<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=302779086974399&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1"> Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

New Nationwide Medicare Card Scam

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 @ 09:34 AM

Medicare Supplements Nationwide, Medicare beneficiaries have been reporting scam phone calls that inform them a new Medicare card is in the mail. If your senior clients ask you about this, please advise them to hang up on these suspicious callers and do not fall for this attempt at gaining access to their personal information.

How the scam works:
A senior answers the phone and an unknown caller, usually with an accent, claims to be with Medicare or another government office. He will inform them that their new Medicare card is in the mail and they will receive it in a few days. However, in the meantime they need to set up their direct deposit so their Medicare funds can be deposited into their bank account. All they need to do is tell the caller their banking information and he will take care of the rest.

An alternative method has the caller asking the senior to verify their identity in order to receive their new card. They will ask for their Medicare card number (social security number) as well as other personal information they can then use to steal their identity.

Here’s how your clients can avoid Medicare Card Identity Theft:

  1. Don’t carry their Medicare card in their wallet. If the card is lost or stolen the scammer can use the information to commit identity theft.

  2. Don’t give their information over the Internet, over the phone, or to anyone to goes into their home uninvited. Only give personal information to doctors and providers approved by Medicare.

  3. If they suspect identity theft, or feel like they’ve given their personal information to someone they shouldn’t have, they need to call the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338.

Hopefully your senior clients won’t be targeted by this scam; however, it’s always best to be prepared in case. See Medicare.gov for more information about Medicare fraud, ID theft and other issues.


Please give us your feedback!
Have any of your clients contacted you asking about this scam? Do you warn your clients about scamming and give them tips on what not to do?

 

Source: The Banner

Additional Updates:
  • DE, FL, KS, OH, ND, and UT Agents: Lower Med Supp Rates with Higher Commissions - Learn More
  • Lucrative New Senior Market Niche - Learn More
  • There's a New Med Supp in Town - Learn More

Tags: Success Tips, senior market news, Quality Management, Equitable Life Medicare Supplement, Customer Service, Building Client Relationships, Stonebridge Medicare Supplement, Cigna Medicare Supplement

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

Additional Updates:
  • The Next Big Med Supp in GA - Learn More
  • There's a New Med Supp in Town for KS, ME, and WI - Learn More

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

How Healthcare Reform will Affect Med Supp Products

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, May 31, 2013 @ 09:26 AM

Medicare Supplements The largest portion of healthcare reform Affordability and Accountability Act "ACA" is set to go into effect in 2014. For the most part the Medicare Supplement market will be largely unaffected by ACA with most of the impact resulting indirectly from changes to Medicare Advantage.

Possible impact to Medicare Supplements:

Medicare Supplement::

  • Section 3210 of ACA required the NAIC to add a nominal cost sharing to plans C and F (however, the NAIC has recommended no cost sharing to plans C and F due to lack of evidence this would decrease utilization. This has not been decided upon.)
  • Mostly unaffected by ACA, as long as Plan F doesn't change

Medicare Advantage:
  • Medicare Advantage plans will be held to a minimum loss ratio of 85%
  • Restructures the funding levels to Medicare Advantage plans in order to reduce the payments closer to traditional Medicare
    • CBO estimates this will cut approximately $145 billion over the next 10 years
    • The payment restructuring was designed to be implemented over 3-6 years, which began in 2011

The changes to ACA may even prove positive for the Medicare Supplement market. Medicare Supplements will not be affected by minimum loss ratio changes or any major plan changes, whereas the Medicare Advantage market will most likely have a higher minimum loss radio requirement and continued political pressure on funding.

If there are any Medicare Supplement carriers you’d like to add to your portfolio, give your marketer a call at 1-800-998-7715; they can assist you with more information on all of the carriers PSM offers.


Please give us your feedback!
Do you think the ACA will affect your Medicare Supplement sales? Your Medicare Advantage sales?

 

Source: CSG Actuarial

Tags: senior market news, Medicare Supplement, Medicare News, Medicare Advantage News, Medicare Sales

Proposed Medicare Advantage Cuts Reversed

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Apr 05, 2013 @ 09:58 AM

Medicare SupplementsOn Monday the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services scrapped the proposed 2.2 percent cut to Medicare Advantage plans. America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) was against the decrease all along, launching a campaign lobbying against it which included television ads, studies defending Medicare Advantage, and a letter-writing campaign with members of Congress. AHIP argued that seniors and those with disabilities enrolled in these plans would face higher premiums, reduced benefits and some loss of coverage options if these cuts were put into effect.

