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Medicare Advantage to be Taxed Unless Congress Acts

2017-09-15 06:03:03

24 National & Local Groups Call On Congress To Delay Health Insurance Tax

Seniors & Disabled on Medicare Face $245 Increase in 2018 Premiums

NEWS PROVIDED BY

Better Medicare Alliance

Sep 13, 2017, 17:11 ET

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Twenty-four national, state, and local organizations representing providers, community partners, and beneficiaries sent a letter to U.S. Congress calling for swift action to delay the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) for one year.

Over 20 percent of the $14.3 billion tax on health insurance falls on Medicare Advantage and Part D plans that could result in rising premiums and/or increased cost sharing paid by seniors and other beneficiaries covered by Medicare Advantage and prescription drug coverage under part D.

Though Congress previously suspended the tax for 2017, it is scheduled to be reinstated for 2018.  If Congress does not act to delay the HIT, premiums for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries could increase by $22 billion nationwide in 2018 – an additional $245 per year for each enrollee.

“During a time where there is already so much uncertainty among seniors and disabled Americans about health care, Congress has a small window of opportunity to avoid harmful premium increases on beneficiaries. Higher premiums could put the high-quality, comprehensive health coverage Medicare Advantage provides financially out for reach for millions of Americans living on fixed incomes,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) President and CEO.

An August 2017 actuarial analysis from Oliver Wyman indicates that beyond 2018, premium increases for senior and disabled Medicare Advantage beneficiaries could grow to more than $300 in 2023.

“Forty percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees live on less than $20,000 per year. Medicare Advantage is an important source of coverage for low-income and racial/ethnic minority beneficiaries. For those who suffer from chronic conditions, barriers to critical primary care and disease management covered by Medicare Advantage could be devastating,” said Dr. Elena Rios, President of the National Hispanic Medical Association.

“With Medicare Advantage, providers can deliver the type of important preventive care and chronic care management once reserved for wealthy individuals at far lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs. As Medicare Advantage practitioners who treat low-income seniors across six states, we know firsthand that many simply will not be able to afford premium increases,” said Dr. Christopher Chen, CEO of ChenMed, a primary care provider for seniors headquartered in Florida.

In 2016, nearly 400 Democrats and Republicans in Congress voted to delay the impact of the HIT for 2017. As a result, the average Medicare Advantage monthly premium is four percent lower this year compared to 2016 when the tax was in effect. The letter calls on Congress to vote to delay the tax, before premiums for 2018 are finalized by the end of the year.

View full letter signed by the following organizations:

Area Agency on Aging Palm Beach / Treasure Coast, Inc. (Florida)
Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness
Better Medicare Alliance
ChenMed (Florida)
Healthcare Leadership Council
Iora Health (Massachusetts)
Meals on Wheels America
National Association of Dental Plans
National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP)
National Hispanic Council on Aging
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Medical Association
National Minority Quality Forum
New Jersey State Nurses Association
Northwell Health (New York)
Nurse Practitioner Association New York State
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging
Pittsburgh Business Group on Health
Prevea Health (Wisconsin)
SilverSneakers by Tivity (Tennessee)
SNP Alliance
Summa Health System (Ohio)
Teachers' Retirement System of Kentucky
US Chamber of Commerce

Better Medicare Alliance is the leading coalition on Medicare Advantage.
Our mission is to build a healthy future by advocating for a strong Medicare Advantage. As a community of experts, we're leading the way on health care through research, advocacy, and grassroots organization to create a path forward for innovative, modern health care on behalf of seniors and people with disabilities.
For more information, please visit www.bettermedicarealliance.org.

SOURCE Better Medicare Alliance

Related Links

http://www.bettermedicarealliance.org

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New Medicare Cards for 2018

2017-09-15 05:43:55

From CMS:

CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design

Date
2017-09-14
Title
CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design
Contact
[email protected]

CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design
Removing Social Security numbers strengthens fraud protections for about 58 million Americans

En español

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gave the public its first look at the newly designed Medicare card. The new Medicare card contains a unique, randomly-assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number.

CMS will begin mailing the new cards to people with Medicare benefits in April 2018 to meet the statutory deadline for replacing all existing Medicare cards by April 2019. In addition to today’s announcement, people with Medicare will also be able to see the design of the new Medicare card in the 2018 Medicare & You Handbook. The handbooks are being mailed and will arrive throughout September.

“The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identify theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We’re very excited to share the new design.”

CMS has assigned all people with Medicare benefits a new, unique Medicare number, which contains a combination of numbers and uppercase letters. People with Medicare will receive a new Medicare card in the mail, and will be instructed to safely and securely destroy their current Medicare card and keep their new Medicare number confidential. Issuance of the new number will not change benefits that people with Medicare receive.  

Healthcare providers and people with Medicare will be able to use secure look-up tools that will allow quick access to the new Medicare numbers when needed. There will also be a 21-month transition period where doctors, healthcare providers, and suppliers will be able to use either their current SSN-based Medicare Number or their new, unique Medicare number, to ease the transition.

This initiative takes important steps towards protecting the identities of people with Medicare. CMS is also working with healthcare providers to answer their questions and ensure that they have the information they need to make a successful transition to the new Medicare number. For more information, please visit: www.cms.gov/newcard

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Get CMS news at cms.gov/newsroom, sign up for CMS news via email and follow CMS on Twitter @CMSgovPress

 

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Should You Put a Quote Engine on Your Website?

2017-09-05 10:21:01

Should you put a quote engine on your site? Sure, if you want to.
My personal philosophy is no, and that works for me. But do what you want to do.

See the video:

 

Other great articles on the topic of pushing/selling based solely on the lowest price in the market:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/evils-selling-price-alone-chad-t-dyar

https://www.inc.com/articles/2002/08/24551.html

http://www.pbresults.com/Sales-Blog/value-selling-getting-customers-to-buy-at-a-higher-price/

 

Medicare Supplement Training

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The Importance of Building a Team

2017-08-23 08:30:59

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2018 Medicare Marketing Guidelines Released by CMS

2017-07-21 14:49:47
The 2018 marketing guidelines for Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plans have now been released. In it, CMS addressed the proposal of cutting out the FMO's when distributing MAPD and Part D drug plans, deciding to leave in the provision where they can make overrides (See 120.4.4). Also addressed, individual agent websites do not have to be submitted to CMS for specific approval, so long as they are not misleading and they do not specify plans or benefits. They do still, however, have to be approved by the actual plan sponsors (MAPD or Part D companies). (See 100.7) Source: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Health-Plans/ManagedCareMarketing/FinalPartCMarketingGuidelines.html You can download the PDF here:CY-2018-Medicare-Marketing-Guidelines_Final072017

The text, in its entirety:

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Monogamy over Polygamy - Recruiting vs. Writing

2017-06-16 10:08:13

Mentioned in the video:

FastLane Millionaire Audio book:
http://amzn.to/2rQssKl

Summary of the chapter from the book discussing this topic:

CHAPTER 44: CHOOSE MONOGAMY OVER POLYGAMY

No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No steam or gas ever drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined. ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

Chapter 44 Quotes and Highlights

  • A scattered focus leads to scattered results. Instead of one business that thrives, the polygamist-opportunist has 20 businesses that suck. Ten businesses earning $10,000 cumulatively are not better than one business that does it singlehandedly. When you segregate your effort among assets, you build weak assets. Weak assets don’t do heavy lifting, and they don’t build strong pyramids.
  • To hit the top of your game, business or otherwise, you have to eat, live, and shit your thing. If you’re dabbling in 10 different things, your results will be dabbling and unimpressive. Focus on one thing and do it in the most excellent way.
  • Fastlane success comes from monogamy; not split attentions among wives and mistresses. It’s marriage. Yes, good old-fashioned monogamy. Focus on one Fastlane business and kick ass at it.

Chapter Summary: Fastlane Distinctions

  • Tekel Syndrome sufferers are polygamist-opportunists who opportunity hop.
  • A weak business commitment commits you to weak assets.
  • Weak assets do not accelerate wealth.
  • The most successful entrepreneurs lived their business and were 100% committed to it.
  • Successful business monogamy can lead to successful business polygamy.

See the full typed summary, courtesy of:
http://www.factorfad.com/the-millionaire-fastlane-notes-chapter-summaries-and-fastlane-distinctions/

 

 

 

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Getting Calls Answered - Multiple Solutions

2017-06-05 12:00:52

Are you having a difficult time getting your prospects to answer your call when you are calling them back?

This is very often due to the fact that you are calling from an area code outside of their service area. One study showed that you can increase answer rates by 40% by using local Caller ID. Is this compliant with the Trust in Caller ID Act of 2009? Yes, when you in fact own the rights to the number you are calling from.

There is an active discussion going on in the Member Forums here at MedicareAgentTraining.com where agents are sharing their solutions to this issue.

Come see this discussion going on now in the member forum!

 

Medicare Supplement Training

 

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AHIP Sees 28% Increase in Medigap Enrollment Among Seniors

2017-05-05 06:06:30

Medigap enrollment increases as out-of-pocket expenses rise for seniors due to holes in Medicare coverage.

Source: https://healthpayerintelligence.com/news/ahip-sees-28-increase-in-medigap-enrollment-among-seniors

Medigap enrollment up in 2015

 

– AHIP has released data showing that enrollment in the Medicare Supplement, Medigap, has seen a steady increase from 2014 to December 2015.   The data represents statistics from 11.8 million enrollees with policies from 305 separate insurers.

The steady increase is due to the standard deductible, and rising out-of-pocket costs for Medicare members, AHIP says.  As an essential source of Medicare supplemental coverage, Medigap fills a critical need in the healthcare coverage ecosystem.

The report states that in 2015, Medicare Part A had a $1,260 deductible per benefit period for inpatient hospital care and coinsurance beginning with day 61 of hospitalization.  Part B required a 20 percent coinsurance for outpatient and physician care after an annual deductible of $147.

The AHIP data showed four main trends within the Medigap data:

All Medigap enrollment increased from 11.2 million in December 2014 to 11.8 million in December 2015. 

Plan G enrollment, which provides coverage of all Medicare deductible and coinsurance amounts except the Part B deductible increased by 28 percent from 2014 to 2015, or by 198,000 enrollees.

Enrollment in Plan K, which provides partial coverage for coinsurance and copayments and has an out-of-pocket limit of $4,940, also increased by 28 percent from 2014 to 2015, or by 16,000 enrollees.

An increase in the percent of fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries with Medigap plans increased from 30 percent in 2014 to 32 percent in 2015.

A partial explanation for the increase in Medigap coverage is directly related to the shifting sands of Medicare coverage since 1990, which has left beneficiaries and payers in flux.

This began in 1990 with an omnibus spending plan that required Medigap plans sold after 1992 to conform to one of 10 uniform benefit packages.

Then in 2003, the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) required elimination of prescription drug benefits, authorized two new plans (K and L) with cost-sharing features, and encouraged development of standardized benefit designs with additional cost sharing features.

More cuts came in 2008 with the passage of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA).   This legislation led to the elimination of at-home recovery benefits to be replaced with hospice care.  It also included the removal of preventive care benefits in response to increased FFS coverage.  2008 did see the introduction of two new Medigap policies (Plans M and N) with increased beneficiary cost-sharing features.

Medicare SELECT plans are identical to standardized Medigap plans but require policyholders to use provider networks to receive full benefits.   This results in Medicare SELECT plans to generally cost less than related Medigap plans.

In April 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

MACRA states that as of January 1, 2020, Medigap insurance carriers may no longer sell Medigap plans covering the Part B deductible to newly eligible Medicare recipients.  Only individuals who are age 65 before 2020 or those Medicare eligible due to a disability will qualify.

Three states maintain waived Medigap plans, exempt from all legislative changes from 1990 on. The three states (Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) continue to offer standardized Medigap plans.   Individuals who had purchased Medigap plans in these states do have the ability to keep their coverage if they move out of the three waiver states.

According to the NAIC data, 97 percent of Medigap policies in force on December 31, 2015 were standardized plans. Pre-standardized plans made up only three percent of existing Medigap policies.

Medigap plans are “guaranteed renewable” regardless of when they were purchased. This means Medigap policyholders can maintain their coverage and not have their policy cancelled if there is continued payment of premiums.

AHIP noted that Medigap plans with the highest rate of growth offered the beneficiary a predictable and consistent premium.  This feature was especially important to fixed-income Medicare members.

It also saw plans that mirrored features seen in traditional commercial products (coverage for copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles) favored by consumers.

