CSI Life Has Announced Huge Rate Reductions Effective October 1

Attention all CSI Life agents in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania: The company that has delivered one of the most stable rate structures in the industry, CSI Life, has announced huge rate reductions effective October 1. These game-changing rates are as strong as steel and primed for an incredible AEP. Below is an example of the rate reductions at age 67 for both Plan G and Plan N:


In case you missed it, CSI Life has a revamped commission structure. Rather than the previous flat-fee commission structure, CSI Life has moved to the percentage-based model that you are accustomed to with most carriers. Check your new contract or contact your Cornerstone Senior Marketing sales rep to see what your new commission level is at.


Kick off your AEP selling season with these revamped rates and earn yourself a serious raise this fourth quarter.

Issue 20 or more Medicare Supplement cases with CSI Life between 10/1 and 12/31 and receive $2,500 on top of your current commissions.

Issue 40 or more CSI Life Medicare Supplement cases between 10/1 and 12/31 and receive $5,000 on top of your already industry leading commissions.

So place your business this AEP with the carrier that keeps clients for life—CSI Life. Begin writing an e-application today by logging on to CSIeapp.com.

Click here to view and download new rates.

Click here to view and download Q4 incentive.

Spousal Benefits and the 2016 Social Security Law “Deemed Filing” Changes

Social Security Solutions, LLCDue to the Social Security “Deemed Filing” change introduced on April 30, 2016, persons born after 1953 are limited as to when they can take a spousal benefit. One aspect of the new law eliminates the ability of a spouse to limit the scope of the application to spousal benefits at “full retirement age” if they were born after 1953. The strategy used to be to take one half of their spouses full retirement age benefit, but still accrue delayed retirement credits until age 70 (8 percent per year increase). It was a great strategy for some people; keep working but take one half of their spouse’s benefit, then switch to their own record at age 70 for a much higher benefit. Persons born before 1954 can still do this.

Another impact to this “deemed filing” rule change affects when a spouse must take a spousal benefit if eligible before they reach full retirement age.  Example: A wife (born in 1954 or later) files for her retirement benefit at age 62 and receives $600/month. Her husband decides to file for his retirement benefit a year later when he is 66. She could file then and take a reduced spousal benefit of about $275/month, but is advised by her financial advisor to wait until she turn 66 (full retirement age) to get a higher spousal benefit of $400/month. WRONG.

The deemed filing change states she must file immediately for the reduced benefit of $275/month. If she was not entitled on her own record, she could wait and file at full retirement age for the highest benefit on her record and her spouse’s record. However, she elected a reduced benefit on her record and must take the reduced spousal benefit as soon as it is available.

Note: In this example, if she waits until her full retirement age to file for spousal benefit, they will only pay her the $275/month. She will lose all spousal benefits she could have received beginning the month her husband filed.

Recently, a financial planning firm contacted me who had advised a client’s wife (born in 1954) in 2015 to wait until her full retirement age to take spousal benefits. When her husband filed in 2018, Social Security informed her she must file for reduced spousal benefits right away and could not wait until her full retirement age because she had previously elected reduced benefits on her own record in 2015. The advice was correct at the time provided (2015), but the 2016 changes eliminated the option to wait and get a higher spousal benefit.

Questions? Feel free to give me a call!

About Dennis Heywood

Denny’s career with Social Security provides an in-depth, working knowledge of the Social Security Administration’s internal organization and processes. An expert in all phases of SSA programs: retirement, survivor, disability, and Medicare, Denny has expertise with the complex Social Security regulations based on more than 40 years of experience.


Updates from UHC: Savings on Samsung Devices, Expanded Vision Lab Network, and More

UHC Offers Lower Price for Samsung Wearable Devices

To encourage wellness in the workplace, UnitedHealthcare’s Motion program is now offering members a lower price for the Samsung Gear Sport and the Samsung Fit2 Pro wearable devices.

Members already enrolled in Motion can visit UnitedHealthcareMotion.com to learn more about the Samsung Gear Sport and Samsung Fit2 Pro tracking devices.

Click here for more information.


UHC Vision Expands National Lab Network

UnitedHealthcare Vision is expanding to a national laboratory network to help better serve eye care professionals and more effectively meet the needs of more than 19 million vision plan members.

UnitedHealthcare intends for this change to be seamless for employers and employees, while providing additional lab options for eye care professionals.

There will be no immediate changes for network eye care professionals serving UnitedHealthcare vision members. There are also no changes anticipated for employers or employees with UnitedHealthcare vision plans.

Additional details on the lab network launch will be communicated later this year. Contact your Cornerstone representative for more information.

