AEP for 2019

Update from December 8 – December 31st, 2018 See the video below MAPD people can apply now for February 1 effective date for a Medicare Supplement if they still wish to get off of Medicare Advantage. Once approved by the Medicare…

     


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Monthly Bank Draft or Pay Annually for a Medicare Supplement?

The question we often get, “Should I pay annually for my Medicare Suppplement?”
Often times, seniors think they'll get a discount for paying annually. Well, with Medicare Supplements, they do not. Life insurance? Maybe, depends on the carrier, but NOT with Medicare Supplements.

There is a HUGE downfall to paying annually, in fact, with a Medicare Supplement, and this is something your clients MUST KNOW.

See the video.. the dangers of paying annually (or quarterly) for a Medicare Supplement:


Medicare Supplement Training

January 2018 Update

A few updates that you should be aware of, involving the CUL (now Manhattan) dental plan, Mutual of Omaha, Aetna, and Bankers Fidelity. Shortcuts to the Updates: Aetna Expansion Update Bankers Fidelity Update CUL Dental Update Mutual of Omaha Expansion…

     


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New Medicare Cards for 2018

new medicare card image

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

 

Questions and Answers on Medicare Marketing

Over the last week, I requested questions from members on topics in their business where the answers could help others. In this video, my friend Eugene and I did our best to answer them based on our experience thus far….

     


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AHIP Sees 28% Increase in Medigap Enrollment Among Seniors

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.

Former Cop, Now Medicare Agent. Why?

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

Thrivent Financial Medicare Supplement

Thrivent Financial Information: Update Jan 31, 2018: (Click image to enlarge) Site for up-to-the-minute state approvals and sample forms: http://www.thriventmedsupp.com/medicare-supplement-resources/   “The URL for the agent portal for Thrivent and LBL is  https://aiatpa.agentxcelerator.com/.  These are the links – the first link…

     


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