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Reflecting on how I got here

2017-04-24 06:24:45

Riding the train from Lucerne to Zurich as I write this, I am reflective of my journey to this point in life and what I had to go through to get here. Traveling Europe this month with my beautiful wife who with me through it all from the beginning, we often take the time to reflect back on the twisted and mangled path that led us, finally, to where we call ourselves “successful”.

Growing up, the only thing I ever wanted to be was a police officer, the guy who helped everyone by getting the “bad guys” and putting them in jail. My world view changed somewhere between 19 and 35 years old, after chasing as many of them as I could and doing my best to rid humanity of the evil-doers.

Sergeant Christopher Westfall, VCSO

What impact did I have in that role?
Absolutely none, I'm certain now. My new role in life is much less exciting but much more rewarding at the same time.

In my role now as an insurance agent, trainer, and sometimes role model for others entering this profession, I have heard hundreds of agents from around the country tell me that I was somehow inspirational in their quest from living a possibly exciting, yet for the wrong reasons, life to one of fulfillment, non-excitement, and financial rewards. Sometimes, pursuing the non-exciting life is a reward all in itself.

 

Foot Bridge Built in 1333 – Lucerne

Not having to respond to everyone's emergency, and being able to build financial freedom slowly and methodically, has its perks. The knowledge that this profession has now given me the opportunity to build a true residual income that builds and builds, versus the old salary days of having to count how long it would be, in days, until the next paycheck where we could buy what we really needed for our young family – truly a blessing. I can clearly recount the horrors of a car problem that would leave us sidelined and having to rely on friends or family to shuttle the family around as we checked the credit card balances to see how we would pay for our one minivan's repair to get us back into some state of “normal.”

It's not all about money, not in the least. As I am now passing through the beautiful countryside of Switzerland, I am reflecting back to my start in insurance. I was in the City of Deltona, Florida, where the majority of the population appeared to be at or below the poverty line. Or, maybe that's just the side I got to see every day in my profession, as we would respond to all of the most horrific of human tragedies on a daily basis. Murders, suicides, car crashes and human-on-human suffering created for no reason other than that folks felt like they had nothing to look forward to and nothing to live for. This is what I saw all day, every day. Unfortunately, it had a very negative impact that grew over time.

Here, in Switzerland, we have been experiencing not only the majesty of the snow-capped mountains and the beautiful lakes and crisp, clean air, but we are alongside other tourists from around the world who are here celebrating where their life has brought them to this point where they can experience the world and take it all in. We have enjoyed tram rides up to the peak of Mount Pilatus with folks from China. We rode a train in Amsterdam with to the tulip fields with folks from Japan. Each of these experiences reinforced to me that there is a much bigger world that has been going on during my whole lifetime, that I have been 'til now, missing out on because of where I chose to spend my first career trying to get the bad guys and suffering, right along with the rest, in daily human suffering.

Lake Lucerne    Lucerne, Switzerland

It is true that being a first responder and seeing it every day does not make you so much a participant in the tragedy you witness, but after a number of years the toll it takes on you and the paradigm through which you see the world becomes grossly desensitized and numb. It creates the apathy we have seen many times in the news, whether truly reported or not, where police officers seem now callous to the plight of victims. It is not that the officers are somehow sub-human or incapable of human empathy. Rather, it is that they have been exposed so often and so long to the absolute worst of humanity that they come to expect the worst from everyone – everyone not in a uniform, that is. That self-created isolation gets very lonely. Shedding the uniform and entering life as a regular person was probably the biggest transition I ever made.

It is by a true miracle that I landed in a profession where communication and effectiveness are rewarded with monetary gains. Countless times we have encountered super impressive people who instantly built rapport with us and made us feel at home and welcome. Whether it was the front desk staff at the Art Deco hotel in Amsterdam or the Food Fresh stand at the Lucerne train station, these effective human communicators are all around us. Their chosen profession, however happy they are to occupy them, will never give them the rewards that my chosen profession can give, simply by having a small percentage of their communicative abilities and genuine care for others.

We met Gregory in Amsterdam. Excellent communicator!

While many jobs reward positive interactions with the public and effectiveness in the position with increases in hourly wage and bonuses from time to time, it is only by being self-employed where these positive attributes are truly judged by the ultimate rewarder of human performance – the marketplace. If you are good, and you put yourself out there to the marketplace using a vehicle that increases your compensation based on effectiveness, you cannot help but win. The vehicle that I chose, insurance, is just one of those that bring limitless rewards for this kind of effectiveness.

Nicole enjoyed the tulips in Keukenhof.

Countless times I have mentioned to my wife that we had just experienced a person with super ability, both with communication style and passion for their role. It is very simply these same traits, I'm certain, that are the only ones needed for success in my field. The complexity of product design, the insurance landscape, and myriad of benefit options available are all far less important than a genuine feeling of empathy for someone else's plight and the ability to latch on to a personal connection with them.

Stopping to answer questions from agents back home.

The age-old question, “Are good salespeople born that way or are they taught to be that way?” has, in my humble opinion, two answers.

Yes, there are people who have naturally evolved into excellent communicators. Those people are certain to be a “natural” when selling any product or service and a sales/delivery career is definitely where they should be. However, I have been through enough sales training courses in my life, from my metamorphosis from a police officer to an insurance professional, to know that the there is training that, when fully applied, definitely results in an individual possessing enough skill to make a very successful salesperson, no matter what “natural” ability they brought to the transformation process from the beginning.

Our Balcony View, Lucerne, Switzerland

In other words, I truly believe that anyone can be successful in this profession. Sure, there are those who prefer to drive a taxi and they leave 50% of their mental capacity at home when they go to their job every day. There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to live a simple life and, for many, that is exactly where they want to be.

But, for those who decide to live a different kind of lifestyle or those frankly who are sick and tired of the lifestyle they have chosen up to this point in their lives, I know that there is a path to success in this or any other profession where results are significantly rewarded. Whether it is by merely pointing an already-effective communicator into another profession or by a non-communicator making an affirmative decision to seek the training necessary to become one, both paths work if chosen.

Mt. Pilatus, Swiss Alps

From the age of 5, I wanted to change the world. For now, I am content to leave the adrenaline chase to those half my age while I am happy to watch the world go by and to explore it, one country and one experience at a time.

All the best… from Switzerland,
Christopher Westfall, Sr.

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New Site Builder Makes it Easy to Look Great

2017-03-28 14:05:30

Watch the short video:


We will be doing an in-depth webinar very soon all about online marketing. As you may know, my agency now does over 1,000 applications a year and it comes exclusively from free or super cheap online marketing. Part of the secret to that success is having a site for someone to come to that makes us look professional and reinforces the credibility we need to establish a connection.

I have been quietly using this WordPress plug-in to get a head start on looking professional. Now, they've just launched a new, updated version of this highly-effective tool and I strongly recommend you look at it. This is an affiliate link, so I will make a small commission if you buy it, but the only reason I am sending this announcement to you about the launch is so that implement it in your business if you are already paying for a site that is costing you too much or want to have a very professional site at the lowest possible cost.

This new update includes a funnel builder, where you could sell products online, capture leads with an auto-responder easily (I'm still recommending SendLane as the best new autoresponder right now). You can also build your entire agency website and/or blog with this tool and it removes the frustration many have, and the learning curve typically associated with WordPress sites.

Just look at some of the things “Profit Builder” can do for you:

– Create amazing marketing pages that capture new leads effortlessly
– Easy to use on all your WordPress sites with ANY theme
– Drag and Drop LIVE editor permits quick on the fly updates
– Get 50+ pre-done, proven marketing layouts for every need
– Plus 50+ instant elements to enhance any page on your site
– Create all types of pages with irresistible features for new leads
– SEO and Mobile Optimized for maximum effect
– Transform Your Site into a massive lead generation tool
– All of this and much more…

Check it out here:
https://MedicareAgentTraining.com/profitbuilder

 

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Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome!

2017-03-03 15:48:38

 

Many of us are guilty of constantly seeking the next “shiny object”, thinking that it will be, finally, the solution to easy profits with MUCH less effort.

While there is a lot to be learned from attending seminars, buying courses, and studying non-stop, there is a point where a successful person stops searching for the next-great-thing,and actually goes to work.

When you find yourself circling about to the things you've already seen before, and YOU have not implemented anything, it's time to look in the mirror and make a decision. Which way are you going to go?

Medicare Supplement Training

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Why Medicare Agents Fail

2017-03-02 12:24:27


Having worked with thousands of agents now, the pattern is perfectly clear.

Agents choose to fail or they choose to succeed. The key is, it's a choice.

That's what I covered in this SeniorAgentPodcast episode.. you can listen here:

Resources:

Medicare & You Guidebook Online

Medicare & You Guidebook PDF 2017

(most) Underwriting Guides for Medicare Supplement Carriers

Medicare 101 Training

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Question 3: How much money do I need to get started?

2017-02-10 22:01:53

How much money should you have saved before you go all in? That's the subject of this Q&A. The good thing is that it does not take much money. The bad thing is, also, that it does not take that much money to get started. A smart business person will start the enterprise having a backup nest egg of savings to carry them through the initial start-up phase. <

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The only way to know if you're telling the truth

2017-02-05 22:33:46

Yes, it all still works.

See the short video:

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2 Lessons in Marketing

2017-02-03 08:20:33

Excerpt from https://www.salesgravy.com/sales-articles/automotive/five-lessons-i-learned-at-starbucks.html

“Lesson #1 – Make sure you ask for the business. I have just watched a beggar collect at least $5 worth of donations in the last half hour with a sign that says – “I am saving up for a hooker, weed, wine and a steak dinner.” Not one of the people bothered to read his sign and know what they were even donating for. Not the family man with his wife and children, not the group of older people probably in their 80s, not the business man in the suit, nobody. The beggar obviously learned the power of asking, no matter what.

Lesson #2 – It’s not the money. People pile into Starbucks one after another spending three and four bucks on of a cup coffee. Obviously you can get a cup of coffee at a diner down the street for a lot less money. But yet, people willingly spend a $100 per month or more at Starbucks. Why?

People are buying the experience and the perception of the brand. I am sitting here writing this article in a busy Starbucks and people watching when I could be in the quiet and seclusion of my nice hotel room. The person in the seat next to me is listening to music on an iPod when they could obviously do it for free in the Square with a less expensive cup of coffee. The gentleman in the big living room type chair is reading a novel. People want the experience. Understand your customer and the value they want and the money will become less important. The big three U.S. auto manufacturers give huge rebates, and imports are still kicking their butts. It’s not about the money.”

I'm always surprised with agents who are failing at business discover that it was because they were not asking for the business. They would present options and then just leave it, never politely suggesting that the client move forward with an application.

And, if you feel the product costs too much, it's too hard for them to sign up online with you, or it's crazy for you to ask for their personal information over the phone – so will they. YOUR objection will become their objection. It's true! You have to be convinced, first, that the sale is in their best interest. When you are convinced, get out of your own way – ask for the sale and deserve it and you'll have it.

Chris Westfall

Medicare Supplement Training

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Former Cop, Now Medicare Agent. Why?

2017-02-02 18:26:18

The reason I picked this niche of insurance was two-fold. One, I could work with a great generation of people and help calm their fears about their next transition in healthcare and, two, I could create a residual income for my family.

Both have come true, and it's the most amazing thing that 10 years ago I would have never believed possible. In this video, I talk about a police officer in Mount Pleasant, SC I met today (Doug), and our conversation about what starting officers now make.

Guess what? It's about the same that we made starting 10 years ago. That is absolutely crazy. I do not know how anyone can raise a family on a salarty like that, and it's totally wrong.

I told Doug that if he ever has had enough of the politics, chaos, and public resentment now happening against law enforcement, he can look me up. I'm easy to find online!

It is my sincere wish that all of the good guys, and ladies, that I used to work with could now be enjoying this lifestyle with me. It'd be even more fun! – Christopher Westfall

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Work from home or move into a new office?

2016-12-05 09:34:26

A question was recently asked, “Should I get an office or work from home as I'm starting to grow and it's obvious I need admin help already?”

I was still a one-man show when I rented my first EXPENSIVE office in a Regus complex in Lake Mary, FL. It was an investment in appearance for the clients, which never once came because I sold over the phone, and an investment in accountability of having somewhere to SHOW UP every day. This was the key for me.

When I started working with someone else, knowing that they were going to show up, so I had to show up, created a very productive environment for both of us. I would swear to you that business really began taking off as a result of that simple move. It was great to be around other productive people that were showing up every day to work.