Instead, the Medicare agency announced that it would offer a 3.3 percent payment increase for next year. Jonathan Blum, CMS acting principal deputy administrator explained, "The policies announced today further the agency’s goal of improving payment accuracy in all our programs, while at the same time ensuring program stability and preserving beneficiary choice."

AHIP praised the agency for avoiding what it termed a "crushing blow" to Medicare Advantage beneficiaries. President and CEO of AHIP, Karen Ignagni, stated "CMS has taken an important step to help stabilize Medicare Advantage at a time when the program is facing significant challenges." She continued by saying that AHIP will continue to work with policymakers in both parties "to strengthen this critically important part of Medicare that provides high-quality, affordable coverage to more than 14 million seniors and people with disabilities."

This change is seen as a huge victory for health insurance lobbyists who worked very hard to reverse these potentially devastating cuts. However this is hardly the end of the Medicare Advantage trial. Medicare Advantage plans are still on the road to several major long-term alterations in the next few years. We will just have to wait and see which ones actually go into effect.


Please give us your feedback!
Does this reversal suprise you? OR did you figure their cuts wouldn't go through? What do you think is next for Medicare Advantage?

 

Source: Benefitspro.com, National Review

Additional Updates:
  • There's a New Med Supp in Town from Cigna - Learn More
  • Cigna Med Supp Gift Card Contest Starts Now - Learn More
  • 14.5 Million MA Members - Over Half are on a Zero Dollar Premium Plan - Learn More
  • Omaha Insurance Company Med Supp will be Released in FL, IA, OK, TX, VA - Learn More

Tags: senior market news, Medicare Advantage News, Cigna Medicare Supplement, Omaha Insurance Company, Sentinel Life Hospital Indemnity

The State-by-State Impact of 2014 MA Cuts

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 @ 08:42 AM

Medicare SupplementsDue to the proposed tax included in the health care reform, those seniors in Medicare Advantage will be facing a $50-$90 per month increase in premiums and/or reductions in benefits next year. This week, new Oliver Wyman data released by America’s Health Insurance Plans’ (AHIP) Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC) provided a breakdown of which states would be most impacted.

Seniors in Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Texas will be hit hardest with their plans increasing $80-$90 a month. California seniors are expected to face a $70-$80 a month increase on their premiums. Most other states will see increases of $50-$60 a month with North Dakota seeing the lowest increase of just $30-$40 a month in premiums.

USA map with 2014 MA Changes

In the past week 120 members of Congress have expressed their concerns about the impact the new cuts will have on seniors. Twenty-two Senators sent a bipartisan letter to the CMS about their concern saying "we are concert that the proposals could result in reduced access for our constituents who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage. Plans have informed us that they may exit certain markets as a result of CMS’ proposal." The ninety-eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ letter stated, "The assumption on the SGR is particularly problematic because it almost certainly will turn out to be wrong and it directly translates into lower funding to support the health benefits of the 14 million Medicare beneficiaries who currently are enrolled in MA plans."

Meanwhile, AHIP has offered a recommendation to stabilize the program and avoid significant disruption to seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage. The 2014 MA payment rates are scheduled to be finalized April 1.

Medicare Supplements Precision Senior Marketing will be closed after 1pm Friday, March 29 for the Easter holiday weekend. Regular 8am-5pm CDT hours will resume Monday, April 1. We wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday. We appreciate your business and the opportunity to serve your needs.


Please give us your feedback!
Are you surprised by these Medicare Advantage increases? How do you think it will affect the program?

 

Source: Marketwatch, MedicareChoices.org

Additional Updates:
  • Combined Ins - Now Offering 24% Commission - Learn More
  • Equitable Life Med Supp Now Available in OR, ND, SC - Learn More
  • New Omaha Insurance Med Supp release - TX, OK, IA and VA - Learn More

Tags: senior market news, Medicare Advantage, Combined Insurance Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage News, Equitable Life Medicare Supplement, Omaha Insurance Company

Projected Hits for Medicare Advantage in 2014

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Mar 01, 2013 @ 11:11 AM

Medicare Supplements This week America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) warned that the potential 2.3 percent reduction in Medicare Advantage payments proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) combined with PPACA's payment cuts will result in benefit reductions and premium increases of $50 to $90 on average. These cuts would affect 14 million seniors which is roughly 28 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries. An analysis prepared for AHIP states that the effect of the changes from both PPACA and the new payment cuts will result in an estimated 6.9 to 7.8 percent cut to Medicare Advantage plans in 2014.

