Medical Mutual Changes How Commissions Are Accessed

Effective April 16, 2018, Medical Mutual commission statements will be accessible only through MyBrokerLink and will no longer require a separate registration or log-in. The first commission statements available on MyBrokerLink will be for the March 2018 commission payment.

Click here to learn more.

CMS Releases HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019

CMS recently issued the HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019, generally for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2019. The rule is designed to improve affordability for those with high premiums.

The rule includes provisions in the following key areas:

  • Essential Health Benefits (EHB)
  • Qualified Health Plan (QHP) Certification Standards
  • Exemptions
  • Risk Adjustment
  • Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC) Program Integrity
  • Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs)
  • Medical Loss Ratio
  • Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)
  • Rate Review

In addition, CMS has extended the transitional policy for one additional year, allowing for the transition to fully ACA-compliant coverage in the individual and small group Health Insurance Marketplaces until 2019.

Click here for more information or contact your Cornerstone representative.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

States face challenge in curbing premiums after stabilization package fails

CMS issues final 2019 Payment Notice Rule to increase access to affordable health plans for Americans suffering from high Obamacare premiums

Golden Rule’s $100 Triple Play Health Protectorguard Contest

Earn $50 for every eligible Health ProtectorGuard plan PLUS another potential $50 when you bundle with an Accident Pro Series plan and a dental plan, starting with the first issued online application, once you’ve submitted a minimum of 20 Health ProtectorGuard online applications.

Click here for more information.

Oscar Raises $165 Million for Technology and Expansion

Oscar Health has raised $165 million in new funding in a round led by Founders Fund, with participation from two branches of Google’s parent company Alphabet: the Capital G growth investment arm, and the Verily life sciences segment. The money was raised to invest in their technology platform and accelerate expansion.

Click here for more information.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Oscar Health, Josh Kushner’s health insurance start-up, raises $165 million from Alphabet and others

Oscar Health Raises $165M For Multi-City Obamacare Expansion

Changes to the Cornerstone Individual Team Effective March 1, 2018

For many years the individual market has undergone tumultuous change. Remaining steady and a constant support to assist with the interpretation of industry regulations, certification requirements, product changes and carrier movement have been Cornerstone’s Account Advisors, Geoff Beglen and Colleen Glaser.

Effective March 1, 2018, Geoff Beglen, a Cornerstone Individual Market expert since 2006, will maintain support for our individual brokers and be your one point of contact. Brokers that worked with Colleen in the past are asked to reach out to Geoff going forward.

Geoff can be reached by email at gbeglen@crnstone.com or by phone at 513-629-9358 or 800-248-7675, ext. 358.

Also, be sure to sign up for Geoff’s new webinar series, The Individual Corner with Geoff Beglen, which debuted on February 21st. Geoff kicks off each weekly event with updates and news from the individual market. The series features special guests showcasing topics and training relevant to the market.

Register for the next Individual Corner webinar

Don’t Travel Without GeoBlue!

GeoBlue’s suite of international travel medical insurance provides clients with protection that picks up where their primary domestic health plan leaves off, with short- and long-term plans to cover many travelers’ needs.

Benefits of GeoBlue:

  • Network of doctors in 190+ countries
  • Easy claims processing, since GeoBlue pays providers directly
  • Assistance with both non-emergency and emergency care
  • No penalty internationally for going out of the GeoBlue network
  • Expert customer service team that is available 24/7 to help you find providers, schedule appointments, provide translation services and so much more

Why Sell GeoBlue?

  • Provide your clients with world-class protection while diversifying your income
  • GeoBlue may be sold any time throughout the year whenever your clients are on the go
  • It is not necessary to be currently enrolled in a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) health plan to purchase a GeoBlue plan

 

Contact your Cornerstone representative today to get started with GeoBlue.

Medical Mutual 2018 FFM Enrollment Training Webinars

Medical MutualMedical Mutual of Ohio will be hosting a number of webinars throughout 2018 for training on enrollment and business renewals through the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM).

Click here to register.


