Help Your Clients Avoid Scams After Receiving New Medicare Cards

With the passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will be issuing new Medicare Cards to all beneficiaries over the next two years. While this change is being made to help protect individuals from fraud, experts are warning that this is providing an excellent opportunity for scammers.

You can help your clients avoid these scams by making sure they keep the following tips in mind.

  • Medicare recipients do not need to do anything. Their new card will be sent automatically.
  • No payment of any kind is required. There is no need to provide a credit card or bank account information.
  • They will not be contacted in person or via phone. They will not be asked to verify their Social Security Number.

 

For additional information, review the articles below:

NEW MEDICARE CARDS ARE ON THE WAY – Federal Trade Commission:  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/new-medicare-cards-are-way?utm_source=govdelivery

WHAT’S THE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER REMOVAL INITIATIVE (SSNRI)? – cms.gov: https://www.cms.gov/medicare/ssnri/index.html

Members of Grandmothered Small Groups Receive Letter About Transitional Relief Extension

Medical Mutual mistakenly sent out a letter regarding a notification about the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) to some members in grandmothered small groups. The letter was intended for group officials, who will receive revised letters this week explaining their extended rates following ODI’s adoption of the transitional relief extension. If groups inquire about members receiving the letter, please let groups know the letter was sent by mistake and their members can discard the communication.

Questions? Concerns? Contact your Cornerstone representative today.

Enhance Your Clients’ Benefits with Disability Contract Differentiators

Disability contracts have a lot of moving parts.  Make the sale and boost your clients’ benefits by underlining distinct differences and flexible options that come with the disability contracts we offer such as:

  1. “Or” definition of disability, which means employees who aren’t “totally disabled” may still qualify from day 1
  2. Own job evaluation for short-term disability vs. the more common “own occupation”
  3. Extended earnings protection to help employees earning commissions or billing for services bridge the earnings gap after a long-term disability
  4. “Inability to earn 80%” of income vs. “20% income loss” language, which allows employees to qualify sooner

Contact us today to discuss how these benefits help provide the best fit for your disability clients.

MMO Plans Available through Cornerstone!

Join Cornerstone to partner with one of Ohio’s oldest and largest carriers!

Medical Mutual of Ohio was ranked the no. 1 Medicare Advantage carrier for growth in 2016.

Cornerstone is the leading FMO for Medical Mutual of Ohio for Individual, Medicare Supplements, and Medicare Advantage Plans. Join us now for access to the tools, technology, and resources necessary to grow and retain your business.

 

Cornerstone provides the right tools, technology, and broker training to ensure your clients receive the best in the market. For more information, contact us today!

Why partner with Cornerstone?

  • A growing team of experts that will help support your business efforts
  • Exclusive access to Broker Centric to access customizable marketing materials and training tools
  • Complimentary quoting tools
  • Marketing platforms
  • Lead generation opportunities
  • A referral program for business that you may not want to handle in house that enables you to be compensated
  • Corporate counsel to help you remain compliant
  • T65 lists for your marketing efforts

Are You Ahead of the Game?

Marilyn Schultz

Marilyn Schultz | Vice President, Corporate Strategy

Frequent changes and upheaval in the health insurance industry may necessitate a revamping of existing business strategies to reduce stagnation. Modifying your existing business plan and updating your brand can refocus efforts to stimulate business growth and aid in retention.

Expand. Update or improve your product offerings to include new products or lines.

  • With an average of 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 daily, and with this trend expected to continue for many years, it is an ideal time to begin selling in the senior market. AHIP and carrier certifications for the next annual enrollment period typically start in July. The time is ripe to update your portfolio to include this market segment and its product offerings.
  • Incorporate focused selling to special client segments, such as dual-eligible special needs beneficiaries (D-SNP), or increase your understanding of the Medicare Supplement (Med Supp) Plans D and G. New Medicare enrollees won’t have the option to choose the Med Supp Plans C or F beginning in 2020.
  • Add more value to your product line with packaged sales that include hospital indemnity products, health and wellness solutions, and identity theft safeguards.

Modify. More and more clients rely upon their broker to navigate them through a myriad of legislative changes and compliance updates resulting from healthcare reform. While one of the many hats a broker must wear has always been as consultant, this is evident today more than ever. Modifications to business strategies may be necessary to accommodate increased time demands from your clients and to adjust for reduced or eliminated commissions and shortened enrollment periods.

  • Incorporate charging a service fee to your business model. In most states, agents can charge their clients a fee as long as certain requirements are met and certain disclosures are made.
  • Revise networking practices where clients outside your business scope are handed off to industry colleagues and investigate using the services of a trusted agency that offers a program that pays you for your referrals.
  • Partner with a general agency for access to superior carrier contracts, back-room administrative service, and training opportunities, structured to save you precious time and resources.

