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New Study: Nine out of Ten Seniors Value their Medicare Supplemental Plan

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Fri, Mar 01, 2019 @ 02:23 PM

New Study: Nine out of Ten Seniors Value their Medicare Supplemental Plan

Enrollees agree that these plans offer improved  financial security and access to high quality care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Seniors continue to be overwhelmingly satisfied with their Medicare supplemental insurance coverage. According to a study by Global Strategy Group on behalf of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), more than nine out of ten of enrollees value their plan because it protects them against unanticipated costs. Further, 95 percent say these plans allow them to see the doctors and specialists they know and trust.

Medicare Supplement plans offer coverage for out-of-pocket costs that are not covered by traditional Medicare, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. The study asked seniors about the value, benefits, customer service, and overall quality of care received through these plans.

Additional key findings include:

  • Seniors overwhelmingly express high levels of satisfaction with the process to enroll and renew a policy (92 percent), the services and benefits covered (91 percent), the communications received from providers (83 percent), and the value received for the monthly premium (83 percent).
  • More than 90 percent agree their Medicare supplemental plan allows them to receive high quality care; protects them against unexpected, unpredictable medical costs; and the vast majority believe their plan makes it easier to handle medical bills and paperwork.
  • More than 90 percent of respondents expressed concerns about potentially losing their plan or having to pay for potential increases in cost-sharing – reinforcing the value these plans continue to bring to American seniors.

Around 13 million seniors rely on Medicare supplemental insurance, and more than one third of those with a traditional Medicare plan choose to enroll in a Medicare supplemental plan because they offer enhanced protection, consistent coverage, and access to high quality care.

“Seniors should be able to get affordable coverage and care that protects their both their health and financial security,” said Tom Meyers, AHIP Vice President of Product Policy. “We continue to see this overwhelming satisfaction with Medicare supplement plans because they offer peace of mind.”

The complete findings from the Global Strategy Group study including feedback from enrollees, can be found here.

Source: https://www.ahip.org/new-study-nine-out-of-ten-seniors-value-their-medicare-supplemental-plan/


Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Supplement, Medigap

Independent agents increase share of Medigap revenue

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Aug 04, 2016 @ 03:01 PM


More issuers of Medicare supplement insurance policies are selling the products directly to consumers, but independent agents are generating a higher percentage of the Medigap sales revenue.

Analysts at Gen Re have put data supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from Gen Re's 2015 Medigap issuer survey.

A Medigap insurance policy helps people who have the traditional Medicare Part A hospitalization insurance and the traditional Medicare Part B physician and outpatient services coverage fill in the many traditional Medicare coverage gaps. A Medigap plan can help the enrollee meet Medicare deductibles and pay Medicare co-payment and coinsurance bills.

Gen Re, a Stamford, Connecticut-based reinsurance arm of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Company, received 51 completed questionnaires for its 2015 Medigap issuer survey. That was down from 54 in 2014, but it was up from 50 in 2013.

More Medigap issuers reported they are selling the products straight to consumers, without help from agents. The percentage of issuers saying they used the direct-to-consumer channel rose to 55 percent in 2015. That was up from 51 percent in 2014, and up from 41 percent in 2013.

But 87 percent of the active issuers said they sold Medigap coverage through independent agents last year.

The share of sales revenue coming from independent agents rose to 67 percent in 2015. Independent agents accounted for 65 percent of the issuers' sales in 2014, and 59 percent in 2013.

In 2015, 40 of the Medigap issuers that participated in the Gen Re survey were actively selling new Medigap policies.

Revenue from new sales rose 4.2 percent, to $2.2 billion. The number of people covered by the new policies sold rose 3.2 percent.

Revenue from all Medigap policies in force rose 5.7 percent, to $19 billion. The number of people covered by the policies rose 8.5 percent.

