March 2018 Medicare Update

After a meeting in Palm Springs with some top producers, I came away with some good news for those in the Medicare business. On location in San Diego, here's my update on the industry and what's coming. Remember, we can…


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New Medicare Cards for 2018

new medicare card image

The new Medicare cards are here. What do you do when you're writing a Turning 65 (T65) person and they do not have their new, cryptic, Medicare card number yet?
That is covered here:

CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design

CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design
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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:


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August 7, 2015 Updates Webinar: T65 FAQ FOCUS

Covered in this webinar: CIGNA, CSI LIFE, Americo, Mutual of Omaha, Manhattan Life, Household Discounts vs Spouse Discounts, T65 Marketing, T65 Process, Part B knowledge, Data for Dialing, and Open Enrollment vs. Guarantee Issue See the video: Skip to 25:00…


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Best time to start a new Medicare Supplement plan

This is a public post answering the question, “When is the best time to start my new Medicare Supplement plan.”

See the video:

This answers the question as to the best effective date for a new Medigap plan.

NOTE: For those on Medicare Disability, and turning 65, the effective date of their >65 Medicare Supplement has to be ON THEIR exact birthday… NOT on the first of their birthday month.

Why? Because since they're already on <65 Medicare, due to disability, THEIR Open Enrollment period starts actually on their birthday. So, you can write Plan G, etc. because of Open Enrollment, but it cannot start before their actual birth day.

As to when Medicare, itself, starts:

When will my Medicare coverage start?

If you sign up for Part A (if you have to buy it) and/or Part B in this month:Your coverage starts:
The month you turn 651 month after you sign up
1 month after you turn 652 months after you sign up
2 months after you turn 653 months after you sign up
3 months after you turn 653 months after you sign up
During the January 1–March 31 General Enrollment PeriodJuly 1