Refresh. Is your image outdated? Are your marketing efforts yielding the expected return? Is it time for a different approach? Online lists with hundreds of marketing ideas to grow your business are only a click or two away. Most business plans include a marketing strategy and detailed annual marketing goals. The key is to continually revisit and reframe these goals, making the necessary changes to ensure they remain viable.

  • Consider updating your image. Modernize your logo and your website to entice prospects with a fresh brand and avoid your existing clients seeing you as passé.
  • Try creative new ways to reach your clients and prospects. Start a newsletter and use email or social media to market your efforts.
  • Use referral tactics, including adding a refer-a-friend page to your website.
  • Refresh your data. Your existing book of business presents additional marketing opportunities. Find commonalities with your clients, such as using the same financial planners, accountants, or blue collar services. Reach out to these businesses using your client connections and become the broker they refer their customers to in the future.

With the bulk of 2017 enrollments on the books, 2018 product updates on the horizon, possible legislation changes on the way, and certification periods looming, this is a great time to revisit and revise marketing strategies to your advantage.

Cornerstone is available to assist you with incorporating any sales or marketing changes you may undertake to your business plan. Call today to speak with any of our Employee Benefits, Individual, or Senior Marketing advisors and ask about access to Centric, our broker-exclusive marketing and knowledge base repository.

Medicare Supplement Changes on the Horizon

Ryan Carroll, Director Medicare/Individual

Ryan Carroll | Director, Medicare/Individual

By now, the majority of agents in the Medicare Supplement (Med Supp) market are aware of the looming changes to plans C, D, F, and G. Many agents are still confused with what is happening, the reasons for the change, and what plans to select for their Med Supp clients. The market is changing and so is the availability of plans, but this is not a cause for panic. The Med Supp market will be stronger than ever and you will not be forced to move all your of clients to a new plan. As long as you understand the changes and how to prepare for them, the transition will be seamless and, most importantly, your clients will continue to have the coverage they need.

What is Happening?

Because of a bill recently passed limiting first dollar coverage, individuals who are newly eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020 will no longer be able to enroll in plans C or F. As a result, plans D & G were introduced. These new plans provide identical coverage to plans C and F respectively, without including the coverage of the part B deductible. This does not mean that plans C and F will be going away completely, nor does it mean all of your clients in plans C and F will have to find new plans after 2020. This change only affects people who are newly eligible for Medicare after 2020. This means all of your clients born prior to 1955 can keep plans C or F and can even enroll in these plans, but would be subject to underwriting after January 1, 2020. For someone born after January 1, 1955, plans C and F will never be an option.

Why?

In an era where healthcare costs are rapidly increasing, it is widely known that first dollar coverage does not promote efficient use of health care by the provider or the consumer. As a result, on April 16, 2015, President Obama passed the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act (MACRA), restricting first dollar coverage on a Med Supp plans effective January 1, 2020. This effectively removed Med Supp plans that covered the part B deductible and eliminated plans C and F.

What About the Rates?

Because the only difference between the new and old plans is the removal of coverage for the part B deductible, plans D and G are typically cheaper than plans C and F. Currently, the Medicare part B deductible is $183. Therefore, if the difference in annual premium from plan C to plan D or plan F to plan G is greater than $183, you can save clients money by enrolling them into plan D or G (assuming they use the plan a few times and meet their annual deductible). With plans D and G being relatively new, more and more carriers are introducing these options and pricing them for the first time. There are carriers that have still have plan C or F priced to be the more cost effective option, so be sure to evaluate them carefully.

Carrier Plan F Plan G Difference What to Sell
AARP / UHC             (Effective 7/1/2017) $1,666.56 $1,420.80 $245.76 Plan G
Aetna             (Effective 3/1/2017) $1,979.00 $1,368.00 $611.00 Plan G
Anthem         (Effective 7/1/2017) $1,882.56 $1,307.16 $575.40 Plan G
Cigna               (Effective 10/01/2016) $1,538.13 $1,278.75 $259.38 Plan G

*Zip: 45206, Age 65, Gender: Female, Non-Smoker

Expected Trends?

Of course, the million dollar question is: what will happen to the rates of the plans as we get closer to 2020 and thereafter? There is no way to tell exactly what will happen to the rates or which plans will be the most cost effective long term. Due to the proportion of underwritten business in each plan as plan G becomes guarantee issue, plans C and F  gravitate towards an older, healthier population, while plans D and G gravitate towards a younger, sicker population. Both scenarios have a positive outlook of maintaining stable rates into the foreseeable future. There is a lot speculation around how the rates will react and when to start selling one plan over the other, but again, at this point it is only speculation. Since there is no definitive answer available, my advice is to stay up to date on any changes and present the options to your clients as accurately and thoroughly as possible.

How Can You Prepare?