Click here for the full story.


UHC Works to Increase Client Data Security

UnitedHealthcare is working with distribution teams to confirm that data security controls and encryption processes minimize risk and effectively operate on behalf of customers. They developed a required online questionnaire and attestation process to document distribution teams’ security controls. This process will look at how data and information is shared during the sales and service process.

The questionnaires and attestations will launch in waves. Distribution teams are encouraged to review the attached document with their Information Technology or Compliance teams in advance of the request. Thanks to those that have already completed work on this effort.

Additionally, UnitedHealthcare is aiming to create awareness about the potential data risks and appropriate methods for engaging a Cloud Service Provider (CSP). Please review the attached document if you engage with any CSPs.

Click here for more information.


The deadline to determine and communicate the creditable or non-creditable status of clients’ plans for 2019 is Oct. 15, 2018. Click here for more information.


UHC Offers New Default Activity Tracker for All Savers Motion Members

Starting Sept. 17, 2018, members of All Savers Alternate Funding groups will be offered the Striiv Bio 2h activity tracker as their default device for use with the UnitedHealthcare Motion program.

Trio activity trackers will no longer be available for purchase on the UnitedHealthcare Motion website. Registered account administrators will be notified of these offerings and changes by email.


Contact your Cornerstone representative with any questions about these updates.

Have You Completed Your 2019 Medicare Certifications?

If you haven’t, all the information that you need is available on the Cornerstone website and AEP Prep Guide web page. Some carrier deadlines for 2019 certification are quickly approaching!

Please remember that you must complete the annual certification process with each carrier not only to sell new business, but to receive renewal commissions as well.

Click here for certification sites and instructions.

Click here for our AEP Prep Guide for more certification information and tips!

If you have any questions or are experiencing any difficulties with the certification process, please contact your Service Representative listed below.

Senior Service Team Alpha Split (by BROKER’S last name):

A – F: Jim Meyer | 513.629.2395

G – K: Lila Sohnly | 614.763.2263

L – Q: Michelle Kapp | 614.763.2257

R – Z: Lisa VanSuch | 614.763.2258

Strategic Partners:

Kelley Myers | 614.763.2248

Anthem Has News About Your September Commission Checks

Anthem recently announced that the Individual, Small Group, and Large Group commission payments would move to a new system. These changes are effective with premium paid dates of 9/1/2018. With this change, the timing of when you get paid has changed from a bi-weekly to a monthly schedule.

Click here for additional information.

New Broker Marketing Tools Available from Medical Mutual

Check out new broker marketing tools now available from Medical Mutual on MyBrokerLink. The tools vary per line of business. The new materials include:

  • MyBrokerLink Flier (Individual, 1–50, 51–99, 100+)
  • MyBrokerLink Video (Individual, 1–50, 51–99, 100+)
  • Transitional Coverage Whitepaper (1–50)
  • Small Business Custom Prospecting Letters (1–50)

Click here to learn more about the available materials.

Medical Mutual Releases Updated Small Group ACA Marketing Materials

Medical Mutual recently updated marketing materials for small group ACA plans for 2019. As a reminder, CLE-Care and MedFlex products were added to the Medical Mutual small group product portfolio in 2017. In addition, the expanded MedFlex network will be available for small groups starting January 1, 2019.

Visit Medical Mutual’s MyBrokerLink to access the Small Group ACA Materials, updated for 2019.  Also look for new broker marketing tools and a video overview to navigate the MyBrokerLink portal.

The HealthPlan’s 2019 Marketing Materials are Available

The HealthPlan 2019 materials are now available to order through your direct THP Agent link!

Agent Certification for 2019 is required before the 2019 materials can be ordered. 2019 kits consist of Enrollment Guides that include all SecureCare HMO and SecureChoice PPO Summary of Benefits and Enrollment Forms for a particular region. Kits are designated by region and are labeled either OH, WVOH or CAP.

SecureCare DSNP kits contain a Summary of Benefits, Enrollment Form, and a Star Ratings Form. There are no Enrollment Guides included with DSNP kits. Additional quantities of enrollment forms for this product ARE available to order separately.

You will receive an email confirmation that your order has been submitted for approval, and will receive a follow-up email notification when the order has been processed and is ready for shipping.

Contact your Cornerstone representative for more information.

Employer Action Required! Distribute Medicare Part D Notices by October 15, 2018

Group health plan sponsors must provide Medicare Part D “creditable coverage” notices prior to October 15th, the start date of the Medicare annual enrollment period for Part D, Prescription Drug coverage. (The enrollment period is October 15-December 7.) Most plan sponsors use the Model Medicare Part D Notices provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to notify affected plan participants. Links to all the model letters (in English and Spanish) are available here.  These notices are in .pdf format.  Cornerstone has provided versions of the notice in Word Document format for your convenience.