I know you don't have this problem and laziness/accountability are not factors in what you're asking, but if you're ever going to grow to 5 or 10 employees or 100 if you so desire, it is going to happen sometime, anyway, and I would argue that it is best to build it before you need it. Create the envelope bigger than you need and then you will find a way to fill it.

Now looking to move offices for the third time due to growth, I know that if I had not stepped out in faith to get outside of my home office, I would never have been where I am today. Why? Because it was comfortable; it was TOO comfortable to work from home. Yes, it's cool to be running my own company, but I knew early on that I could not grow enough on my own.

Having a remote admin assistant did not work for me. When I had someone working next to me, who heard everything, then started repeating the answers I gave to the people they were then talking to, it created a synergy that has now replicated over and over again.

In my office now, someone will say something that's a great answer and then the others will start repeating it and a best practice is born. That cannot happen with remote folks. – my two cents. –cw

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Medicare Advantage for Turning 65

2016-09-26 06:33:24

Approximately 30% of Americans turning 65 are opting for a Medicare “Advantage” plan. In my experience, this most often happens for the following two reasons:

  1. They have been relatively healthy up to 65 years old
  2. They believe this great health will continue into their senior years
  3. Medicare Advantage plans at $0 per month can be quite attractive
  4. They miss, or minimize the often $6,700 Maximum Out-of-Pocket PER YEAR

Sadly, there are many situations that we have seen where a Turning 65-senior has chosen one of these “free” Medicare Advantage plans only to have to experience the limitations and large hospital admission co-payments by having a serious illness that takes them into full usage of their chosen plan.

When they were first turning 65, they thought their great health would continue far into their senior years, only to discover that this is the time frame where most all medical claims are experienced in life. Sadly, when they signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan, particularly an HMO plan, they find that the restrictions now imposed on them, the trade off for little or no monthly premium, now can significantly and adversely not only affect their availability of specialty care (replaced with tight networks) but also expose them to more money spent for medical care than their non-“Advantage” plan senior counterparts.

On the contrary, the biggest proponents of Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plans are those who have had to use them with a serious illness. For example, those with a special kind of cancer who can now choose the best cancer treatment centers in America without consequence because their Medicare Supplement plan allows them to go anywhere. Those who would have otherwise been exposed to a $6,700 out-of-pocket cost with their Medicare Advantage plan for a series of hospital admissions who though, because on a SUPPLEMENT plan instead, pay $0 for their admissions and, more importantly, get to CHOOSE their hospital instead of only being able to go to the one that was the lowest bidder that joined the “Advantage” plan's restrictive network.

In an illuminating article by the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation, the choice of a Medicare Advantage plan when a senior is turning 65 can prove disastrous for future healthcare choices for the rest of a senior's life. See the article here:

http://kff.org/medicare/perspective/traditional-medicare-disadvantaged/

It is very important that now-Medicare-eligible seniors have the full information on the good, the bad, and the possible devastating effects of picking their Medicare plan.

Chris Westfall is an independent Medicare agent and has been a licensed insurance agent for over 20 years.

 

 

 

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AETNA Vows to Fight For Merger

2016-07-21 14:33:06

-From Christopher Westfall

July 21, 2016

The Justice Department has filed two separate suits to prevent the merger between both Aetna and Humana and the merger of CIGNA and Blue Cross.

Today, Aetna said that they will defend their acquisition of Humana and gave the substantial reasons why such a merger is a good thing for the country.

Among the reasons given, Aetna says that the combined company would “Improve affordability, quality, and consumer choice.”
Their stats show that a combined Aetna/Humana company would still only serve 8% of eligible Medicare beneficiaries, far from the monopoly that the Justice Department will argue would result from the combined forces.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and expect that Obama's Justice Department will do everything in their power to prevent the merger, and it might ultimately be settled by a federal judge.

The original Aetna press release can be found here.

 

Medicare Supplement Training

 

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New Requirement for MAPD Sales

2016-07-13 07:02:55

Do you sell Medicare Advantage plans or Part D plans?

If so, in addition to the AHIP test, there is now another, separate test administered only through CMS and it is required.

This test is on Waste, Fraud, and Abuse, as there always had been in the AHIP test already, but now it's required separately.

Courtesy of United Healthcare, this is a link to the instructions as to how to find and take this simple test:

Click here for the document

 

Medicare Supplement Training

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Cross Selling Brings BIG Money per Case

2016-05-27 17:21:03

Instead of a case that would pay $269.69, this video shows how the commission, first year, is $1,067.70 because CJ asked told of the availability of the cancer plan. He asked about heart attack/stroke coverage, and he asked about life coverage.

This sweet lady was used to paying $700 per month for her employer plan that had restrictions, networks, and co-pays. Now, she has a MUCH better plan (Plan G), lump sum coverage for Cancer, Heart Attack or Stroke, AND permanent Life Insurance coverage locked in now at the age of 64.

The is in a much better position, fully covered, and happy with her new security and price.

See the video:

Perfect example of a great cross sell.

CIGNA's electronic application makes this point and click easy without having to re-enter the client's information again in multiple applications.

Decades ago, companies like McDonald's learned that if you merely asked, “Would you like fries with that?” that a significant amount of people WOULD. Their profit is all in the extras..just like the movie theaters. They make nothing on the ticket sales. It is all on concessions.

This is good coverage, provides peace of mind, and because of a process like this, helps the agent to make additional income by taking care of clients in a meaningful way.

Learn how to sell cancer policies, etc. at:
https://MedicareAgentTraining.com

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Why more agents are getting into Medicare

2016-05-10 10:25:07

Many friends and relatives have been contacting me recently to ask more about the business I’m in. Why? For a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, their changing life circumstances where they may be seeing change ahead or no progress where they currently are.

More, though, are seeing the lifestyle that this business can afford those who have put the time in to build a residual income business by helping people, and they want more of that in their lives. This is, perhaps, the best reason because I firmly believe that if you want something bad enough to trudge through the unpleasant parts of getting there, you will absolutely have it.

In the last 30 days, my wife and I have traveled to Rome, Italy (with Mutual of Omaha’s Sales Leaders trip) and to Iceland with Aetna. We will soon be taking another trip to Vancouver, BC with yet another insurance organization and then I’ll be going on to a “mastermind” event in Alaska just before the busy season begins yet again.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE ON MEDIUM….. CLICK HERE

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What happened in Iceland in 2016

2016-05-07 13:46:33

The first week of May, Chris and the other top 150 or so Aetna agents, and their guests, were in Iceland for the production award from 2015. Many on this trip, including Chris and his wife, Nicole, had just returned back to the states from Rome with the Mutual of Omaha trip just less than two weeks prior. It was a quick turnaround for another out-of-the-country adventure.

The weather was cold, mostly due just to the incredible wind in Iceland, but the camaraderie forged between new friends made the trip a priceless gift. Sharing ideas and various business practices with the folks there just proved, once again, that it all works.

Just like the Rome trip, Chris met with many agents and discovered that what they were doing was working just as well. Whether it is direct mail, a phone room setting appointments, or agents dialing for their own leads on a predictive dialer, it is all working. Some were there because they do seminars. Some just get lead lists of T65 folks and go “door knocking”. Still others hire in-house telemarketers to find interested folks. It all works. That was the biggest point.

While on this trip, Chris was greeted about around 10 agents throughout the week that came up to introduce themselves. They were members of MedicareAgentTraining.com and had found the site valuable in their business. This was very humbling and had continued from the week prior, at the National Medicare Supplement Conference in Kansas City, where this happened approximately 50 times. It was great for Chris to be able to meet members and others from the Medicare community who he might have only seen online as their black and white username!

One of those that came up to Chris in Iceland was 20 year old Bridge.

Bridge sets his own appointments, using the predictive dialer. As one of the winners of the Aetna trip, he is obviously doing very well in the business. He sat down with Chris and talked about this, and how he just got his 19 year old cousin to get into the business with him recently. His cousin, who just turned 20 now, sold six policies this week on his own, the week that Bridge was in Iceland with Chris and the Aetna crew.

See Bridge tell the story:


This is a quick video Chris did about Iceland that relates to the Medicare field:


Photos Chris and Nicole took on the 2016 AETNA trip to Iceland:

Medicare Supplement Training

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Providing Value vs. Providing Products

2016-04-22 09:12:26

What is it that you are communicating?

If you are communicating to the senior market that you have Medicare products, guess what?
Every other agent in America also can sell Medicare products.

What is it that you are bringing before you are asking for them to buy?
Are you providing valuable information that they can use or do they feel that the entire conversation is geared toward driving them to a sale?

It has been often quoted that people want to buy, they DO NOT want to be sold. They make their decision emotionally, based on what has been provided, and then justify that decision, later, logically. By merely providing yet another channel where someone can buy, without first providing value, you are just like every other salesperson out there and nothing separates you from what anyone else can do.

A recent survey conducted by Hubspot shows that people want to be provided service FIRST, as the most important deciding factor before they make a buying decision. This should not be news, if you examine who you, yourself want to buy.

The key is providing service BEFORE the sale

 

When my wife and I were in Rome recently, we watched in awe as these young boys were on the steps to a thousand+ year old monument, attempting to sell their wares. What they were selling where 11×17 inch replica water colored paintings of the various monuments around Rome. These same replica paintings were being sold on many street corners, but these boys were very creative, and it showed.

What they did differently was that one of the boys had a coloring pencil in his hand, and a variety of colored pencils at his feet. He sat on those steps and appeared to be just finishing the next painting, himself. He appeared to be putting a lot of attention into the detail of what he was working on, as the other paintings were surrounding him on full display. This gave the illusion that HIS paintings had all be hand-done and had been created meticulously with care.

To the passing tourists, what appeared to them was that they had an opportunity to purchase custom artwork of Rome, drawn right here on the steps of one of the monuments. How unique and valuable!!

While these two kids were selling the exact same thing as everyone else, they created the perception of unique value that their particular paintings brought that other similar paintings in the area did not have. With the other unmanned displays, folks were just buying copies. With this one, they bought value.

In a similar fashion, many top producers in the industry have shared with me the various ways in which they paint the picture of unique value in the mind of their potential consumer. Whether it is researching drug plans for their clients, or promising an amazing amount of follow up, they attempt, at every turn, to separate themselves from the agents who merely provide only an application and a policy delivery.

Agents who make no attempt to separate themselves and their business from the competition will be bland, boring, and will reap the rewards that befall nothing interesting.

 

CW

Medicare Supplement Training

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Final Expense Training

2016-04-18 17:18:16

It is with great pleasure that I highly endorse a new book by David Duford called “The Official Guide to Selling Final Expense Insurance.” Dave's book is selling on Amazon now and a portion of the proceeds is helping another agent friend, Mark Rosenthal, with his very expensive disease treatment. Buying this book is a “no brainer” and a true win/win.

David Duford has proven himself to be a powerful influence in the final expense industry in the past few years. Not only is he a successful agent in his own right, he has a teacher's heart and enjoys helping new agents to find success in the Final Expense niche. This book is very well done and will be a resource for FE agents long into the future.


I highly recommend agents in, or considering, the final expense life insurance niche to pick up this valuable guide.
You can do so here.

Chris Westfall

 

 

Medicare Supplement Training

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Final Expense or Medicare Supplements?

2016-03-15 14:04:33

A new agent came by our office and was asking whether or not she should pursue the final expense market or the Medicare Supplement market.

My son was nice enough to catch part of the conversation on his cell phone.. here's the end of the final expense part, which was that those folks are at the lowest end of the socio-economic scale, often never having thought of having life insurance before, and often having had horrible money management their entire lives and NOW they want YOU (the agent) to solve this with a brand new policy they promise to pay for, every month, for the rest of their lives; or

replacing or helping someone with a Medicare Supplement policy that they either already had or were already going to buy and would never, ever, be without AND have the means to make those premium payments, forever.

See the conversation:

 

Medicare Training

 

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Fortune Favors the Bold

2016-02-24 19:32:56

Fortune Favors the Bold

This old saying is so true about those adventurous small business owners, like us, who start every day boldly helping others and building our individual fortunes in the process. <
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Your Personal Credit and Starting in the Insurance Business

2016-02-18 15:20:09

What does your personal credit history have to do with starting, or not starting in the insurance industry?

A lot.

See the video:

 

 

MedicareAgentTraining

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Help Others, Help Yourself, in the Medicare Business

2016-02-08 14:38:08

 Supporting our families by helping seniors with their Medicare plans!