As we get closer to 2020, the best way for an agent to prepare is to ensure you are set up with the most competitive carriers available for plans C, D, F, and G so you are ready to react as things begin to change more drastically. It is also important to stay current with all legislation and changes to laws that may have an effect on your business. Partnering with the right FMO can help streamline the process, as they will ensure you are informed, trained, and appointed with the best products in the market to remain ahead of the competition. Through partnerships with NAHU and organizations throughout the industry, Cornerstone provides comprehensive summaries and updates to changes in legislation and how it will affect our industry.

Contact Cornerstone today for a free evaluation of your Medicare supplement portfolio to ensure you are appointed and earning top commissions with the most competitive in the market.

Earn Money with Anthem’s Med Supp Bonus Program

Anthem’s Medicare Supplement Sales Bonus Program gives brokers the opportunity to earn money on every Med Supp plan they sell. This limited time opportunity applies to Anthem Med Supp plans with July 1, 2017–September 1, 2017 effective dates*.

How Does it Work? 

  • If you sell 1 approved Medicare Supplement policy you’ll receive an additional $75 bonus per sale
  • If you sell 3 approved Medicare Supplement policies you’ll receive an additional $100 bonus per sale
  • But if you sell 5 approved Medicare Supplement policies you’ll receive an additional $125 bonus per sale

EXAMPLE:  If you sell 1 Medicare Supplement policy in a month with a qualifying effective date 7/1-9/1 you’ll earn a $75 bonus! (1x $75)   But if you sell 5 Plan policies, you’ll earn $625! (5 x $125)

Program Rules:

  • All per sale bonus amounts are in addition to the standard broker compensation.
  • All per sale bonus amounts are earned for Medicare Supplement enrollments for that particular month only.
  • All per sale bonus amounts are non-cumulative; each month is treated separately

Be sure to also let your clients know about Anthem’s SilverSneakers fitness program, which offers eligible Modernized Anthem Medicare Supplement members a Basic Membership at no extra cost**.

 

Questions? Contact your Cornerstone representative today for answers!


* 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.

Anthem Trainings for SOCA Benefit Plan

You have been invited to sell the Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance (SOCA) Benefit Plan.  Anthem, along with SOCA and NOACC, is pleased to announce an exciting new option for 2–50 life groups.

 You must attend this training seminar to sell these plans.

Join us for an information training session and learn how this alternative solution could benefit your small group clients:

  • Competitive rates
  • Medically underwritten
  • Predictable, fixed monthly payments
  • Protection of being part of a larger, self-funded pool backed by Anthem’s stop loss
  • Anthem’s broad Blue Access PPO network

 

Space is limited. RSVP today to secure your spot!

*This event is by invitation only for brokers currently using Cornerstone for their Anthem business.

 


DATE: June 6, 2017

TIME: 1:30–3:30 pm

LOCATION: Cornerstone Media Center
2101 Florence Avenue | Cincinnati, OH 45206

RSVP

 

DATE: June 12, 2017

TIME: 12:00–2:00 pm

LOCATION: Yankee Trace
10000 Yankee Street | Centerville, OH 45458

RSVP

 

DATE: June 16, 2017

TIME: 9:00–11:00 am

LOCATION: Anthem Columbus Office
6740 N. High St. | Columbus, OH 43085

RSVP

 

DATE: June 28, 2017

TIME: 1:00–3:00 am

LOCATION: Cleveland

6000 Lombardo Center | Seven Hills, OH 44131

RSVP

 

DATE: June 29, 2017

TIME: 9:00–11:00 am

LOCATION: ​Monclova Community Center

8115 Monclova Road | Monclova, OH 43542

RSVP

 

DATE: June 29, 2017

TIME: 1:00–3:00 pm

LOCATION: Lima Public Library

650 West Market Street | Lima, OH 45801

RSVP

 

Medical Mutual of Ohio Training in Cleveland

Join Cornerstone and Amanda McFarland from Medical Mutual of Ohio for MMO training dates in Cleveland.

Are you primed for success? Register now to learn more about…

  • Medical Mutual Advantage plans
  • What’s the value?
  • Compliance — what agents need to know

DATE: June 28, 2017

TIME: 10:00 am–12:00 pm

LOCATION: Cornerstone’s Cleveland Office

4500 Rockside Road, Suite 330, Independence, OH 44131

RSVP: Click HERE

Medical Mutual of Ohio Training in Cleveland

Join Cornerstone and Amanda McFarland from Medical Mutual of Ohio for MMO training dates in Cleveland.

Are you primed for success? Register now to learn more about…

  • Medical Mutual Advantage plans
  • What’s the value?
  • Compliance — what agents need to know

DATE: June 1, 2017

TIME: 10:00 am–12:00 pm

LOCATION: Cornerstone’s Cleveland Office

4500 Rockside Road, Suite 330, Independence, OH 44131

RSVP: Click HERE