The October 15th deadline applies for all group health plan sponsors, regardless of plan year, plan size, employer size, grandfather status, or whether the plan is insured or self-funded.

Employers who send out Open Enrollment packets prior to October 15th often include the Medicare Part D notices in the Open Enrollment packets, to avoid the extra cost and administrative burden of sending them separately.

Employers are also required to notify CMS online annually that they have sent out these Part D notices. The notice to CMS is due within 60 days after the start of the plan year. See the last paragraph of this article for details.



The Medicare Modernization Act requires group health plan sponsors that offer prescription drug coverage to notify Medicare-eligible plan participants (employees and dependents) as to whether their prescription drug coverage is “creditable coverage” – which means the coverage is expected to pay on average at least as much as the standard Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. The most current Model notices on the CMS website say “For use on or after April 1, 2011” in the heading, because in 2011 the Medicare Part D annual enrollment period changed from November 15th to October 15th.


When Is the Medicare Part D Notice Required?

Medicare Part D notices must be provided at least once annually, prior to October 15th, which is the beginning of the Part D annual enrollment period. Additional notices must be provided if the employer-provided coverage changes (from creditable to non-creditable, or vice-versa), if the individual requests a copy of the notice, and when an individual first enrolls in the employer plan.

Employers who provided these notices earlier this year are not required to provide them again, since these notices have not changed since last year. The notices are dated for use on or after April 2011. The CMS website page was last updated 4/5/2013. There are separate Model Notices for Creditable Coverage Non-Creditable Coverage.


Why is the Part D Notice Required?

The reason plan sponsors are required to provide Part D Notices is because a penalty will be imposed on an individual if he/she, after becoming eligible for Medicare Part D coverage, has a lapse of “creditable” prescription drug coverage for a period of at least 63 days. Additionally, such individuals may have to wait until the following October to join. An individual can elect either Medicare prescription drug coverage or other “creditable coverage” to avoid having a lapse in coverage. Thus, Medicare-eligible participants in employer group health plans must know whether or not the employer group coverage is “creditable” so they do not unwittingly incur a late enrollment penalty.


Additional Details on the Disclosure Requirements

  • Group health plan sponsors to whom this disclosure requirement applies include employers and Unions; multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs); federal, state and local government employers; and churches.
  • The Part D Notice must be provided not only to Medicare-eligible active working employees and their dependents, but also to participants who are retired, on COBRA, or disabled and covered under the employer’s prescription drug plan.
  • Although the requirement is only that “Medicare-eligible” individuals be provided this notice, employers often provide it to all plan participants and dependents, because of the practical difficulty of knowing who is Medicare-eligible.


Annual Notice to CMS Also required, though not by October 15th

Additionally, plan sponsors are required to notify CMS annually, via the CMS website (Online Disclosure to CMS form). This notice must be made within 60 days after the beginning of the plan year (or contract renewal date, for small plans that do not file Form 5500s so do not specify a plan year), and it pertains to the creditable coverage status for the priorplan year. For calendar year plans, this notice must be provided to CMS no later than March 1.  Sponsors of non-calendar year plans should mark their calendars to make sure the disclosure to CMS is made within 60 days after the beginning of the plan year. (E.g., for an April 1 plan year, the CMS online disclosure should be made no later than May 30.)

Additionally, if applicable, plan sponsors must complete the Online Disclosure to CMS Form within 30 days after termination of a prescription drug plan or within 30 days after any change in creditable coverage status.


For additional information, click here for the main CMS webpage that provides guidance on “creditable coverage.” Or you can visit the webpage  at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-Coverage/CreditableCoverage/)


Model Creditable Coverage Notice (Word Doc)

Model Non-Creditable Coverage Notice (Word Doc)

Spanish Model Coverage Notice (zip file)

Click here for all 2019 Carrier Creditable Coverage Guides

Cornerstone’s Lima Office is Moving!

The Cornerstone office in Lima is moving on Thursday, September 27. It will be closed on that day for the move and getting settled in. Phone numbers and emails will remain the same.

The new location is right around the corner from the old office at this address:

1662 West Breese Road, Suite G

Lima, OH 45806

If you need assistance during the move, please feel free to reach out to our team in Toledo:

Colleen Baird | cbaird@crnstone.com | 800-968-8563 ×724

Latonya Williamslwilliams@crnstone.com | 800-968-8563 ×171