The cuts were proposed last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). New rules will be published by CMS on April 1, 2013. Subsidies will be slashed and access to the report will be severely restricted, according to the AMAC industry analysts.

The analysis was made by actuaries at Oliver Wyman and was prepared for AHIP. The Oliver Wyman report states, "Virtually all of the 14.1 million Medicare beneficiaries are likely to be affected by these changes, either through increased premiums, reduced benefits, or plan exits from local markets."

The major impact of these changes will reduce Medicare Advantage in 2014 by more than eight percent or nearly $11 billion. Understandably, health insurance stocks reacted to the news negatively and took a hit. The costs per person for Medicare Advantage plans are a bigger drop than many analysts had anticipated.

So far in 2013, only four percent of PPACA's $200 billion in Medicare Advantage cuts have gone into effect. However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that, after it's fully phased in, the cuts alone will result in three million less people in the program. The PPACA's new health insurance tax will begin in 2014 and Oliver Wyman has previously estimated that this tax alone will cause approximately $220 in higher out-of-pocket costs for seniors, reduced benefits for next year, and $3,500 in additional costs of the next 10 years.

AHIP contrasted the cuts by releasing projections for medical cost increasing three percent. Karen Ignagni of AHIP stated "The proposed changes to Medicare Advantage payments are a crushing blow to the millions of seniors and people with disabilities who count on this critically important part of Medicare."

Please give us your feedback!
How do you feel about these rate increases to Medicare Advantage? How do you think it will affect your business? Do you think this is positive for your Medicare Supplement business?

 

Source: LifeHealthPro

Additional Updates:
  • Equitable Life Med Supp Now Available in AZ, NC, TX, UT, WV - Learn More
  • Reach New Sales Heights with Stonebridge Life Med Supp - Learn More
  • Gerber Life Med Supp MN Application Change - Learn More

Tags: Current Events, senior market news, Medicare News, Medicare Advantage News, Equitable Life Medicare Supplement, Gerber Life Medicare Supplement, Stonebridge Medicare Supplement

New Rates from Equitable Life Med Supp

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 @ 09:29 AM

Equitable Life Medicare Supplement


We are pleased to announce that with Precision Senior Marketing, you now have the opportunity to offer Equitable Life's Medicare Supplement Plans. For over 75 years, Equitable Life has provided top-notch Life and Health insurance plans, backed by superior, friendly personalized service, to consumers and agents across this country.

Now is a great time to add Equitable Life to your senior portfolio and provide your senior clients with some of the most competitive plans in the market.

Equitable Life has New Lower Rates on their Medicare Supplement Plans

13 States Approved with New Lower Rates:
AL, DE, IA, IL, KY, MI, MT, NM, NV, OK, SD, TN & VA

More State Approvals Coming Soon:
AR, AZ, CO, CT, GA,ID, IN, KS, LA, ME, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, WV, WY

Please see the Equitable Life Med Supp Competitive Comparison for how Equitable’s rates stack up against the competition.

Agent Benefits Include:

  • Competitive Rates
  • Excellent Commissions
  • Direct Company Contract
  • Advancing Available
  • Voice Application - Great for phone sales
  • 5 Star Service and Support



Request Information

 

Additional Updates:
  • Introducing Competitive Med Supp Rates from Equitable Life - Learn More

Tags: senior market news, Medicare Supplement, Senior Market, Medicare News, Equitable Life Medicare Supplement

A New Med Supp from Cigna Supplemental Benefits - Approved for Sale

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Feb 08, 2013 @ 10:18 AM

Cigna Medicare Supplement

Cigna Medicare Supplement Solutions / ARLIC Medicare Supplement is now available in Alabama, Iowa, New Mexico, Oklahoma and South Dakota with more states coming soon!

If you are not appointed to offer this competitive product, request information now.

Cigna is one of the biggest names in the insurance industry and is releasing a new Medicare Supplement in the following states: Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

The Cigna Medicare Supplement is insured by the American Retirement Life Insurance Company, with competitive rates nationwide.