This is a great business to be in!
In this video, Chris shows his Monday morning mail, where he was notified by Aetna that he won a Holiday Helper Bonus from the last quarter of 2015.
That bonus was $4,300! It was totally unexpected and just from doing the right thing by our clients.

This bonus, and the trips, are only from personal production. None of Chris' sub-agent production counts toward the trips or the bonuses.. just his own business.

What a great career, where we are rewarded handsomely by helping people.

Medicare Supplement Training

 

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A/B Split Tests in Life

2016-02-06 09:57:23

The A/B Split Test, and Life

I don't know why it is, but I always seem to have my breakthrough thoughts – in the shower. Why is that? I've given up trying to figure that one out.

For years I've studied personal development and internet marketing. I am confident that doing both has resulted in my business success, which is a whole world away from 10 years ago when I was a sheriff's sergeant working 12 hour shifts and always having to live paycheck to paycheck.

What had to change was, me.

What I learned, by first identifying mentors and then changing HOW I processed the information that I saw in front of me, I could start to change the results in the time I spent working on my business.

It was not enough to merely focus on the cold calling, the follow up, the company's E-App, and Steps 1, 2, 3; I had to change how I saw my business in an effort to serve others and – very, very importantly, how I dealt with the challenges and frustrations that come with ANY business venture.

Last week, my agent training membership site hit 2,000 members at the site's 3 year anniversary.

In that time I have received countless success stories from agents saying that the site's information has changed their lives, provided freedom from a J.O.B. (just over broke) and put them on a path to financial freedom.

But, sadly, too, I have experienced the communication from agents who've said that they are giving up, did not achieve immediate successes and, without enough positive results to their satisfaction at that point, they're throwing in the towel. They went back to hourly jobs, working for someone else, because they could not make it work..not successful enough for their markers with the time they'd chosen to invest up to that point.

I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is not for a lack of information, companies available, training, or product education. It is because of an internal inability to process the negative experiences that are inevitable in business.

When the rejection comes, and it will, how do you process that?

When you successfully help a new client and they express how thankful they are that they met you, how do you internalize that event?

Hear me LOUDLY here.. Whichever one of those you CHOOSE to focus on will drive that future outcome and you will experience more of what you have chosen.

If you have two plants next to each other and water one, without watering the other – one will grow and one will slowly die. DUH, right?

The same, exact scenario unfolds in our business when we CHOOSE to focus on what just happened with the 80/20 rejection that is inevitable in any business.

A focus on the negative result WITHOUT a celebration and internal reward on the GOOD result causes more of the negative outcome. You will, always, experience more rejection than success in any business. Are your expectations balanced to adjust for that? You must compensate for this inequity by making a HUGE focus on the gains and putting those front and center in your mind when you decide each morning -“What am I thankful for??”

This behavior is a choice. It is not natural. It is focusing on the seed, which grows, rather than the storm that it finds itself in. It takes a conscious decision, each and every day as to how you are going to start it.

Call centers that I have consulted for often have a big, huge bell in the middle of the room where all of the callers are working. When a worker there makes a sale and writes an application, they get up, walk over, and RING THAT BELL.

Why do they to this? Because it is proven that rewarding the great result, while choosing to accept the NATURAL negatives that happen along the way is the best path to long term success. Keeping one's head down, following a proven system, and working UNTIL the success is evident to everyone around you IS the secret.

When they are rejected, or when a client decides to take his or her business to someone else, do they go around the room and spread the rejection? NO. Why?

So, back to this morning – in the shower I suddenly realized that the personal development skills I have made into habits line up perfectly with the online marketing I've been doing, with the A/B Split Test.

Given the feedback of the day/week/year, which direction are you going to go?

Please watch this short video. I hope you are encouraged and I hope you make the choice to guard your thoughts and guard your emotions.

You are in solid control of where you choose to go in your own head.

This is no trivial thing. The best system in the world will not work if your QUIT/DON'T QUIT threshold is set too high and focused only on the losses along the way.

My wish for you is continued success and continual breakthroughs. For you, it should not be a wish, though, it should be a plan that you work until it happens.

The system works, absolutely.

The question is, will you stay around long enough for it to materialize in your life.

I think about you (members) daily and want you to succeed.

Sincerely,


MedicareAgentTraining.com

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New Home Health Recovery Plan

2016-02-01 17:33:38
This new home health/recovery product is GREAT for those who cannot afford, or qualify for, Long Term Care.
See the video: <
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Equitable Life Nixes HHD in Illinois

2016-01-27 17:42:54

Equitable Life Medicare Supplement announced that their 7% household discount in the State of Illinois has been discontinued, following regulatory intervention from the state.

Equitable's unique household discount required only one member to be signed with Equitable's Medicare Supplement and, if they lived with anyone in the house over the age of 30 (but not more than 5 people in the residence) they qualified for their 7% “household” discount.

Other companies that have “household” discounts, such as Mutual of Omaha, have been unable (as of yet) to get theirs approved in Illinois.
Mutual of Omaha and Aetna both have spouse discounts that require both to be covered for a discount to apply.

In other states, however, Mutual of Omaha is rolling out a 12% household discount if the covered member lives in a home with anyone over the age of 60.

In it unknown whether Equitable's household discount will be replaced with a spouse discount, requiring both policy holders to own Equitable's policy in order to qualify for a discount.

See the Equitable statement:

Equitable Life Household Discount Announcement

 

Medicare Supplement Training

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How to Mail Policies to Clients

2016-01-25 21:23:16

When Chris Westfall mails policies to clients (which is required in certain states like LA, WV), he does so in a “priority express” envelope that gets special treatment/perception by the client, but costs no more than first-class postage. These envelopes do not require Priority or Express postage – mere first class stamps!

See the video explanation:

You can get these priority/urgent envelopes here:
http://3dmailresults.com/product-category/express-envelopes/

 

Medicare Supplement Training

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Chris and Son to Speak at 2016 Medicare Supplement Conference

2015-12-23 09:20:12

Both Chris Westfall and his 21 year old son, CJ, will be speaking at the 2016 Medicare Supplement Conference in Kansas City Missouri in April.

CJ, who has had his license for less than one year, will be talking from the stage on what he learned that helped him to write over 300 polices to seniors during his first year.

Topics CJ will Discuss:
What kind of obstacles did he have to overcome?
How did he learn to communicate effectively to seniors 50+ years older than he is?

 

Chris (Sr.) will be giving an 18 minute talk on the importance of developing social media avenues to generate incoming leads.
Chris' agency only takes incoming calls now, all from free social media platforms that he has studied intensively and he will share some of those discoveries with the conference attendees.

The first day of the conference, Monday April 25, is free.
The rest of the conference (Tuesday and Wednesday) are not free but are packed with information that agents can use.

Chris will be attending the whole conference and will be reporting back to the members of Medicare Agent Training.com.


For information on the 2016 Medicare Supplement Summit in Kansas City, click here.

 

 

Medicare Supplement Training

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Best Practices with Lead Responses

2015-11-24 09:36:09

This infographic from InsideSales.com tracked the best practices when responding to leads.

They are primarily talking about internet leads and the impact of an immediate response, then follow-up with that lead through the sixth attempt.

Look at how few salespeople will actually try past three calls with a new lead!
It also covers the best time of the week and the best time of the day for success in reaching leads effectively.

Download the PDF:
leads-preview

 

Medicare Supplement Training

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Podcast on: Stop Wasting Time (by doing busy work)

2015-11-20 12:43:57

Over the years, Chris has learned the difference between just being busy for busy sake vs. doing things that will achieve the best, possible results for our time investment in this business.

Many agents still believe that writing applications all day is their only mission, and they'll write an application on anyone that says, “Yes.” Those anxious folks that are very eager to get going with you should be the ones you spend the most amount of time trying to find out why they are disqualified from the beginning.

The art of asking the right questions, in this case – all of the health questions, before moving into an application setting AT ALL, is critical if you want to have enough time to spend with those that are qualified.

 

Medicare Supplement Training

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AT&T Retiree - AON Medicare Update

2015-11-18 17:19:13

This is a public video that Chris Westfall put out about the latest with the AT&T use of AON for retiree Medicare benefits.
For members, see the full coverage of the opportunity to help AT&T retirees, including necessary documents and reimbursement procedures by going to this link.


Click here for the Members-Only AT&T Retiree Info

 

 

Medicare 101 Training

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When Prospects Don't Have Time For You

2015-09-29 07:09:30

Seven Things to Say when Prospects Don’t Have the Time for Your Presentation

Young business dressed woman working at office desk.

We’ve all been there – you call your prospect back at the appointed time for your presentation and they tell you any of the following:

This isn’t a good time, OR
They only have a few minutes, OR
They ask you in an exasperated tone, “How long will this take?” OR
They tell you they have a meeting in 10 minutes, can you give them the information anyway?
Or any other put off that will cut short the 30 minute comprehensive presentation you had planned.

Most sales reps respond to these objection-like receptions by asking if they would prefer to set another time. That response might be appropriate with the first put off – the “This isn’t a good time,” – but with any of the others, I have a better technique for you.

Let’s start at the beginning. First, when you get this kind of response from a prospect you qualified a week or so ago, don’t be surprised! Face it: it’s a law in all sales – Leads Never Get Better! If you sent out the hottest lead ever, a “10” on a scale of 1 – 10, then when you call them back, have you ever noticed that now they’re about a “7”?

And of course since most sales reps don’t qualify thoroughly enough, most of the leads they stuff into their pipeline are made up of sixes and sevens. And you can imagine how they are when reps reach them. So expect that your leads are going to drop in interest and receptiveness when you call them back, and then be prepared with a best practice approach to handling them. Here’s what to do:

Whenever a prospect responds to your call to do a presentation with one of the responses above – the “How long will this take?” – kind of response, don’t offer to call them back later, rather, get them to reveal their true level of interest to you and get them to tell you exactly how to pitch them to get the deal. Here are a number of statements you can use to do just that:

Responses:

“Sure, I can take as long or little as you need. Let’s do this: why don’t you tell me the top three things you were hoping to learn about this, and I’ll drill right down and cover those areas for you. What’s number one for you?”

OR

“Absolutely, we can do this pretty quickly. Tell me, what would you like to know most about how this might work in your environment?”

OR

“I understand, sounds like I caught you at a bad time. Let’s do this: If you needed to see or learn just one thing about this to determine if it might actually work for you, what would that be?”

OR

“No problem. Our presentation is pretty in depth, but I can do this. Go ahead and tell me two things that are absolute deal breakers for you, and I’ll see if we pass the test. And then if we do, we’ll schedule some more time later to go into detail on how the rest works, fair enough?”

OR

“In ten minutes, I can show you some things that will help you determine whether or not you’d like to spend more time with me later. In the meantime, let me ask you – what would you need to see the most to say yes to this?”

OR

“I understand, we’re all busy. Let me just ask you: has anything changed from when we last spoke?” (Now REALLY listen…)

OR

“Tell you what: let’s reschedule something for later when you have more time, but in the ten minutes we do have, let me ask you some questions to determine whether this would still be a good fit for you…” (Now thoroughly re-qualify your prospect)

As you can see, the responses above are all aimed at getting your prospect to reveal to you both their level of interest and what it is going to take to sell them – or whether or not they are still a good prospect for you. Have some fun with these; customize them to fit your personality or the personality of the person you’re speaking with. Find your favorites and then, as always, practice, drill and rehearse until they become your automatic response when your prospect tells you they don’t have time for your presentation.

Reprinted from Mike Brooks:
http://mrinsidesales.com/insidesalestrainingblog/seven-things-to-say-when-prospects-dont-have-the-time-for-your-presentation

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TRICARE For Life and Medicare Supplements

2015-09-21 09:44:30

Many agents that are speaking with seniors about their Medicare options often encounter seniors who say they are on “TRICARE For Life”.

Having answered this question for hundreds of agents who haven't searched it on their own, I want to openly let you know that they are NOT candidates for Medicare Supplement plans.
TRICARE For Life is a comprehensive, Medicare wrap around product like a Medicare Supplement plan. No further coverage for them is needed.

Please see the video.

 

Now this is different from someone getting VA benefits. Those folks most often do purchase a Medicare Supplement because they wish to use private facilities and most often cannot when their only option is the VA hospital or clinic near them.

-Christopher Westfall

Medicare Supplement Training

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How do you deal with RUDE potential clients?

2015-09-03 15:07:16

How much “crap” do you take from mean people who call you and expect you to worship at their feet?

