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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

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

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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

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

Roadmap to excel as an advisor

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 @ 12:48 PM

Medicare SupplementsRunning a business can be a daunting task; even more so, if the business has been running on survival mode for the last couple of years. Everything that has been tried to ensure success has returned nothing but disappointment.

What went wrong? Why is the business only hanging by a thin thread? The business has a marketing plan in place and a large budget to focus on traditional and new media techniques; such as, direct mail, radio, emails, and search engine optimization (SEO). Plus, it offers a wide range of products that the public wants. Yet, nothing seems to work!

For many advisors, it is hard to see that the problem comes from poorly designed marketing campaigns. Too often, advisors are too eager to sell their product. They focus on getting one message out to the masses, and expect to see a great influx of leads to be quickly converted into sales.

Instead, focus on the targeted audience and identify what their needs are. Once this has been determined, then the marketing message and campaigns can be tailored accordingly. Do the same to the other product lines, identify, categorize, customize, and so on. Soon, your hard work will pay-off, and you will see leads building up.

Engage them further, once the prospect has made contact; follow up with a call, invite them to a free event, offer a free report or direct them to informative video feeds on your website. These little actions will help keep the dialogue open and help ease their decision into becoming a new customer.

Just remember by building an effective marketing plan that will allow you to identify prospects needs, match them with the proper product line, and build a system to engage them and follow up, you should be well on your way to the road to excel as an advisor.

Question: Do you feel your business is hanging by a thin thread? Would revamping the marketing approach help your business move in the right direction?


Please give us your feedback!
Do you feel your business is hanging by a thin thread? Would revamping the marketing approach help your business move in the right direction?

 

Source: LifeHealthPro

Additional Updates:
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Tags: Insurance advisor, Senior insurance, Sales Tips, Success Tips, Web Marketing Advice, Web Tips, Health Insurance, Referrals, Creating Value, insurance companies, Advisor

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