Medicare Clients to Receive New Medicare Cards Starting April 2018

Medicare has a major change coming this year and I want to make sure you are aware. The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) will be replacing all members’ cards starting in April 2018. They are replacing the cards based on a provision in the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). MACRA section 501 requires CMS to remove Social Security numbers (SSN) from Medicare cards and to replace the use of SSNs with new, randomly generated Medicare beneficiary identifiers, or MBIs by April 2019, to protect the individual’s identity.

This massive card replacement will affect clients who use Medicare Supplement Insurance to fill in the gaps in their Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Individuals insured with a Medicare Advantage plan will also get new original Medicare cards, but they should continue to use their Medicare Advantage plan cards when seeking medical care.

The new cards will look just like they have in the past with a red, white, and blue palette, except these cards will not include the individual’s SSN, and will instead have a Medicare number. The MBI on their Medicare card includes both numbers and letters for optimal security. See below what the new cards will look like with the new MBI number:

Starting April 2018, newly eligible beneficiaries will get a card with a unique number regardless of where they live. For those individuals who currently have a Medicare card, CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards over a period of approximately 12 months based on geographic location and some other factors. Ohio and Kentucky will be of the last states to get the new cards. Below is a chart that shows, based on the area, when individuals will receive their new card:

Beginning in April 2018, individuals with Medicare will be able to go to to sign up for emails about the card mailing and to check the card mailing status in their state. Individuals may use their card immediately upon receiving it. They will be able to use either the SSN-based or the new random alphanumeric-based numbers through December 2019. Beginning January 1, 2020, only the new cards will be accepted.

With any change in Medicare comes confusion. This is a great opportunity to reach out to your clients to explain any changes and what they can expect. Click here for a one-page flyer from CMS that outlines the details of the new Medicare card. This is a great reference for your clients.

UPDATES TO CLEVELAND TRAINING SESSIONS: Medicare Training Sessions with Cornerstone

NOTE: The training for February 22, 2018, has been rescheduled as a webinar for March 22, 2018, at 2:00 pm. See below for additional details…


Join Cornerstone at our Cleveland office this month as we present a series of specialized training sessions with our carrier partners that are geared toward helping you maximize your book of business.

TRAINING SPECIAL: Attend one or two sessions and receive a free CE voucher. Attend all three sessions and receive two free CE vouchers, valued at 24-credit hours!

HumanaTuesday, Feb. 27th

10:00 am–12:00 pm

Humana D-SNP

Are you looking to increase your client base? Please attend this session to learn how to sell Humana’s  D-SNP product to clients all year around!

Content that will be discussed:

  • Humana’s plan design
  • What’s the sales sizzle?
  • How to target the product

Cornerstone’s Cleveland Office

4500 Rockside Road Suite 330

Independence, OH 44131



Thursday, March 22nd

2:00 pm–3:00 pm

WEBINAR: Grow Your MMO Business

Please join us to learn what resources are available to help grow your Medical Mutual of Ohio business.

Topics to be discussed:

  • Online tools
  • Sales events
  • PCP visit program

Access code: 927 781 551


Narrowing Medicare “Doughnut Hole” Will Close In 2019

For Medicare Part D beneficiaries with high prescription drug expenses, the “Doughnut Hole” means they pay more for their medicine once costs reach a certain threshold. Narrowing each year since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, the gap was scheduled to close in 2020. With the 2/16 budget deal, the doughnut hole will now close in 2019.

Read the full story here.

Marc’s Joins Aetna’s Preferred Pharmacy Network

Marc’s has been added as a preferred pharmacy for Aetna and Coventry MAPD and PDP plans.

Preferred pharmacies provide prescription drugs at the lowest copays/coinsurance. This means your clients may pay less for certain drugs when they fill their prescription at preferred pharmacies like Marc’s.

Contact your Cornerstone representative for more details.

Aetna and Coventry MA/MAPD Clients Can Save on Diabetic Testing Supplies

Aetna and Coventry MA/MAPD clients have access to OneTouch meters and test strips at $0 cost share from LifeScan. Additional supplies, like lancets, lancing devices, and solutions, are available for $0 cost share.

