Anthem’s GeoBlue Training Event in Worthington, OH | Register Now!

Join Anthem’s GeoBlue and Cornerstone for an in-person training to learn more about GeoBlue products, additional travel benefits and where this plan fits for your clients!

DATE: Wednesday, May 30

TIME: 1:30pm – 2:30pm

LOCATION: Anthem Office in Worthington Ohio

6740 North High Street | Worthington, OH 43085

GeoBlue offers 4 great plans that can fit your international traveler’s needs. These plans can help with short or long-term international travel and are available for under and over 65 clients! In addition, it can help groups with international employee travel and employee vacation benefits.

Watch this video and come learn more!

A few more reasons to sell GeoBlue plans…

  • This product is filed with DOI! Most travel policies are not filed with DOI and would not be covered by your E & O coverage.
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation benefits to the states. This is not covered as an emergency under your health plan. The average cost of medical evacuation to the states is about 25,000 to 100,000. Could be more for remote locations.
  • Plans that start at no deductible to large deductible at an affordable rate.
  • Turnaround time for the guaranteed issue products is immediate. Usually 72 hours for medically underwritten products.
  • GeoBlue concierge-level services will help 24/7 to find the closest hospital, arrange direct billing for international medical events and do medical monitoring.
  • Easy to use online tools for the members once enrolled. All claims are filed for you by approved hospital and doctors.

 

Not contracted with Anthem’s GeoBlue? Contact your Cornerstone Representative to get started today!

Client Referrals Just Got Easier!

NEW! Cornerstone’s Client Referral Forms are now online!

Electronic versions of the Individual and Medicare referral forms are now available—a new, time-saving feature from Cornerstone’s Agency Services Division!

Submit all of your Individual/Family and Medicare referrals directly with our simplified online client referral form, available on our website with 24/7 access!

For Medicare referrals, quickly access the client “Consent to Contact” form and use the upload feature to submit.

And that’s it! Cornerstone will take care of the rest!

 

Click here to access the online referral form.

 

TIP: Be sure to save the referral form page to your web favorites for quick access.

Our Agency Services Client Referral program is one of the most valuable benefits we offer to our broker partners.

Ask your Cornerstone representative about how you can get paid for your Individual, Medicare, and Employee Benefits referrals and never say “no” to a client or prospect again!

What’s Old is New Again: Recycling in the Individual Market

Luke Boemker

Luke Boemker | Director Enrollment Center/Business Development

The title of one of my favorite movies, Back to the Future, seems apropos when compared to today’s individual health insurance market. With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being anything but affordable, many consumers are looking for alternative options to cover themselves and their families. Monthly ACA insurance premiums can cost more than an average mortgage payment so other options have to rise up from the grave to give consumers access to “affordable” health insurance.

Before ACA, we had medical underwriting, we had prescreens, we had limited coverage for maternity, and we had waiting periods on pre-ex. These are many of the reasons the ACA was created—to eliminate screening questions that were seen as unfair to a consumer with medical conditions. Granted, pre-ACA coverage was not the best either, but it was a fraction of the cost of current ACA coverage. Pre-ACA, networks were also much more extensive, with the majority of options today consisting of very limited HMO or EPO choices.

On April 2, 2018, the great state of Iowa made national news in their attempt to create Individual association-style plan offerings. The Iowa Farm Bureau is looking to recreate coverage options that consumers had before the ACA. However, according to a recent Washington Post article, such plans “sponsored by a nonprofit agricultural organization…shall be deemed not to be insurance.” Rates and coverage options have not yet been approved, but it is difficult to believe that there will not be some limitations that will make these plans available only to those on the healthier end of the spectrum.

The Back to the Future opportunity is twofold. On one hand, short-term plans are beginning to resemble pre-ACA coverage. If the laws change and allow short-term back to a nearly annual, renewable contract, this market will explode for the young, invincible, and healthy population.

However, there are tradeoffs with coverage options. Most short-term plans have PPO networks, which are significantly larger than what can be found with ACA plans. On the flip side, the coverage on the short-term plans is not as extensive as one might find in the ACA. Benefits are not as rich from a copay or medication standpoint and short-term plans do not usually cover maternity, which can be an issue for younger families. Anyone with medical conditions or significant health care needs may not qualify for short-term plan offerings, while ACA plans are guarantee issue.

Let’s look at a couple illustrations that show sample price comparisons for 21, 43, and 64-year-old non-smokers with short-term versus ACA options, using Franklin County (Columbus, OH) as the test case. These are the lowest prices available in which the out-of-pocket costs are closely aligned.

  Short Term* ACA**
Age Premium
21 $      84.73 $      355.47
43 $     106.16 $      482.38
64 $     284.53 $    1,066.41
*$2500 Deductible, 20% Co-Insurance, $7500 MOOP
**$2400 Deductible, 20% Co-Insurance, $7350 MOOP

A 21-year-old “invincible” can purchase a middle-of-the-road short-term plan for less than their monthly cell phone bill. A similar plan offering in the ACA would compare more closely to their monthly rent or car payment. The ACA plans are averaging four times more costly than short-term coverage options in nearly all age ranges. When you annualize the premium savings for a 64-year-old consumer, you see savings of over $9,000. For those on a fixed or limited income, this is necessary money in their pocket.

When looking at sample family rates of 35, 33, 6, and 4 year olds, the price difference is even more dramatic. ACA rates, without a subsidy, are approaching, and possibly even exceeding, what a family of four would pay for their monthly mortgage and escrow payment. The rate is almost five times more expensive for ACA versus short term.

Short Term* ACA**
Ages Premium
35, 33, 6, 4 $    333.00 $        1,592.04
*$4000 Family Deductible, 20% Co-Insurance, $12,000 Family MOOP
**$4000 Family Deductible, 20% Co-Insurance, $14,700 Family MOOP

With all things being equal, it is difficult to pass up the significant monthly savings of $1,259 dollars for the family of four. Annualized savings amount to more than $15,000.

With short-term medical and association-style options potentially becoming en vogue again, one has to wonder what will become of the ACA. With many national carriers having exited the Marketplace in a majority of states, and many states with only one or two carrier options, it appears the death spiral for ACA is in full effect. Limited competition creates higher rates; higher rates drive the healthy population into alternative options. When the healthy leave the Marketplace, all that remains are those with medical conditions or those who are receiving a substantial subsidy that offsets the majority of their ACA premium.

Consumers will make health care decisions based on how it impacts them the most: their pocket book. If they can qualify medically and achieve premium savings like what is outlined in the above illustrations, more and more will flock to short-term or association-style options, like those being proposed in Iowa and potentially other states in the near future.

Like the late, great Yankee’s catcher Yogi Berra once said, “It’s like deja vu all over again.”

Questions about short-term plans? Contact your Cornerstone representative today to learn more.

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