All 2018 webinars will be held at 10:00 a.m. EST on the following dates:
Tuesday, February 6th
Tuesday, March 6th
Tuesday, April 3rd
Tuesday, May 1st
Tuesday, June 5th
Wednesday, July 17th
Tuesday, August 7th
Tuesday, September 5th
Tuesday, October 2nd

Medical Mutual Update: PNC HSA Account Transfers

Through an agreement with PNC Bank, Medical Mutual has paid $2.50 per member/per month administrative fee associated for all MMO groups and individuals with a PNC Bank health savings account (HSA). This fee will no longer be paid effective March 1, 2018. There will be no charge to transfer funds from the PNC HSA to MMO’s HSA.

Communications will be sent to market segments currently with a PNC HSA informing them of this change:

View Group letter.

View Individual Policyholder letter.

View Group member letter.

Talking Points for Addressing the Tax Bill and the Individual Mandate

Senate Republicans recently approved the repeal of Obamacare’s individual shared responsibility penalty as part of the 2017 reconciliation act. While the tax cut does not repeal the individual mandate itself, it zeros out both the dollar amount and percentage of income penalties imposed by the mandate.

The details of the repeal may be confusing for your clients, so we have put together a resource of talking points to simplify the repeal and what it means, sourced from a recent article from Health Affairs:

  • Both houses of Congress have now voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual shared responsibility penalty, effective for 2019, as part of the 2017 tax reconciliation act.
  • Individuals remain responsible for having insurance or paying the penalty for the 2017 filing season and for 2018.
  • The IRS announced it will reject electronic filings of 2017 tax returns that do not claim coverage or an exemption or include payment of the penalty.
  • Important:  the individual mandate was not repealed.  Section 5000A of the individual mandate provides the legal requirement for individuals to purchase minimum essential coverage even though the penalty for not doing so has been repealed.
  • Employers providing “minimum essential coverage” must still report info to the IRS for the covered individuals and provide evidence of coverage to the individual or be subject to penalties if they fail to report.
  • Provisions for individuals to apply for exemptions from the mandate (to exchanges or the IRS) are still in place but it’s unlikely that individuals will apply for exemptions after the penalty is repealed in 2019.
  • There are two employer mandate penalties that remain in place:
    • a penalty imposed on employers who fail to offer minimum essential coverage to full-time employees if any employee receives premium tax credits to enroll in coverage through an exchange, calculated on a per-employee basis for all full-time employees; and
    • a larger penalty imposed on employers who offer minimum essential coverage but fail to offer “minimum value” coverage, which applies to each full-time employee who in fact receives premium tax credits for exchange coverage.
  • Premium tax credits will continue to keep coverage affordable for consumers with incomes below 400 percent of the poverty level.
  • Coverage will continue to be available to all consumers regardless of preexisting conditions.
  • Premiums will not depend on health status, and a risk adjustment system will penalize insurers who attract primarily healthy enrollees.
  • The remaining eight titles of the ACA remain operative, including provisions closing the Medicare donut hole.

 

Read the full article from Health Affairs here.

UnitedHealthcare Fixed Indemnity Plans Available

Fixed indemnity plans pay your clients fixed benefits when they receive an eligible medical service specified in their plan. These fixed benefits can help offset amounts your clients may have to pay out of pocket. There are a few reasons why a Fixed Indemnity plan may be the right fit for your clients:

  • Fixed indemnity plans help fill gaps in coverage. These plans can help your clients pay their out-of-pocket medical costs and supplement their major medical insurance.
  • Fixed indemnity is help for the expected and unexpected. Fixed Indemnity plans may cover things like doctor’s visits, prescriptions, outpatient services like labs and X-rays, hospital stays for illness and injury, and surgical procedures.
  • Fixed indemnity plans offer predictable fixed payments. Fixed indemnity plans pay a predetermined amount for certain health care services, regardless of the amount charged by the provider.
  • These plans are available all year long – no enrollment periods to contend with. Health ProtectorGuard is renewable up to age 65.

 

For more information, contact your Cornerstone representative.