Congress created a standardized "letter plan" system for Medigap in 1992. Each new plan sold must offer the standard package of benefits associated with one of the letter plan categories, such as the popular Plan F category.

But the country relies mainly on state insurance regulators to oversee the Medigap market. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has much less direct involvement with overseeing Medigap plans than with overseeing Medicare Advantage plans or the Affordable Care Act public exchange plan system.

Because CMS gets less information about the Medigap program, it tends to publish less data on that program than on other big public health programs.

Source: http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2016/08/01/independent-agents-increase-share-of-medigap-reven

Related: Medigap enrollment rises 6.5%

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Tags: Medicare Supplement, Medigap

[INFOGRAPHIC] Medicare Advantage vs. Medigap

Posted by Carly Callahan on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 @ 09:17 AM


Over the past few years, the markets for both Medicare Advantage and Medigap have continued to skyrocket in growth with respect to enrollment rates, plan options and beneficiary satisfaction. Thus, it is imperative, more now than ever, for senior market insurance agents to have a diversified portfolio to accommodate the demands of both respective client bases. As we prepare to break into a new year, Precision Senior Marketing has crafted this handy infographic to demonstrate trends and changes within those markets so that senior market insurance agents may create an efficient game plan for 2016.


Below are key takeaways from this infographic:

Growth in Enrollment Rates

  • Medicare Advantage ↑ 9% in 2014
  • Medigap ↑ 5.7% in 2014

Popular Medicare Advantage and Medigap Plans

  • Medicare Advantage
    • HMO plans ↑ 6% in 2015
    • Local PPO plans ↑ 8% in 2015
    • Regional PPO plans are fairly flat in enrollment
  • Medigap

Overall Beneficiary Satisfaction

  • Nearly half of all Medicare Advantage plans received a 4-star or better rating out of five stars
    • 70% of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are enrolled in a plan that has a 4-star rating or better
  • 9 out of 10 beneficiaries would recommend Medigap to a friend or relative to fill the gaps left by traditional Medicare
  • 94% of Medigap beneficiaries are satisfied with their coverage

Take a peep below for some further insight!

Medicare Advantage vs Medigap

To get more information on KFF.org's "Medicare Advantage 2015 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update", visit: http://kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-advantage-2015-spotlight-enrollment-market-update/

For more information on AHIP.org's "Trends in Medigap Enrollment and Coverage Options", visit: http://www.ahip.org/epub/medigap-trends-report/

Sources: www.kff.org, www.ahip.org

Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Medigap

Beneficiaries of Medigap: An Abstract

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 @ 10:17 AM

blog pic Recent research indicates Medigap continues to be particularly important to low and moderate-income beneficiaries, especially those living in rural areas. According to the National Association of Insurance Carriers:

  • Nationwide, 48 percent of all non-institutionalized Medicare beneficiaries without any other insurance coverage (M/A, VA, Medicaid, or employer-sponsored insurance) had Medigap policies in 2012;
  • 58 percent of Medigap policyholders are women;
  • Medigap serves an older population: 47 percent are 75-years or older compared to only 38 percent for all Medicare beneficiaries.




Source: ahip.com

Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medigap, medicare enrollment

Medicare Advantage 2014 Spotlight: Enrollment Update

Posted by Jeremy Davis on Fri, May 16, 2014 @ 09:47 AM

Medicare Supplements Despite concerns that payment changes enacted in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 would lead to reductions in Medicare Advantage enrollment, the number and share of Medicare beneficiaries enrolling in Medicare Advantage plans has continued to climb. Since the enactment of the ACA, Medicare Advantage enrollment has increased by 4.6 million, or by 41 percent.

As of March of 2014, 30 percent of people on Medicare (15.7 million beneficiaries) were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, a 10-percent increase since March 2013. Most of the enrollment growth since 2013 has been in the individual market, but group enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans accounted for almost one-third (32%) of the enrollment growth in 2014 and has been a major factor in the experience of some firms.