Click here to download the flyer.

Aetna and Coventry’s SilverSneaker Fitness Benefit

Aetna and Coventry MA/MAPD clients have a no-cost membership to participate in SilverSneakers fitness facilities:

  • Once enrolled, members just need their SilverSneakers ID number.
    • If this is their first time with a plan that has SilverSneakers, they’ll get their SilverSneakers ID number in the mail.
    • If members previously had a plan with SilverSneakers (regardless of the health plan), their SilverSneakers ID number remains the same. Members can look up their number by calling SilverSneakers or visiting com.
  • Find participating fitness locations at com.

Aetna and Coventry to Cover Shingles Vaccine

Starting February 1, Aetna and Coventry MAPD and PDP plans will cover the Shingrix shingles vaccine as a Tier 3 medication.

This medication is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for healthy adults aged 50  years or older, as well as adults who previously received the current shingles vaccine (Zostavax) to prevent shingles and related complications. There is no change in coverage for the Zostavax vaccine.

For more information, click here.

Marc’s Is Now A Preferred Pharmacy For MAPD And PDP Plans In Ohio

Aetna and Coventry recently announced that Marc’s is now a preferred pharmacy for MAPD and PDP plans. Preferred pharmacies provide prescription drugs at Aetna’s lowest copays/coinsurance, which means clients may pay less for certain drugs when filling prescriptions at preferred pharmacies.


Contact your Cornerstone representative with any questions.

Aetna’s Hospital Indemnity Flex Coming To 9 New States

On February 5, 2018, Aetna will begin offering their new Hospital Indemnity Flex product in Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

View the Ohio Brochure and Rate Guide.

ATTENTION OHIO BROKERS: Anthem’s Medicare Supplement Bonus Program for 2018!

Great News for Brokers in Ohio!

The more you sell, the more you earn with Anthem’s Medicare Supplement Sales Bonus Program!

Now YOU have a new opportunity to earn even more on EVERY Medicare Supplement Plan you SELL!

New, short-term incentives have just been announced for brokers who sell Anthem’s Medicare Supplement plans! Don’t miss out on this limited time opportunity to earn more when you sell Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plans with 3/1/2018 effective dates!*


How Does it Work? 

  • If you sell 3 approved Medicare Supplement policies you’ll receive an additional $100 bonus per sale!
  • But if you sell 5 or more approved Medicare Supplement policies you’ll receive an additional $150 bonus per sale!

EXAMPLE:  If you sell 3 Medicare Supplement policy in a month with a qualifying effective date of 1/1/2018 you’ll earn a $300 bonus (3× $100)! But if you sell 5 plan policies, you’ll earn $750 (5× $150)!


Program Rules:

  • All per sale bonus amounts are in addition to the standard broker compensation.


Your current and prospective clients can benefit from these money-saving options on every Anthem plan:

  • A 5% discount on each policy if there is more than one Medicare Supplement policy written in a household with a coverage date of June 1, 2010 or after.
  • Receive $2 off their monthly premium simply by enrolling in automatic electronic premium payments—a savings of $24 annually. Save $48 by paying their premium for the entire year.
  • There are even greater savings for your clients when you help them combine discounts (based on eligibility).


While your clients are saving money, they can also stay healthy by taking advantage of the SilverSneakers Fitness Program, which offers eligible Modernized Anthem Medicare Supplement members a Basic Membership with access to over 13,000 locations nationwide—at no extra cost!**

So don’t wait!  It’s time to take advantage of this limited time opportunity to make more money selling Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plans!


Questions? Contact your Cornerstone representative today.

* This incentive is limited to new enrollees only-and based upon approval of the policy. All incentives will be paid within ninety days of the end of the bonus period. Anthem reserves the right to make all rules and determinations regarding the bonus program and may modify or eliminate the program at any time without notice.  For more detailed information on the bonus program, please contact your Regional Sales Manager.

**SilverSneakers is a value-added program. It is not insurance and not part of the Medicare Supplement insurance plans. It can be changed or withdrawn at any time.