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.

CMS’s New Registration Tracker is Now Available

Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new tool that enables you to look up your Marketplace registration status using your National Producer Number (NPN) and ZIP Code.

The tool shows you a summary of your Marketplace registration status.

In addition, the tool displays details of the Marketplace training and registration steps you have completed.

It also shows the status of CMS’ validation of the NPN you provided in your Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS) profile.

Short-Term Health Insurance: A New, More Affordable Option

Jennifer Agnello, President

Updated October 5, 2018.

Purchasing individual health insurance comes with many pressures. Those seeking coverage are often strapped with additional stressors such as loss of a job, loss of employer coverage, divorce, or other strains that negatively affect financial well being, leading to increased physical and emotional health risks. Many confusing questions go through a buyer’s mind: “Can I afford it?” “Does it cover my needs?” “I just don’t understand my buying options.”

Consumer studies have indicated that as a population, we are becoming better about making health care decisions. This may be because we have a greater stake in the game, higher premiums, higher deductibles, smaller networks, and fewer options. Though most of us receive health insurance benefits from our employers, there are still many who fall outside that category:

  • Individuals who cannot afford COBRA
  • Self-employed individuals that do not qualify for subsidies on Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans
  • Employees of smaller companies not providing coverage and part-time or seasonal workers
  • Students and/or children turning 26 and aging out of parents’ plans
  • Those between jobs or in their employer’s waiting period
  • Early retirees or spouses
  • Moving to a new state
  • Those whose providers are not “in-network”
  • Those going through a divorce
  • Those earning too much for Medicaid or too little/too much for government subsidies

A more affordable option for these circumstances may be short-term health insurance. In 2017, the average short-term premium was just $79 per month for a 30 year old. Also in 2017, individual medical plan rates rose at a national average of 21 percent. Short-term plans may fill a temporary gap in coverage and provide a more cost-effective option for those in these situations.

In October of 2017, President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to draft regulations aimed at rolling back the former short-term medical restrictions. On February 20, 2018, Health and Human Services proposed the new rules and the final rule was issued on August 1, 2018. These new laws take place on October 2, 2018, but may be limited by final State rulings.

New federal regulations now allow up to 364-day short-term health insurance plans with the option to renew for up to 36 months. Many states have proposed their own limits to these federal regulations. Ohio and Kentucky, for example, allow up to 360 days, while Indiana allows up to 184 days and Kansas and Montana only up to 123 days. Each state has adopted varying levels on what they will allow and many states have yet to propose their own limits. This will be a state-by-state approach and it is important to understand the guidance and regulations based upon the state in which you reside. Individual plan buyers who are unable or unwilling to buy ACA compliant plans may soon be able to purchase longer-term plans with greater duration of coverage. Considering tax penalties will no longer be enforced for 2019, short-term plans are a viable option.

Short-term plans also offer financial advantages for brokers. These plans are not just an open enrollment period sale like the distant relatives in ACA. You can sell and receive commissions year round.

Be aware: These plans are not required to comply with the ACA, include the use of underwriting (pre-existing conditions are not covered and applicants may be declined), may not cover certain medical expenses, and may impose annual/lifetime maximums/limits. Additionally, termination of a short-term plan will not trigger a special enrollment period in the individual market and today short-term plans are not considered minimum essential coverage under ACA.

Many short-term plans come with additional perks and benefits such as wellness, telemedicine, etc.

Helping people during difficult times or transitions in their lives is a win-win situation. Providing options for those who formerly have had very limited choices is much appreciated by those in need. If you are looking for solutions and your clients fall into these categories, call Cornerstone today. We have several options to assist you in finding affordable solutions for your clients.

Aetna Works to Keep Your Data Safe with Self-Validation

Aetna recently announced the launch of a new broker full-disk encryption validation service, which would have required brokers to download a software agent to their devices. After growing concerns, Aetna has decided to use a self-validation solution instead.

Beginning on September 17, 2018, the first time you visit a broker website, you will see a pop-up message that asks you to verify if your device is encrypted. Your response (either “Yes” or “No/I don’t know”) generates a web browser file called a cookie, which can be read by any Aetna broker website you visit from the same device and browser.

Each cookie has an expiration date. When it expires, you will be asked to re-verify your encryption status. If you answer “yes” to the encryption pop-up, your cookie will expire in 12 months. This means you’ll be set for a year when you use the same device. If your device is not encrypted or you don’t know if your device is encrypted, the cookie will expire in 90 days. This will give you an opportunity to verify or install encryption.

Find out more about this system and why it is in place here.

Join Us for the Cincinnati-Anthem Ohio’s 2019 Broker Roadshow

Cornerstone invites you to attend the Anthem Ohio 2019 Broker Roadshow.