Chris Westfall addresses this topic, as well as two frequently asked agent questions in this video:

 

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Importance of TANGIBLE Follow Up when Selling by Phone

2015-08-27 15:37:07

Driving to the office for this podcast episode.. covering something that happened yesterday and brought a lifetime value of $3,600 by investing $1 in follow up.

See more from SeniorAgentPodcast, also available on iTunes or Stitcher for Android.

 

Medicare Supplement Training

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Getting started selling Medicare Supplements by Phone

2015-08-24 15:30:25

Getting Started - MedicareAgentTraining.com
Listen to the podcast here:

Chris Westfall on getting started with Medicare Supplements

Over 200,000 seniors are turning 65 each month in the United States. This is a HUGE opportunity for those agents who know how to get in front of this “silver tsunami”!

In this podcast, Chris Westfall talks about marketing to seniors using various methods and what he has learned since getting his insurance license in 1995 up to today.

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What you MUST do before starting in this business

2015-08-21 02:31:39

From SeniorAgentPodcast.com.. click the play button below.

What must you do to be successful in this, or any other business?

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iGO Electronic Application ERROR Fix Tip

2015-08-19 19:02:18

Have you ever been ready to submit a Medicare Supplement application via the iGO Electronic Application and received an ERROR message that will not let you proceed? This tip from Chris Westfall just might be the trick you needed to get on with that application.

See the video..

Medicare 101 Training

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Potential Changes to Part B

2015-07-31 09:45:18

The recent report by the Medicare trustees is currently being evaluated by HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, who is expected to make a final decision October 2015 to impact Medicare beneficiaries in 2016.

The trustees recommend increasing Part B premiums charged to seniors monthly some 52% starting in January 2016. This would mean going from $104.90 to $159.30.
The report states that this would impact 30% of all Medicare beneficiaries and would be again tied to their income, targeting those with incomes over $85,000.

The other, more impactful recommendation is a change to the Part B deductible to $223 instead of the current $147. This would impact ALL Medicare beneficiaries and is sure to cause outrage by the senior lobbyists on K street. There will be much pushback to such an increase.

CSG Actuarial is analyzing the impact on carriers and on seniors with Plan F and Plan G. The initial analysis is that the Plan F rates will, after accommodating for the higher built-in cost in the premiums of Plan F which will absorb the new Part B deductible, need to increase 4% due to more claims. Plan G, however, would see less claims and actually justify a rate reduction. How carriers would choose to implement the change is still up in the air.

 

Part B Deductible History

We will continue to monitor this recommendation's impact on seniors and whether or not it will be adopted.

Stay tuned!

-Chris Westfall

Medicare Supplement Training

 

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It's Official: CIGNA and Anthem to Merge

2015-07-24 17:14:40

Today it was officially announced that CIGNA and Anthem have struck a deal to become, for now, the largest health insurer in America. The terms of the final deal finally having weathered the storm of a two-month long negotiation, the deal is said to be worth $48 Billion to CIGNA for its acquisition into Anthem.

The independent market is still waiting to hear how this will impact the Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage distribution channels. The deal might take two years to get through regulator's approval.

As always, we'll have the specific news when it's available as to how this will impact the individual agent. – Stay tuned!

-CW
See the announcement:

CIGNA Anthem Merger Announcement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medicare Training for Agents at MedicareAgentTraining.com

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Pausing Your Success - Telemarketing Tips

2015-07-11 10:25:12
A video that was supposed to be private feedback between Chris Westfall and one of his telemarketers in the Phillipines was accidently left PUBLIC on Youtube. It now has over 1,000 views and has some good tactical information for all telemarketers.  In this video, there is an example, from Chris' telemarketer, revealing the "pause of death", where 95% of folks were hanging up on the call as a direct result. Once this pausing was corrected, the results took a dramatic turn and the campaign was successful. <
Click here to read on

How much should you charge for Medicare advice?

2015-07-07 07:53:14
Over the 4th of July weekend, I received an e-mail offering a comparison of all of the Medicare Supplement rates in my area for ONLY $49! This was such a deal because their usual cost is $99 for an unbiased quote of all Medicare Supplement plans in my area. What a deal, right? <
Click here to read on

Independence is not just a day, it's a lifestyle.

2015-07-04 13:17:21
- From Christopher Westfall As I write this on Independence Day, I am so profoundly thankful of the opportunity that I have been afforded to be able to create an income and a lifestyle rarely experienced in our world, all through the act of service. As I look back over the past 8 years of focus on the Medicare insurance niche, I recall the hundreds of insurance agents who wanted to catch a ride down this path, but gave up far too soon to realize a return of their, if any, effort. This morning, I turned on the TV to see a former Navy Seal singing a country music song on Fox & Friends and, when asked what makes him proud of America on this 4th of July, he said that he wants to thank the small business owners of America for putting their freedom into action. That made me proud.. to think that here we are, building a business by tuly helping other Americans. See the clip: <
Click here to read on

Thoughts on Hiring an Assistant

2015-06-12 17:17:38

Here's a quick video message from Chris Westfall on considerations as to whether or not to hire an assistant..

See the video:

Click here to read on

Direct Mail for Medicare Supplements Sold by Phone

2015-05-01 13:20:20

Can you use direct mail to sell Medicare Supplements by Phone?

If you know what you're doing.. absolutely.   Information will be in the Webinars page under the member's area.


Members onlySee the Members-Only Post With Details HERE

Medicare Supplement Training

Click here to read on

CIGNA Buys Sterling Life Insurance Company

2015-04-24 18:48:45

CIGNA has agreed to purchase Sterling Life from Wellcare

See the video:

April 24, 2015

CIGNA has entered into an agreement, pending regulatory approval, to purchase Sterling Life Insurance Company from its current owner, Wellcare. Wellcare purchased the fledgling Sterling Life just three years ago, and tried to turn around its sinking sales of Medicare Supplements, without success. Now, CIGNA hopes to sell their ancillary products to the Sterling clients.
CIGNA's official e-mail to agents can be found here.

For details on how this might impact the competitive nature of Medicare Supplement selling, make sure to watch the Medicare training webinars inside MedicareAgentTraining.com

Medicare 101 Training

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Chris Westfall Interviewed at Nat'l Med Supp Conference

2015-04-14 23:11:54

Chris Westfall was interviewed at the 2015 National Medicare Supplement Conference in Orlando. The interview was to be included in the bonus footage provided to attendees and others. In the video, Chris was asked about various aspects of selling Medicare supplements by phone.

This is behind-the-scenes “bootleg” video of the recording. The TV cameras caught the good footage and the audio, to be edited later!


Medicare Supplement Training

Click here to read on

First Carrier to "Get it".

2015-04-09 10:35:00

Medico just sent out an e-mail blast telling agents that they should strongly consider NOT chasing the Turning 65 crowd.

This is great! It's the first time a carrier has acknowledged the huge opportunity that I've been talking about for eight years – all of those (45 Million) that are NOT “Turning 65”.

Higher premiums means higher commissions and more opportunities to help folks out of an expensive plan!

Over65Marketing

See more on Medico here.
Way to go, Medico!

-Chris Westfall
Medicare Supplement Training

Click here to read on

Can you start selling Medicare part-time?

2015-04-01 04:32:48

A recent post Chris made on the insurance forums:

Originally Posted by sirherbie View Post

“I really can't recall reading anyone who just started from day 1 selling 3-5 med sups a week yr round? It just seems med sups are part time selling for 3-5 yrs till it builds up and you're making $100k plus a yr”

When I started selling Medicare Supplements by phone, I was using direct mail from Mainstreet Powermail and relied heavily on their experience with historical response rates to guide where I would do the mailings. As I could mail anywhere in any state, I asked their rep for guidance as to the absolute best state response rates in the country and then in that best state. Believe it or not, I was getting 4 to 6% response rates in Michigan at the time.

I was writing 3 to 5 deals a week and only working Med Supps two days a week in the early days. I then continued to mail, fill the pipeline, and moved eventually to doing it five days a week, away from a mix of doing local final expense sales in person. Making that transition was a balancing act, because the final expense sales paid more, up front, but I knew from the residual income aspect that it was a better, long term play to get into the Medicare Supplements.

When the direct mail returns started to go down and we had two postage rate increases close to each other, I turned to telemarketing. I paid a local guy to do my calling and he would gauge interest and then build me up to the potential client on the phone, setting an appointment for me to go over their options based on how much they would save by switching to a new carrier on the same plan. This, too, worked very consistently.

Fast forward six years later and the phone rings all week from referrals now.
I write three to eight deals every week from referrals, spouses of clients, or posts I've put on the internet that are discovered by those shopping.

It is nice not having to do outbound marketing. This is something that I was told, early on, would happen but was hard to believe when it felt like it was so hard to get any traction in the business.

As to:

Originally Posted by sirherbie View Post

“It just seems med sups are part time selling for 3-5 yrs till it builds up and you're making $100k plus a yr”

You can do it part-time and get there slower, for sure. I know many agents who started selling Medicare Supplements at night after their full-time jobs. I started part-time doing it just two days per week but set those entire days aside to concentrate on this aspect of my business before going full-time.

If I had it to do over again, I would have done it the exact same way. I probably worked 30 hours in those two days, early on. I know for a fact that it greatly depends on how hungry you are. I see, day in and day out, agents who rely on their spouse's income to support their family and they treat their business as a part-time hobby. That won't cut it. Those in that scenario do not have the fortitude to weather the rejection and stay long enough to enjoy the income.

On the other hand, I see agents who commit to cutting their safety net and it is sink or swim. They swim. Their commitment level is do or die and that makes all of the difference in their mindset to working the hours necessary and doing whatever it takes to make enough presentations.

Whichever direction you choose to go in, I strongly suggest investing in help with the prospecting, then the prospecting and pre-screening as soon as you can afford to do so. There is no greater time waster than spending YOUR valuable, limited and precious time with those that are uninterested. Even worse is spending 95% of your time with those that are uninterested and even if they were interested, unqualified to take action (due to health, qualification to buy a Med Supp, etc.).

I continue to find it extremely liberating to have someone on your schedule that understands what you do, knows the price of the best plan for them, knows that they will likely qualify based on the health questions OF that plan and knows exactly what their savings will be once they consummate that transaction with you.

This was my best lesson learned in this business:

 

I wish you the best, but it's a decision, really.
CW

 

Medicare Supplement Training

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Mutual of Omaha's Direct-to-Consumer Application Process

2015-03-18 17:38:45

Is it a good idea for a senior to fill out their own electronic application for Medicare Supplement coverage?
Should you, as an agent, send out direct mail with a carrier's website and a six-digit number code after it, and expect seniors to sign themselves up?
Absolutely not.. see the video:

 

medigap training

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Meaning of the Letters in the Medicare ID#?

2015-02-21 18:49:36

What do the letters mean on the Medicare Claim number?

The Social Security number followed by one of these codes is often referred to as a claim number. They assign these codes once you apply for benefits. These letter codes may appear on correspondence you receive from Social Security or on your Medicare card. They will never appear on a Social Security card. <
Click here to read on

2016 Medicare Advantage Numbers Coming

2015-02-15 09:43:08

CMS is gearing up to release the 2016 funding levels on February 20th, 2015.

Last year, there was a lot of intense lobbying in Congress after the first set of numbers were released, then they were changed due to these lobbying efforts. <
Click here to read on

Questions over Medicare Advantage Fraud

2015-02-15 09:24:32

A report from PublicIntegrity.org details new, and not-so-new investigations into Medicare Advantage potential fraud and abuse around the country. In multiple states, and across providers, Congress is trying to get a handle on the overpayments that are happening with this managed care approach to replacing original Medicare.

See the story here:
Why Medicare Advantage costs taxpayers billions more than it should
Regulators have kept problems secret, and there's no fix in sight

Whistleblower suit says health plan cheated government out of more than $1 billion

 

Click here to read on

Secret to Closing the Sale

2015-02-09 10:23:43

A new podcast was uploaded to iTunes recently answering the question as to what the secret is in closing the sale – any sale.

This was based on much research into where the failures or shortcomings exist where agents are showing a consistent track record of NOT making sales happen, even though they know the technical knowledge and they know how to present the opportunity to save money to the senior client.

It's worth a listen. In the post that holds the podcast, there is a link to a very valuable book by Mike Brooks. Everyone that convinces, influences, or sells by phone should own that book!

See the post here:  Secret to Closing the Sale

Click here to read on

Member Benefit: Best Quote Engine

2015-02-02 06:15:51

As of January 30, 2015, the MedicareAgentTraining.com site is providing the best quote engine in the Medicare Supplement business as a free benefit for its members. The quote engine includes all states in the country, and the value is over $100 per month to our member. However, it's included in the regular membership.