Medicare Advantage enrollment continues to grow … ultimately the form of both the overall Medicare program and Medicare Advantage will be shaped by the policy and fiscal climate.

READ the Research/VIEW the Graphs:

Source: kff.org


Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medigap, private healthcare enrollment

A Medigap premium tax could save billions

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 @ 02:19 PM

Medicare Supplements Medigap insurance, which reduces consumer out-of-pocket expense, can affect claims at the heart of any plan; says two economists who studied the Medicare Supplement market and analyzed real-world scenarios. The economists believe that simply taxing the Medicare Supplement products could lead to big savings.

Economists Marika Cabral of the University of Texas and Neale Mahoney of the University of Chicago agree that Madigap products encourage extra Medicare spending.

Marika and Neale analyzed Medicare program spending data in hospital service areas across state borders and have also analyzed different Medicare premiums on each side of the border.

The data underwent many variables that could skew comparisons of Medicare Supplement appeals towards the needier elderly, who would also spend heavily even if they only had traditional Medicare.

The findings showed an increase of 22 percent in Medicare spending or about $1400 per year, a 24% increase in hospitalization, with a 34% increase in physician service fee.

The economist estimate a simple 15% Med Supp premium tax could generate $13 billion per year in spending cuts and tax revenue, and that a "Pigouvian tax,” could generate $32 billion in yearly savings.

The research did not focus on the Medigaps effects to patients' health, care, or product satisfaction; however, they found no noticeable effect on the likelihood that patients would get genuinely urgent procedures with or without the use of Medigap.

The economists make their research available on a copyrighted working paper on the National Bureau of Economic Research website.

Please give us your feedback!
Question: Do you think a Medigap premium tax will save the government money in the long run and keep the quality and the satisfaction of care seniors receive high?

Source: LifeHealthPro
Additional Updates:

Tags: Medicare Supplement, Medigap, Pigouvian tax, Med Supp premium tax, Medigap tax, Insurance

Industry coalition defends Medigap plans

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Nov 01, 2013 @ 02:18 PM

Medicare Supplements The Coalition to Promote Choice for Seniors has asked Republican leaders on the House Ways and Means and the House Energy and Commerce committees to protect the Medicare supplement program.

The coalition which is made up Industry insurers, producers and includes organizations as the National Association of Health Underwriters, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, America's Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association groups.

Moreover, the CPCS has defended the Medigap program and has written to Republican leaders in response to allegations that some Medigap plans drive up Medicare program costs.

The Medicare Supplement program helps pay the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by traditional Medicare Part A and Part B, like medical care, co-payment, coinsurance and deductible requirements.

Medicare Supplement insurers are required to offer standardized packages of benefits by law. Supporters for the program say that seniors who purchase the higher quality plans are the ones that know they are more likely to require the need for more expensive care, minimizing their out-of-pocket costs. Critics argue seniors may be encouraged to get unnecessary care, adding little or no value, due to the ease of access to the richer Medigap products.

In October 21st in a letter to Congress, the coalition cautioned “that higher levels of cost sharing would result in delayed treatments that could increase future Medicare costs and result in adverse health outcomes for vulnerable beneficiaries.” They said that restricting the plan options could lead to millions of beneficiaries, who already spend 15% of their income on health related issues, to financial hardship.

Under the existing federal and state law, Medigap contracts are “guaranteed renewable.” Any changes to the law “could result in significant complaints and litigation by changing existing insurance contracts”.

Debates over restricting access to richer Medigap products and imposing surtax on some or all its policyholders are fiercely debated by leaders of the House.

Please give us your feedback!
Question: Will altering the Medigap plan hurt financially vulnerable seniors who are already beneficiaries, or will it discourage seniors from seeking unnecessary care and help the plan save money on the long run?


Source: LifeHealthPro

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

Tags: Beneficiaries, Medicare, Law, Medicare Supplement, Medigap, med supp

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