Please join us for Anthem Ohio’s 2019 Individual, ACA, SOCA MEWA, Specialty and Key Account updates.

DATE: Wednesday, September 19, 2018

TIME: 9:00 am–11:00 am

LOCATION: Cornerstone’s Cincinnati Office | 2101 Florence Ave | Cincinnati, OH 45206

PRESENTERS: Robyn Caupp & Matt Lapp, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

Click here to register.

 

Anthem is coming back to the Individual market in Ohio for 2019 ACA plans! More details to come on service area counties, plans and benefits they are offering, how to get re-contracted to sell, etc.

CLEVELAND: Learn About Oscar’s 2019 Individaul Plans in the NE OH Market

Cleveland Clinic + Oscar Health Product Seminar

Join Oscar for a deep dive on Cleveland Clinic + Oscar’s individual products. Learn more about their 2019 plans for the NE Ohio market.

Space is limited, and you won’t want to miss out!

 

Thursday, September 20

TIME: 8:30 am–10:30 am

LOCATION: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cleveland-Independence

Independence, OH

Click here to register.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Benefit Limits to be Removed from Plans

Effective January 1, 2019, or upon renewal, all benefit limits for Autism Spectrum Disorder will be removed from Individual, Small Group and Large Group benefit plans. This is a result of House Bill 218 which was recently passed in the Kentucky legislative session.

Click here for the official release from Anthem.

ATTENTION KY BROKERS: Check Out Aetna’s Level-Funded Program

Attention Kentucky Brokers! Have you quoted Aetna’s new level-funded program? Aetna has recently made a significant rate adjustment in Kentucky. Ask for quotes on this product today!

Important Updates to 2018 AFA (5–99):

  • 5–99 in Ohio
  • 5–50 in KY
  • 15 percent rate decrease for KY effective 7-1-18
  • Very competitive pricing
  • 15-month rate guarantee for 12-1-18 and 1-1-19 effective dates (only increases rate 1 percent to go to 15 months versus 12)
  • $50 bonus per Employee per Year through 1-1-19 effective dates.  Example: 10 employees = $500 bonus.  30 employees = $1500
  • $25 Per Employee per year administrative credit if submitting early
  • $25 plus tax for Apple Watch for employee ($50 plus tax for spouse)
  • Pure Fit wellness credits

Contact your Cornerstone representative for additional details or to get contracted with Aetna today.

NEW! Special National General Bonus Program

EXTRA $$ FOR COMBINED SALES PLUS TOP PRODUCER BONUS!

Qualifying Period is July 1 thru October 31, 2018

Bonus Contest: Production Volume

Sell: 4 Short Terms and 1 Supplemental Product = $50

Sell: 8 Short Terms and 2 Supplemental Products = $125

Sell: 16 Short Terms and 4 Supplemental Products = $200

Bonus Contest: Bi-Monthly 2018 Top Producers

Top Application Producer in July & August, 2018 = $500

Top Application Producer in September & October, 2018 = $500

Top 2018 Production July 1 – October 31, 2018 = $1,000

National General made it onto the 100 Fastest Growing Companies list from Fortune. Talk to your Cornerstone Individual Rep Geoff Beglen about how contracting with National General can help you begin to grow your business.

Benefits of selling National General:

  • Large, national network
  • Great products
  • Very competitive rates
  • Easy to quote
  • Easy to sell!
  • High commissions.
  • Enroll a client for 4 consecutive STM plans for a longer coverage period*

*Federal regulation allows for plan durations of less than 3 months

 

Qualifying Period: July 1, 2018 to October 31, 2018
Which Cases Qualify: Approved policies that are paid for (Funded) and accepted. Applications for all our products count but do not include the Association Membership, or cases that cancel, or are unpaid, or cancelled in the 10-day Free Look Period. Multiple Short Term Policy Packages, including one, two, three, or four 90-day policy packages count as one application. All supplemental product sales are eligible. Submitted applications are counted based on submission date.
Payable: Approximately 10 days from the end of each month.

 

Click here for more information.

CMS Releases Exchanges Trends Report

CMS recently released a report outlining the current condition of the operational and programmatic
aspects of the Exchanges.

Key Highlights:

  • For plan year 2018, 49,100 agents and brokers registered with Federal platform Exchanges, supporting 42 percent of overall enrollments.
  • The cost breakdown for registration/training, technical assistance, and oversight is $2.40 per enrollee.
  • The biggest concerns for agents and brokers are lack of competition in the individual market and availability of commissions from insurance carriers.
  • To date, CMS has implemented 93 percent of recommendations from our agent and broker partners

Click here to view the full Trend Report from CMS.