This quote engine provides not only the hottest carriers in the market, in real time, but also rate increase history, company earnings and loss ratio information, AM Best rating and more. This can be vital information to help you help your senior client to the facts that will help them save money by making you their client.

This is only one of the benefits available to members, making participation in MedicareAgentTraining.com a “no brainer”, as they say!

Watch this short video clip from the webinar announcement:

Click here to read on

Work toward a daily result or work toward activity goal?

2015-01-05 12:59:56

I've been often asked, “Should I work each day until I reach two or three sales in that day, then stop for the day?”

Medicare sales training involves more than just knowing who to call, what to say, and what company to write.
There is much more information in the member's area.

Here is the answer:

Click here to read on

Warning for Wordpress Users - IMPORTANT

2014-11-28 13:50:53

A few weeks ago, over 100 websites hosted on my server got infected because someone did not have their WordPress page updated.

This vulnerability cannot be allowed to continue, so with that warning, here is a VERY important message for ANYONE with a WordPress site. If you do not watch this, or implement these steps, it is only a matter of time before your web site is utilized by hackers to further their business. Your web hosting provider will eventually shut down your site, too, as they see the site being taken over by “Malware” (malicious software).

Please watch this important video:
( I recommend maximizing it to full screen at the highest resolution to see the detail.)

Click here to read on

When can telemarketing calls be made?

2014-11-24 10:05:36

When can you or your telemarketers make calls?

Several states have more restrictive calling time restrictions than those published by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. Federal rules dictate no calls before 8 AM or after 9 PM, and apply to all calls that do not have a more restrictive state requirement listed below. Please be aware of these restrictions and keep in mind that violations may amount to $16,000 per call. <
When can telemarketing calls take place? Click here to read on

Door to Door Flyers for Insurance Sales

2014-11-20 06:17:28

Personal observation in my neighborhood about positioning and the insurance professional.

If you are considering local marketing, please use the methods described in this post.
The results are much better and the positioning makes you out as the expert you are.

Leaving flyers, door to door, for insurance leads is not only a tough way to go, but doing this yourself means you have nothing better to do and leaves you in a very bad position in the mind of your prospect. There is a way to do it where you can introduce yourself, show what you have to offer (much better than a corporate brochure) and have others deliver these packets much more efficiently FOR YOU.

See the post:   Getting Started Without Leads

It is ALWAYS better when you develop your own leads for insurance sales. Rather than relying on lead vendors, who very often rip off the unsuspecting agent, when you learn to create your own leads you can control the quality, the quantity of leads, and your costs along the way.

 

-Chris Westfall

 

 

Click here to read on

Radio Interview with Chris Westfall on Medicare

2014-11-17 09:05:55

On November 15, 2014, Chris Westfall was interviewed on the “Money Matters” radio program on WSC 94.3FM in Charleston, SC.

The show's host, Rick Durkee, is a well known financial advisor in the greater Charleston area with a financial services firm dedicated to those that are retiring or already in retirement. Chris met Rick through a mutual friend at the radio station and Chris was invited to be a guest on the show, in recognition of the “Medicare season” going on.

Here is the interview, edited by Chris for brevity (commercials removed):

Click here to read on

As Seen on Sharktank: "I'm Out!"

2014-11-02 13:35:31

As seen on Shark Tank, sometimes you just have to say, “I'm Out!” when you are presented with someone that only excuses, no results, and wants you to rescue that situation.

What Lori has to say about it:

What Robert has to say about it:

 

And Cesar said it, too:

Click here to read on

VoiceMail Effectiveness - Tips You Can Use

2014-08-27 17:58:46

Do you take the machine gun approach to leaving a voicemail?

Or are you thoughtful in the message that you leave, encouraging with your tone of voice, diction, speed, and message for the person to call you back?


This is a drastic example of what not to do..

 

Try this:

1) Who are you?
2) What are you calling about? (“What's in it for me?”)
3) Phone number given, twice, at writing speed.

Medicare Supplement Training

Effective Voicemails for Insurance Agents Click here to read on

How do you cancel the old Medicare Supplement policy?

2014-08-27 15:28:42

How do you cancel an old Medicare Supplement policy when the new one has been issued?

That's the topic of this week's SeniorAgentPodcast with Chris Westfall.

Feel free to listen to the answer!

Click here:  http://senioragentpodcast.com/sap-009-cancelling-medicare-supplement-policy/

 

 

Questions answered include:

  • When should you cancel a new Medicare Supplement policy?
  • Do you call, or does the client call the old company?
  • Is a form required to cancel an old policy?
  • Can they get their old policy back?
  • Is there any grace period?

 

 

https://MedicareAgentTraining.com Click here to read on

Is it legal to call folks about their Medicare plan?

2014-06-17 09:40:33

Excerpt from SeniorAgentPodcast on iTunes:

Can I legally call someone and talk about Medicare Supplement plans?

This is a question that was asked by a new agent this week.

The agent said she had heard that you can lose your license, pay a fine, etc. for cold calling someone about Medicare plans.

What the agent is referring to is the marketing of Medicare Advantage Plans.
You can find the marketing rules from CMS about Medicare Advantage plans here.

However, in most all states, it is perfectly legal to telemarketing / cold call, door knock, and approach seniors about Medicare Supplement plans. Only one state, that I know of, has restrictions on the marketing of Medicare Supplement plans.

That state is Ohio. Their law prohibits the following for both Medicare Advantage AND Medicare Supplement marketing.

(2) Any of the following unsolicited contacts with a medicare-eligible person:
(a) Door-to-door solicitation including leaving information such as a leaflet, flyer, or door hanger at a residence, or leaving information such as a leaflet or flyer on someone's car;
(b) Approaching individual prospective applicants in common areas (e.g., parking lots, hallways, lobbies, sidewalks, etc.);
(c) Telephonic solicitation including leaving electronic voicemail messages;
(d) These prohibitions on marketing through unsolicited contacts do not extend to mail and other media (e.g., advertisements, direct mail), or unsolicited contacts with prospective applicants with whom the entity or insurance agent has a business relationship.
Near the end of this podcast, I have several suggestions for various new ways to market Medicare Supplement plans through centers of influence.

Those referenced interviews are found at MedicareAgentTraining.com

 Hear the audio of the podcast answer here.

Is it legal to cold call for Medicare plans? Click here to read on

A New Record Set - Congratulations!

2014-06-09 16:57:30

Today, Monday June 9, 2014, I had FIVE agents write to me that they've just sold their first Medicare Supplement policies.

Their membership costs here at the support site are now waived forever.

Thank you guys (and gal) for stepping up and stepping apart!

You continue to prove that yes, this can be done successfully, and I'm very proud to be working with you!!!!

 

Chris Westfall

 

Click here to read on

Chris Was Featured Speaker at 2014 Agent Summit

2014-05-19 09:00:36
I had such a great time as a featured speaker at the 2014 SMS Sales Summit in Columbia, Missouri on May 20, 2014. The event was great fun and I was able to meet about 20 members of the site! It was so much fun to be able to put faces with the names, finally! <
Click here to read on

Replace or Leave Them Alone?

2014-04-30 11:48:41

One major carrier that entered the Medicare Supplement market last year initially had a very strict clause in their contract that they almost-immediately removed due to agent backlash. It said an agent could not, under any circumstances, replace one of their policies for at least two years.

There is also a major agency out there that recruits with a “free leads” model for Medicare Supplements that says that the owner specifically prohibits you to contact your clients that you've written, after you've written them. 

He says in his agent contract that he believes it's in their best interest to be “left alone” and not bothered again by the agent. 

If they don't call you, leave them alone and they will stay.

This is because the agent makes the majority of the first year commission and the agency only stands to make money in subsequent years. 

Replacing the business would not benefit the agency at all.

I want to thank agents and agencies with that mentality for making my and my agent's business a thriving success. We replace policies where agents have written the policy and then completely disappeared with no follow up, whatsoever. 

My conscience will not allow me to write a widow with a company that I know just gave a huge, unexpected rate increase and just let her stay there with no option.

Here are the alternatives:

1] Write the policy and hope and pray the senior never calls you. Don't follow up, just tell them it's approved and move on to the next prospect call.
After their big rate increase (year 2, year 4 – whenever) they will be waiting for a call to save money or will actively search for a replacement policy.

2] Write the policy and follow up at least 4 times over that first year. They will be a raving fan and often times tell everyone they know about this amazing agent that saved them $XXXX per year from where they were. When a rate increase comes, provide them the option to move, again reminding them that you're independent and not a captive agent.

This results in:
A) More Referrals
B) Reset of 6 year commission clock for residuals
C) Step up in basis (making commission on higher amount, still less than their proposed renewal was.

I have heard, thousands of times now, that the senior cannot remember the name of their agent. They've never heard from him (or her) after the initial sale. “They were all chasing me down when I was 65, then they disappeared and I just didn't know where to go. I'm so glad you all called!”

If you want to build a serious, residual income business, a focus on follow-up and a client retention strategy is a key component. 
It's just good business to take care of those who have placed their trust in you to do the right thing by them. 


Why even start to fill a bucket that has a hole in it?

 

The Fortune is in the Follow Up”.


Also see:
http://www.camfoundation.com/PDF/Cos…-retention.pdf

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/…ld-but-haven-t

Click here to read on

Best time to start a new Medicare Supplement plan

2014-03-18 10:55:00
This is a public post answering the question, "When is the best time to start my new Medicare Supplement plan." <
Click here to read on

The Wrong Way to be a Medicare Agent

2014-03-09 23:24:13
There is a right way and a wrong way to be a Medicare agent. This was one of my experiences on a cruise to the Bahamas in March, 2014: WATCH: <
Click here to read on

Can you succeed as a one-man show?

2014-03-09 15:36:13

An agent recently asked me, “Is it really possible to succeed, selling Medicare Supplements from home, as a one-man show?”

Yes, absolutely you can succeed at it.

Here are some of the keys to making it as a one-person agency to get started:

Membership at this site gives you the tools and the knowledge you need to be successful when selling Medicare Supplements by phone, or in person. You do have to apply yourself, and yes, it does take discipline and commitment, but there are thousands of agents now doing this, and we have millions of more seniors to reach. Come on!!

 

Click here to read on

When to Cross Sell and When Not to Cross Sell

2014-03-09 15:13:24

I'm often asked, “WHEN is the best time to ask your client, or potential client, about other products that they may be interested in?”

Yes, there are plenty of things that your clients may eventually want to purchase, but the best thing to do is to first make them a client, preferrably by saving them money. Then, and only then, talk about cross selling other products to your Medicare Supplement client.

Also see this related post: https://medicareagenttraining.com/where-to-focus-the-riches-are-in-the-niches/

 

 

Click here to read on

The Fortune is in the Follow Up

2014-02-28 09:59:21

https://MedicareAgentTraining.com – for Agents
http://SeniorSavingsNetwork.org – for Seniors and Clients

The Fortune is in the Follow Up

Medicare supplements provide insurance agents the opportunity for residual income. But, with that opportunity, comes responsibility. The responsibility is to take care of your clients and continue to shop for them in the future. It is not a one time transaction.
It should be an on-going relationship of taking care of their needs.

It is very rewarding to offer seniors the chance to shop for the best Medicare Supplement rate and move to the better offer. All Medicare Supplement plans are the same. They perform exactly the same way. The only difference (found on Pg 68 of the 2014 Medicare & You Guidebook) is in the premium.

And there is a great difference in the premiums.
We are often able to save our senior clients from $50 to $150 per month on the same, exact plan that they have.

The fact is, their agent should have been shopping the market for a better plan much sooner than allowing them to get that far out of whack from the best rate in the market.

The insurance companies HOPE that the senior never shops the market again. They take it for granted that they will not go shopping and will stay right where they are. They then continue to raise the rate, faster and faster.

It is definitely in the senior's best interest to shop at every announcement of a rate increase. If you, the agent, has a relationship with your client, you'll be able to be the one they call to shop again.

Click here to read on

New Round of Medicare Advantage Cuts Announced

2014-02-23 13:25:26
Glad we are focused on Medicare Supplements, which remain untouched by this news. - CW

Insurers face about 3.6% Medicare Advantage rate cuts

By Alex Wayne and Caroline Chen BLOOMBERG NEWS

 Health insurers participating in the Medicare Advantage program for elderly Americans, including Humana Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc., face a payment cut of about 3.55 percent next year, the U.S. government said.