When you become appointed with Cigna Supplement Benefits and take advantage of competitive rates, high commissions, online contracting, paperless application with no we signature required, clean cases are issued in 2-4 days, and daily advances available.

Approved States:

Alabama - Application (AL) / Outline of Coverage(AL)

Iowa - Application (IA) / Outline of Coverage (IA)

New Mexico - Application (NM) / Outline of Coverage (NM)

Oklahoma - Application (OK) / Outline of Coverage (OK)

South Dakota - Application (SD) / Outline of Coverage (SD)

All States:
ARLIC Declinable Drug List / ARLIC Agent Guide

Stay tuned for upcoming releases in CO, KY, LA, MS, MT, NE, NV, SC, WV & UT.

Take advantage of this tremendous opportunity and add the new ARLIC Medicare Supplement to your portfolio today.


Request Information

 

Additional Updates:
  • New Medicare Supplement from Cigna - Learn More
  • Commission Increase with Combined Insurance - Learn More

Tags: senior market news, Medicare Supplement, Medicare News, Combined Insurance Medicare Supplement, Cigna Medicare Supplement

Low Rates to the Rescue: NEW! Cigna Medicare Supplement

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 10:57 AM

Cigna, one of the biggest names in the insurance industry, is releasing a new Medicare Supplement in the following states: AL, CO, IA, OK, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MT, NE, NV, NM, NC, ND, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, WY. The Medicare Supplement is insured by the American Retirement Life Insurance Company and features competitive rates nationwide.

Become appointed with Cigna Supplemental Benefits and take advantage of:

  • Competitive Rates Nationwide
  • High Commissions
  • Online Contracting
  • Paperless Application Process - No Wet Signature Required
  • Clean Cases Issue in 2-4 days
  • Daily Advances Available

Contact us today at 1-800-998-7715 or click the link below to complete your contracting and start selling!


Request Information

Additional Updates:
  • New Medicare Supplement from Cigna - Learn More
  • Gerber Medicare Supplement Rate Adjustment for New Mexico - Learn More
  • Gerber Medicare Supplement Rate Adjustment for Nebraska - Learn More

Tags: Cigna, senior market news, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Sales, Cigna Medicare Supplement

The Fiscal-Cliff and Medicare

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jan 04, 2013 @ 01:14 PM

Medicare Supplements On Tuesday, Congress passed a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff called the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. This bill delayed the budget sequestration by two months in order to give more time for negotiations between the parties on how to reduce the deficit. This highly controversial bill still leaves several unresolved budget issues, including cuts to Medicare and Medicare payments. It also fails to address the required increase to the national debt ceiling.

Some of the highlights included in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 are:
(for a full list, go here)

  • Medicare Advantage, health plans, hospitals, and dialysis centers were hit the hardest with payment cuts. Physicians, pharmacies, and other providers also saw large reductions.

  • Physicians avoided a 26.5 percent cut that is required under the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. Also, 2013 will be another year without any Medicare rate increases.*

  • The law sets up another SGR physician rate cut for January 2014. Congress “punted” again because it’s easier for them to find $25 billion to delay the SGR cuts than it is for them to find $300 billion to repeal the formula altogether.

  • State run Medicaid will see a $4.2 billion federal funding cut in 2022 for safety-net hospitals that serve a disproportionate low-income and uninsured population.

  • Several special programs and add-on payments extended

CEOs, economists, and President Obama all agree that the fiscal cliff deal is barely a start, and while it has several breakthroughs, it also has several things it fails to do. There are two ways to look at the battle over the “fiscal cliff.” The first is the short term, limiting damage to the already weakened economy. The other is the long term, determining the shape of the government for years to come. Many more discussions and negotiations will be taking place in the upcoming months as Congress works to reach an agreement.

*This bill does not include an increase to Medicare.

Please give us your feedback!
What do you think of the things Congress has done so far in relation to the fiscal-cliff? What other changes do you think their discussion will bring to Medicare?

 

Source: Piper Report

Additional Updates:

Tags: senior market news, health insurance news, health insurance industry, Medicare Advantage News

    Join thousands of insurance agents who receive weekly news updates and original articles.

    Like Precision Senior Marketing on Facebook!





    Follow Precision Senior Marketing on Twitter!

    Most Popular Posts

    Posts by Topic

    Click for More