage. In May 28, 2013, the no cost sharing to plans C and F was accepted in a letter response by HHS Director Kathleen Sebelius.

The Medicare Advantage program has been affected the most by the changes. The ACA holds the Med Advantage program to an 85% minimum loss ratio. It further requires the funding levels to the plans to be restructured, removing 14% overpayment to Medicare Advantage, aligning it closer to the traditional Medicare program. This in spite of the 2012 demonstration program by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which expended payments to the Medicare Advantage program and regulates the funding and cuts of program.

With the regulations that the ACA has put in place for the health care reform, it has had a two-pronged road affect. The traditional plan seems to have gone unscathed, while the Med Advantage has an uphill battle adjusting it rates to the market, as well as, and being a hot topic for future political health battle grounds to come.


Please give us your feedback!
Does the health care reform hurt the Medicare insurance industry or will it make it more competitive and affordable?

 

Source: CSG Actuarial

Additional Updates:
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Tags: Senior insurance, Health Insurance, Medicare Supplement, Medicare News, health insurance industry, health care reform

Physicians Medicare participation on the rise

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 @ 02:33 PM

Medicare SupplementsIn recent years, the numbers of doctors who have chosen to participate in Medicare program have risen. According to a Department of Health and Human Services, it rose by one-third from 2007 and 2011. The growth can also be seen in the 2011; about 1.25 million physicians billed Medicare, compared to the 925,000 of those who billed for their services in 2007, as reported by HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

According to Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator and director for the Center of Medicare, the trend "provides a more complete picture of how physicians choose to participate in the Medicare system."

The growth has continued despite the physicians complaints about Medicare payment caps, new paper work requirements, and Congress political delays of the payment of the Medicare beneficiary system, which could lower rates by 30% and is designed to ensure Medicare expenses do not exceed GDP growth.

However, in a Wall Street Journal article, it was reported that there was an increase in physicians opt out rate from the Medicare program, the number had risen from 3,700 doctors in 1997 to 9,500 in 2012, commissioning an investigation to the findings.

In spite of the WSJ article, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (Medpac), reported that even though older doctors are opting out of the Medicare system, more new primary care professionals are opting into the system, according to Blum.

The researchers found that office based doctors made up 90% of those accepting new Medicaid patients, and Medicare patient found doctors in a timely manner. They also found 28% of the 7% of Medicare patients searching for new primary care doctors had a challenging time finding one that accepted Medicaid the year before. These are rates similarly aligned to those of private insurers, said Blum.


Please give us your feedback!
Do these findings raise awareness that agents and brokers make health insurance shopping more affordable?

 

Source: USA Today

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Tags: Insurance advisor, Senior insurance, Health Insurance, Medicare Supplement, Medicare News, health insurance industry, insurance companies

Proposed Bill would Pay Seniors to Say Healthy

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 @ 09:06 AM

Medicare Supplements A new bipartisan legislation was introduced last month by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) that would allow Medicare to pay seniors to improve and maintain their health. The pinned Medicare Better Health Rewards program would measure the seniors' wellness using six criteria: blood pressure, cholesterol, tobacco use, body mass index, diabetes indicators, and up-to-date vaccinations and screenings.

With this plan, seniors would work with their doctors during their yearly Medicare "wellness" visits to evaluate their performance and to improve their health based on the set standards. Successful beneficiaries will be eligible for up to $200 by the program’s second year and $400 by its third year.

Rob Kind, (D-Wisconsin), a co-sponsor of twin House legislation stated "This is exactly the kind of bold, concrete and common-sense legislation that we need to rein in health care spending and help our seniors live healthy lives."

The initiative would be funded by Medicare savings generated by healthier seniors. However, it's only one of the options being considered to lower the program’s healthcare costs.


Please give us your feedback!
What are your thoughts? Do you think this bill would help improve wellness and reduce healthcare costs?

 

Source: The Hill

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Tags: senior market news, Medicare News, health insurance news, health insurance industry, Combined Insurance Medicare Supplement, Cigna Medicare Supplement, Baby Boomers

The HHS Agrees with the NAIC on Cost Sharing

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 @ 09:09 AM

Medicare Supplements The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has taken the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)'s advice not to impose a nominal cost sharing in Medicare Supplement insurance Parts C and F. Kathlee Sebelius, a former NAIC president herself, wrote in a letter to current NAIC President Jim Donelon "I value the NAIC's expertise on Medigap and other health insurance issues and the strong partnership between NAIC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This partnership has been instrumental in the effective implementation of numerous provisions of the Affordable Care Act."

The HHS had requested under PPACA that the NAIC revise the NAIC Medicare supplement insurance model to include a nominal cost sharing in Medigap Plans C and F to encourage the use of appropriate physician's services under Medicare Part B.

However, last December, the NAIC recommended against this nominal cost sharing and did not revise the standard benefit packages for these model plans. Besides studying the issue, the NAIC communicated caution with proceeding with nominal Medigap cost sharing because it could delay treatments that people really need. This would make the more vulnerable populations worse off in the long run with costly hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Also, when referencing the changes to Medigap's plan offerings that started in 2010, the NAIC stated "We are still learning the impact of these new offerings on both the Medigap market and to the Medicare program."

Despite the HHS agreeing to not go forward with these changes, the Medicare Trustee report has projected that the trust fund that finances Medicare's hospital insurance coverage will stay solvent until 2026, which is two years longer than it was projected last year. Additionally, Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D are both projected to remain funded into the foreseeable future because current law automatically provides financing each year to meet the next year's expected costs.


Please give us your feedback!
Are you glad the HHS has taken the NAIC's advice not the impose nomial cost sharing? Are you surprised by the decision or were you expecting it?

 

Source: LifeHealthPro

Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare News, senior insurance market news, health care reform, Stonebridge Medicare Supplement

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

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