 

The payment reductions proposed Friday are subject to negotiations with the industry and aren't expected to become final until April 1. Insurers had expected cuts of as much as 6.5 percent and had mounted a lobbying campaign to reduce the amount even before Friday's filing, including a Feb. 14 letter to the Obama administration from 40 senators urging the government to freeze rates for the program.About 15.9 million people, or about 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, are enrolled in Advantage plans this year, according to February data from the government.Next year may mark a turning point: Medicare's actuaries estimate that enrollment will decline for the first time since 2004 because payment cuts will cause plans to drop out or reduce benefits.

CEOs' trepidation

“There's a lot of trepidation awaiting this letter and not a few Wall Street analysts and CEOs who are like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs these days,” John Gorman, executive chairman of Gorman Health Group, a consulting firm in Washington, said before the cuts were announced. “There's all kinds of things around that could hurt.”

Consumers who choose Advantage plans are opting for managed care, with benefits including lower out-of-pocket costs, over the traditional government-run Medicare program for the elderly and disabled. Government payments have been under pressure since 2010, when the U.S. health expansion was financed in part by reducing spending on Advantage plans by an estimated $206 billion over a decade.

At the time, U.S. spending for Advantage beneficiaries was estimated to be as much as 13 percent higher than for people enrolled in traditional Medicare, leading to criticism the Advantage plans were overpaid.

Even after the cuts, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which studies the program for Congress and recommends cost savings, estimates that Advantage plans were paid about 4 percent more in 2013, per beneficiary, than the cost of the traditional program.

‘Seniors are watching'

Last year, the administration raised 2014 base payments for Advantage insurers by 3.3 percent, after initially proposing a 2.2 percent reduction.

Still, insurers say that other government decisions — including a new tax on the industry under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and budget sequestration ordered by Congress — reduced their Advantage payments about 6.7 percent in total this year.

Before Friday's announcement, insurers predicted a proposed cut of as much as 6.5 percent. Their lobbying campaign has included posters plastered around Washington that picture an elderly man with a pair of binoculars, with the warning “Seniors Are Watching.”

Senators' letter

The 40 U.S. senators who wrote to Medicare administrator Marilyn Tavenner to ask for payments to be frozen were led by Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Michael Crapo, R-Idaho.

The program “has been a great success and should remain a competitive choice for our constituents,” the senators said. “We urge you to maintain payment levels that will allow MA beneficiaries to be protected from disruptive changes in 2015.”

While Medicare actuaries estimate enrollment in Advantage plans will dip next year, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that participation may rise as much as 50 percent in the next decade to 21 million by fiscal 2023.

Click here to read on

Plan F or Plan G - Mutual of Omaha joins bandwagon

2014-02-12 10:06:08

Plan G is a better value than Plan F. Every day every time.

Why?

Because even if the rate is not drastically better today, the renewals surely will be better (for Plan G) tomorrow.

Mutual of Omaha on February 12, 2014 had a post purporting the benefits of Plan G.

See the Mutual Express blog on the topic.

And here is our webinar on this topic.

This was covered in depth for our members in this webinar, where not only are the benefits shown, but the salesmanship to go along with it are explored. The only company in the market paying commissions on the Part B deductible is New Era (and sister company Philadelphia American). This means, with the other companies, you are not getting paid commission on the deductible, anyway.

In my opinion, it is far better to separate yourself from the competition by saving your client the most money today, and at renewal time, by strongly recommending Plan G.

Remember, though, that many seniors just won't get it. Some are not capable of understanding the numbers and just want the convenience of Plan F. Don't be discouraged when you encounter this. They just don't want to be bothered. In the end, the customer is always right, and I'm happy to sell them what they are looking for.

-CW

 

Click here to read on

SelectQuote Enters Medicare Market

2014-02-02 11:01:05

Last night I was out with my wife and saw, on a restaurant's TV, a commercial playing on the ESPN channel.

The commercial was for SelectQuote Senior – their new senior division, selling Medicare Supplements to seniors.

Upon reviewing their site, they have a very limited, and somewhat outdated, list of carriers that they represent in the Medicare Supplement market. For instance, they're still selling Gerber Life and GPM Life's Medicare Supplement plans, neither of which are competitive anymore.

The fact that such a large company is entering the Medicare Supplement marketplace reinforces that this is definitely the place to be!
The recent report by CSG Actuarial said that the outlook for 2014 and beyond for the Medicare Supplement market is very good.

Proving once again, selling Medicare Supplements by phone CAN be done!
Proving once again, selling Medicare Supplements by phone CAN be done!

Here is the commercial I saw:


 

Update since the post:
Comment from Paul in KC:
__________________________________
On Sun, Feb 2 at 11:35 AM , Paul wrote:

Chris – based in Kansas City. Actually within a mile of my house. Select have been doing Med Supps for a few years now but still growing like crazy.
Another company, coincidently right across the street is Spring Venture Group. Started in Med Supp just a couple years ago with the two founders. They go by the name of United Medicare Advisers. The majority of the leads generated is with their own website and google Adwords etc. I was offered a job anytime but turned it down because I'm building my own empire and not somebody else's. 😉 Anyhow these guys now have over 100 folks manning the phones six days a week. They have been so successful that they started their own life insurance company. Generations Life I believe. They were also offered 1.5 million in tax credits to take the business over the state line into Kansas. (Yuck, we hate Kansas)
Moral of the story…. There is so much business in senior products everyone on your site should be setting a Million dollar a year income goal and if they stick with it they will meet that goal. So what if it takes ten or fifteen years. Just do it I say. Sent from my iPhone 4S
____________________________________

 

 

Medicare Training 101

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It is a very good time to be in the Medicare Supplement market

2014-01-31 14:57:09

A new study by the CSG Actuarial folks says that it is a very good time to be in the Medicare Supplement market.

See the study here:

Medicare Supplement – 2014 Forecast

By Doug Feekin on January 31, 2014 —

Now that we’ve put a wrap on 2013, here’s a 2014 Medicare Supplement market forecast from CSG Actuarial. All in all, it is a very good time to be in the Medicare Supplement market. The market is expanding due to the demographics in the United States and the risk issues of the past few years seemed to have settled down. Most companies are realizing additional profits from lower claim trends and attempting to increase market share.

Claim Trends Stay Lower

CSG Actuarial is projecting that overall Medicare and Medicare Supplement claim trends will continue the pattern from the past three years and remain lower in 2014. Along with the overall lower claim trends, Medicare Supplement Plans C and F should experience further dampening of their claim trends due to the Part B Deductible not increasing in 2014.

Lower Claim Trends | Lower Premium Increases

CSG Actuarial is projecting that these lower claim trends will continue to drive lower and/or delayed premium increases. Overall premium rate increases have declined the past three years and we expect 2014 rate increases to be generally in line with the level of increases implemented in 2013.

Plan G

CSG Actuarial is projecting a continued emphasis on Plan G from some of the primary companies in the Medicare Supplement market. In most instances, the premium savings for Plan G versus Plan F is substantially greater than the out of pocket cost of the Part B Deductible and some agents are starting to put more focus on plans other than F.

Sales, Sales, Sales

CSG Actuarial is projecting continued growth in the overall sales in the Medicare Supplement market. Our current estimate for overall 2014 Medicare Supplement annualized new premium sales is between $3.5 and $3.6 billion. CSG Actuarial expects that at least 10 companies will have Medicare Supplement sales greater than $50 million in 2014.

New Market Entrants

CSG Actuarial is projecting an increase of new entrants into the Medicare Supplement market in 2014. The pipeline appears to contain at least 10 and possibly as many as 15 companies attempting to put new Medicare Supplement products on the street in 2014.

About CSG Actuarial

CSG Actuarial is a leading provider of actuarial and competitive information for supplemental products. CSG has more than 50 years of actuarial experience with pricing, product development and competitive intelligence within the Medicare Supplement, Critical Illness, Cancer, Final Expense, and Hospital Indemnity markets. Call 855-861-8776 or email [email protected] to learn more.

(Remember, you can utilize the CSG Quote engine for free using our tools.  See the Tools page.)

Medicare 101 Training

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CSI Life Insurance Company Drops Final Expense

2014-01-23 09:29:25

Today, Central States Indemnity Company (CSI Life) announced that they are ending the sale of final expense plans effective March 1, 2014.

A company news release through their distributor, AIMC, today said they will not be renewing any state appointments for CSI life.

The release says that any business in place with CSI Life will continue to remain in force as long as the insured pays the premium, and that renewal commission will continue to be paid.

They also say that they are very committed to the Medicare Supplement market.

This is the second carrier in as many weeks that has announced they are leaving the final expense market.

Last week, we covered the fact that Forethought Life Insurance Company told their FMO‘s that they are leaving the final expense market and will no longer accept applications after January 31, 2014.

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1Q 2014 Lead Generation Report

2014-01-23 09:05:51

As mentioned in the first webinar of 2014, we have a study going on with the following lead sources for the first quarter of 2014.

1) Internet leads targeting Medicare Supplement online leads

– Using AllWebLeads / InsuranceLeads.com

2) Direct Mail to 68-72 year olds.  4,000 pieces mailed, split between:

– Using Kramer Lead Marketing's “Medicare Comparison” piece and

– Using LeadConnections.com “E-80” lead piece

3) Telemarketed Leads using the new discount with the phone room with USA operators.

The study is well underway and updates will be sent to all members when ready.

The final report is here.

Members-Only

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Forbes Echoes Westfall's Observation of Medicare Advantage Cuts, and Why

2014-01-08 10:59:18

In a recent story by Forbes online, they state:

“The Obama team has made a warm embrace of managed care options when it comes to Obamacare and Medicaid. But for Medicare, they want to deny low-income seniors these options. All of the administration's old arguments on why they resisted these private Medicare plans have been largely mooted, or never materialized.”

The Forbes.com article goes on to site a study that says at least 13% of Medicare Advantage plans expect to be eliminated by 2015. The agent in the Medicare market must strongly consider having a deeply rooted anchor in the Medicare Supplement market, as we do.

As always, I'll continue to keep you updated on the changes and opportunities in this awesome marketplace, here on MedicareAgentTraining.com.

Source:  More Cuts In Store For Medicare Plans — Here Are The Options That Will Shrink Most For Seniors
http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottgottlieb/2014/01/06/more-cuts-in-store-for-medicare-plans-heres-the-options-that-will-shrink-most-for-seniors/?goback=%2Egde_2479603_member_5826692941543927812#%21

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Medicare Advantage Cuts Coming - Westfall's Prediction Confirmed

2014-01-06 14:17:09

On the Friday webinar for members, held January 3, 2014, I laid out the predictions from all of the experts on the decline for Medicare Advantage business in the near future. This is for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the shenanigans employed by the president just prior to the election, where Medicare Advantage would be propped up to shield seniors from the cuts in the ACA – until just AFTER the election.
See the webinar on this topic here:

PlayButtonMedicareAgentTraining_175x117

Today, an article was written by Bloomberg pointing to the same conclusion.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2014-01-03/analysts-expects-slower-medicare-advantage-growth

It is an interesting read, and further proves my prediction was correct. Medicare Supplements are the wave of the future, not Medicare Advantage!

Make sure that you're a member of MedicareAgentTraining.com to get the latest, even before the pundits, on what's happening in our market. If you're not a member, you can join here.

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Advice from Benjamin Franklin

2014-01-05 14:33:12

Today, I was introduced to the famous quotes of Ben Franklin, and WOW.
I think all of these specifically apply to small business people and salespeople, specifically.

In my experience with agents, I have found that the #1 cause of failure for insurance agents is that they not followed these principles. I never knew, until today, that all of these principles were espoused to prominently by our founding fathers, too!

Here are Benjamin Franklin’s Top 9 Pieces of Advice for Living a Productive Life

1. The sleeping fox catches no poultry.

2. Lost time is never found again.

3. Laziness travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him.

4. Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

5. There are no gains, without pains.

6. Diligence is the mother of good luck.

7. Be ashamed to catch yourself idle.

8. Let not the sun look down and say, “inglorious, here he lies”.

9. A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two separate things.

 

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The Fortune is in the Follow Up

2013-12-28 17:35:48

Re-posted from Chris Bloor:

FACTS ABOUT FOLLOW UP

• 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect
• 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop
• 12% of sales people make more than three contacts
• 2% of sales are made on the first contact
• 3% of sales are made on the second contact
• 5% of sales are made on the third contact
• 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
• 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact

Fortune is in the Follow Up

Creating and using a simple follow up system [that works on autopilot] is a guaranteed way to grow your business.

CONSIDER THIS: With less than 52% of all sales people following up with their prospects at all, you will not only grow your business but you will stand out ‘head and shoulders’ amongst your peers.

And bearing in mind that 80% of sales are made in the 5th to 12th contact if you are in a market with serious competition you can literally eliminate your competitors by simply following up on your prospects diligently and consistently.

We use follow-up systems like Send Out Cards for insurance agents, with customized campaigns that we make available to members.

Whatever you use, you must employ some sort of follow up system. All professionals do, if they plan to stick around!

 

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Reason for my Success

2013-12-23 12:46:40

I'm convinced that the reason for my agency's success has been the effective use of time.

See the video:

If you are willing to do NOW what others are not, you will have, LATER, what others will not. 

I wish you the best in your business. It's your choice!

Chris Westfall
MedicareAgentTraining.com

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Residual Income and Insurance Sales

2013-10-30 11:15:04

 

I'm often asked, by agents considering coming into the niche of marketing insurance to seniors,

“Which way should I go? Life insurance sales or Medicare Supplement sales”

See the video:

The question really is, are you looking for one-time income or residual income?
If you can pay your bills right now, while starting to build your residual income, that's the best strategy.

Life insurance should be pursued in niche marketing. “The riches are in the niches.”
Medicare Supplement sales should be pursued to build a residual income for the future. This is a great retirement plan.

Mentioned in the video:

https://MedicareAgentTraining.com – Medicare Training

Thanks for watching..

Chris Westfall
[email protected]

 

 

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Medicare Advantage Plan Reductions Hurting Seniors for 2014

2013-10-24 06:00:11

In this briefing, Chris Westfall goes through the Medicare Advantage changes that are now being followed in the media. Seniors considering a Medicare Advantage plan for 2014 should watch this video and see the writing on the wall.

Update since video:
20% of RI docs leave the MA plan:
http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20131022-ri-medical-society-united-is-cutting-20-percent-of-doctors-from-its-medicare-plans.ece

See the video briefing:

 

References:

http://avalerehealth.net/news/avalere-analysis-reveals-first-drop-in-medicare-advantage-offerings-since-2

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2013/October/15/medicare-open-enrollment-begins.aspx

http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20131021-unitedhealthcare-dropping-r.i.-doctors-from-medicare-advantage-network-poll.ece

https://MedicareAgentTraining.com – for agents only
Seniors should visit: http://SeniorSavingsNetwork.org

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"Yeah, but, can I sell Medicare Supplements successfully?"

2013-10-07 13:53:41

“Yeah, but, can I sell Medicare Supplements successfully?”
This is the question I'm answering in this video.

Coming from law enforcement into the senior market in insurance, that was about the craziest transition ever. I know that if you can go from 15 years of telling people what to do, and ordering around subordinates, and you can learn the skillset necessary to succeed in a sales career, then anything is possible!

If you've been in construction, retail sales, or customer service – it does not matter.

If you focus on the skillset necessary to become an interested salesperson – interested in what the client's needs are, you can succeed.

Christopher Westfall
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AFLAC Medicare Supplement Pulled from Market

2013-09-16 10:33:30

AFLAC Stops Medicare Supplement SalesThe AFLAC Medicare Supplement product hit the market in October, 2012.

It was just annoucned today, September 16, 2013, that the product will no longer be offered, effective October 1, 2013.

This is a disappointing move by AFLAC and its distributor, AIMC. There is, as of yet, no explanation for the sudden move and no field communication has been made prior to this decision that might have helped independent agents get positioned for such a potential transaction with applications currently in process.

This sort of non-communication and rull-pulled-from-under agents and clients is not typical in the industry and will affect future decisions on what companies to market from these higher distribution channels in the future.

Notice sent to the field:
AFLAC Medicare Supplement Cancelled

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California Birthday Rule on Medicare Supplements - Guaranteed Issue

2013-09-06 11:05:51

In a recent post, we covered guaranteed issue situations in general. You can see that post on guaranteed issue Medicare supplements here.

Here, I've extracted some good content from one of the carrier's underwriting guides that helps to break down the guaranteed issue rules for California, the guaranteed issue rules for Missouri, and the Guaranteed issue rules for Oregon. <
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Medico Competitive Analysis - Non-member View

2013-08-12 15:58:19

Medico has released their competitive information to their FMO's across the country.
They also announced lower rates and a new household discount in three states, that takes effective September 1.

Active members can see the webinar, along with the new map and the extra webinar on their E-App system by clicking here.

Not a member? Sign up today!

Medicare Supplement Training

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How to Underwrite a Medicare Supplement Policy

2013-08-12 10:56:37

Find the potential client is only half the battle.

See the video:

Many agents who are just starting out, say that they're spending so much time and energy finding a new prospect that they really want to get that first policy issued.

I can appreciate that.

But, it's not a qualified prospect if YOU answer NO to all of the bad health questions on the application, but in their mind, there is some lingering doubt as to whether they should answer YES or NO. Or, in the worst case, you as the agent never asked the question of them to begin with. Don't let that be you. Don't just take their word when they say, “I'm in great health.”

Here is what could happen. Not only is it fraud if you certify that they answered NO when they did not, but every company will be doing a phone verification call with these potential clients.

Why do they do that? They do that to check up on you, the agent.

They want to make sure that you asked, and got answered, all of the question on the application.

Your client needs to be so solid with their answers (of NO) to those health questions, that when anyone later asks them the health questions, they can answer the same way to the interview that they did to you.

It looks bad on the agent when their answers change when they make that verification call.

If they answer “YES” to one of the questions, don't give up right away. There are more companies that are lenient in certain areas and you owe it to them (and you) to look at the next two companies down the list to see if you can get them approved. (See this webinar on this topic.)

I just want to encourage you that if someone says they're in good health, make sure you have asked each and every question and they are sure that they can honestly answer NO to those bad health questions.

Also, these applications will be verified against ScriptCheck, making sure that the drugs they're on are not in conflict with the health questions. Most companies make you list all of the medications on the application (with the exception of New Era/Philadelphia American.)

Taking the time to find the right fit for the client is our job. Not all company health questions are the same. After working with a few, you will become an expert on what each company in your area will approve.

You can see the health questions for the Medicare Supplement companies here:
https://medicareagenttraining.com/training_modules/medicare-supplements/

Have a great day!

 

 

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August Medicare Supplement Rate Changes - by CSG

2013-08-09 11:29:50

Courtesy of CSG Actuarial:

Medicare Supplement Rate Changes
August 2013

By csg_actuarial on August 1, 2013 — No comments

Company
Effective Date
Average Increase
Comments
AFLAC 8/15/2013 10.0% Illinois
American Continental Insurance Company 9/1/2013 8.4% (31.5%) – 15%; Varies by state
Avera Health Plans, Inc. 7/1/2013 -6.2% Iowa
Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company 6/1 – 7/1/2013 4.9% 0.0% – 10.2%; Varies by state
Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company 1/1/2013 1.0% (5.7%) – 10%; Varies by state
Continental General Insurance Company 7/1/2013 0.0% Arkansas
Continental Life Insurance Company of Brentwood, Tennessee 9/1/2013 6.0% Rhode Island
EPIC Life Insurance Company 3/1/2013 15.0% Iowa
Everence Association Inc. 4/1/2013 -0.5% (6.9%) – 5.7%; Varies by state
Family Life Insurance Company 8/1/2013 9.0% Nevada
Health Net Life Insurance Company 8/1/2013 -2.8% California
Humana Insurance Company 9/1 – 10/1/2013 3.6% 0.0% – 9.7%; Varies by state
Liberty National Life Insurance Company 1/1 – 7/1/2013 0.9% (14.5%) – 6.1%; Varies by state
Medico Insurance Company 8/1/2013 6.9% 0.0% – 6.9%; Varies by state
New Era Life Insurance Company 9/1/2013 8.2% Texas
New Era Life Insurance Company of the Midwest 9/1/2013 8.3% Texas
Philadelphia American Life Insurance Company 8/1 – 9/1/2013 6.8% 5.0% – 9.0%; Varies by state
Physicians Mutual Insurance Company 6/1/2013 4.8% 0.0% – 9.0%; Varies by state
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah 8/1/2013 -1.3% Utah
Reserve National Insurance Company 5/1 – 6/1/2013 6.5% 3.8% – 16.3%; Varies by state
Royal Neighbors of America 9/1/2013 2.8% (5.0%_ – 5.0%; Varies by state
Sterling Investors Life Insurance Company 9/1/2013 7.0% Georgia
United American Insurance Company 7/1/2013 0.7% California
United Commercial Travelers of America 7/1/2013 9.5% Arizona
USAA Life Insurance Company 4/1/2013 16.8% 3.7% – 23.4%; Varies by state

About CSG Actuarial
CSG monitors senior markets to provide the most up-to-date competitive intelligence in the industry. CSG DataMart™ includes premium rate and underwriting information for more than 200 companies. Call 855-861-8776 or email [email protected] to learn more.

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Medicare Supplements and Pre-Existing Conditions

2013-07-31 16:05:18

This is a video I did recently on Medicare Supplements and Pre-Existing conditions.

I lost a client once because one of the Medicare Supplement companies, CIGNA, sent out their new policy with a highlight on a Pre-Existing Condition warning. They did not, however, explain in their materials that the pre-ex does not apply if they've already had their Medicare Supplement policy with their former carrier for at least six months.

So, if you are replacing one Medigap (Medicare Supplement) policy with another one, and they were with the old company for at least six months, there are no pre-existing condition exclusions. There are no waiting periods, there are not denied claims with the new carrier where that would not have been denied with the old carrier (if they're moving to the same plan letter with the new carrier).

Here is the video explaining how pre-existing conditions are treated when changing Medicare Supplement policies.

Here is the “Choosing a Medigap Policy” guide:

  http://www.medicare.gov/pubs/pdf/02110.pdf

You can request copies of this from Medicare directly (www.medicare.gov) or by requesting it from any insurance carrier you are writing business for now.

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Where to Focus - The Riches are in the Niches

2013-07-19 09:46:49

From a forum post by Christopher Westfall

I started by doing final expense two days per week and Med Supps the other four (worked six days). Had a family of six to feed and failure was not an option.

This kept a very good income, while building my Medicare block at the same time.

Unfortunately, many people look at this as either a “Get Rich Quick” opportunity or a hobby. They expect to invest nothing, chase continual offers of “free leads”, etc. and cannot for a minute fathom putting money into their own business.

This is just like a franchise opportunity, except that there is a much smaller barrier to entry. You can start small and stay small, eventually quit like 80% do, or you can treat it like the business that it is and put money into it, expecting a result.

Unlike a franchise, you can be profitable and doing very well in this industry in under two years without mortgaging your entire future. That is, unless you've taken one of those “free leads” deals and sold your future renewals by way of a smaller contract on the back end.

As for ages, I have found the most success by fishing in the blue ocean. By that I mean that there is a red ocean, where all of the sharks are pouncing on, in this case, the Turning-65 senior. Everyone has the same plan and they're all tripping over each other to fight for the same, finite group of people.

Meanwhile, I'm in the blue ocean calling on people who have not heard from their agent in two, three, or more years. These people are frustrated with their rate increase and do not know where to turn. I don't have agents coming right behind me or competing for the same client in the same space.

So, I would encourage you to diversify your business to survive today and still build your Medicare supplement renewals at the same time. It is simple to do both, as neither are complicated.

As to the geography of being limited by plans, that is only in your mind. There are no geographical limitations to where you can sell medicare supplements..  so find a market where you can sell entirely by phone to an under-served market. On this site, you can learn how to sell medicare supplements by phone easily.

You can even get good at locating where the major player are announcing significant rate increases, and a new carrier is launching in that same state. I call that the perfect storm.

Lastly, do not give your insurance contract to someone that you know, up front, is not offering training.
Yes, you can pay to get training elsewhere, but that is the quid pro quo for having given your contract in the first place.

 

Best of luck… remember to treat it like the business it is.

It requires relentless persistence on your part, taking care of your clients continuously, and beginning with the end in mind.

You could find yourself five years from now with a very significant residual income and a constant flow of referrals to new clients.

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Medicare Supplement Growth Projections

2013-06-14 06:31:04

Yesterday, CSG Actuarial released their annual report on Medicare Supplement projections for the future.

And the future is so bright, you guessed it, “I gotta wear shades!”

Gotta Wear Shades

You've got to read this report, and see why this is the market to be in – Medicare supplements.

Here is the report:

Medicare Supplement Projection

To your success,
Christopher Westfall, MedicareAgentTraining.com

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