The Last Tech Tuesday of 2017 is TOMORROW!

Tech Tuesday is back in December for the last webinar of 2017! 

Improve your computer skills with Cornerstone’s monthly technology webinars! Our
in-house expert will cover basics, from Excel 101 tips and tricks, to time-saving keyboard shortcuts.

You definitely don’t have to be Bill Gates to attend Tech Tuesday!

Register today and look forward to learning how nailing down some technology fundamentals can positively impact your business.

This month: Streamline your client communications with mail merge. Join Cornerstone’s Tom Levine for a look into mail merge and tips for digital and print mass communication.

Click below to register!


DATE: December 12, 2017

TIME: 11:00 am

Click here to register.

 

Ohio Issue 2: Drug Price Standards Initiative

At Cornerstone’s recent Senior Expo, we received a question about Ohio Issue 2, Drug Price Standards Initiative. With all of the ever-changing federal healthcare reform information, it’s no wonder there is confusion over a state-level ballot initiative. This particular issue has seen a lot of spending on TV ad time. You can view the petition summary filed with the Ohio Attorney General here.

While this issue may impact healthcare reform in Ohio, it is not part of the bigger “repeal and replace” conversation occurring in Washington D.C.

Everyone is in favor of lowering prescription drug costs, but opponents warn that the devil is in the details with this initiative.

Below is a summary of the ballot initiative taken from ballotpedia.org.

What does Ohio issue 2 propose?

This initiative would require the State of Ohio and state agencies, including the Ohio Department of Medicaid, to pay the same or lower prices for prescription drugs as the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA is a federal department and reportedly negotiates drug prices at 20 to 24 percent less than other agencies. [1] Specifically, it would forbid state agencies to enter into any purchasing agreement with drug manufacturers unless the net cost of the drug is the same or less than that paid by the VA. Issue 2 would apply in any case in which the state ultimately provides funding for the purchase of drugs, even if the drugs are not purchased directly by a government agency. Examples of such cases include the Ohio Best Rx Program and the Ohio HIV Drug Assistance Program. Issue 2 would also allow the measure’s petitioners to have a direct and personal stake in defending the law from legal challenges, require the state to pay the petitioners’ reasonable legal expenses, and require the petitioners to pay $10,000 to the state if a court rules Issue 2 unenforceable.

You can view a list of organizations in favor of and opposed to the measure here.


[1] The Plain Dealer, “Advocates submit signatures for ‘Drug Price Relief Act’,” December 23, 2015

INTRODUCING: The Cornerstone Connection Biannual Newsletter

The Cornerstone Connection is here!

Cornerstone has released a brand-new communication tool that has been created with brokers like you in mind. This biannual, 15-page newsletter plays hosts to features on a number of topics, both industry and Cornerstone related.

Learn about how you can properly prepare for AEP/OEP, read what Cornerstone’s Senior, Employee Benefits, and Individual divisions have been up to this year, and much more.

The newsletter features relevant and timely content, including:

  • Broker Q&A
  • Cornerstone division updates
  • Q&A video with a Cornrestone expert
  • Information about Cornerstone value-added programs (Refer-An-Agent, Punta Cana, etc.)
  • Marketing compliance feature
  • Marketing tips and tricks

Contact us today for an exclusive link to the newsletter! Subscribe to our email list today to receive the Cornerstone Connection straight in your inbox!

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan Projected to Decline in 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that the average basic premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is projected to decline to an estimated $33.50 per month in 2018. This projection is based on bids submitted by drug plans for basic drug coverage for the 2018 benefit year and calculated by the independent CMS Office of the Actuary.

This decline comes despite that spending for the Part D program continues to increase faster than spending for other parts of Medicare, largely driven by spending on high-cost specialty drugs.

Click here for additional information.

 

RESOURCES

Medicare Issues Projected Drug Premiums for 2018

Submitting Medicare Applications to Cornerstone

Due to CMS and carrier requirements, Cornerstone will no longer be able to submit Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage or PDP applications on the behalf of our agents. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, ALL ENROLLMENT APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED DIRECTLY TO THE CARRIER BY THE AGENT. You are welcome to continue to send a copy of the submitted enrollment form to Cornerstone for tracking purposes if you would like to do so.

The allowable methods for submitting enrollments are listed below. If you have any questions, please contact your Medicare service specialist.

 

Electronic (PREFERRED)

Most carriers provide some form of electronic enrollment, via desktop computer, lap top, or iPAD App. This is the carrier’s and Cornerstone’s preferred method for submission.

Advantages to using electronic enrollments include:

  • Protection from CMS 48-hour violations
  • Faster turnaround times on application processing
  • Commissions pay faster
  • Virtually impossible to submit an incomplete application
  • Access to your client’s information electronically through an app/enrollment queue
  • Some carriers provide the ability to print a copy of the application
  • The iPad library stores and organizes enrollment materials (SOBs, formularies, directories, etc.) so there’s no need to order paper supplies anymore

Faxing Directly to the Carrier

Listed below are all of the carrier’s direct fax numbers.  Important things to remember if you are faxing your enrollments:

  • Fax ONE application at a time
  • Keep a copy of your fax confirmation with each application – you will need this if the application is lost or not received by the carrier

Click here for a list of the carrier’s fax numbers.

 

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. If you have any questions, please let us know!

19 Ohio Counties Will Have Access to Individual Health Insurance Coverage in 2018

According to a news release today from the Ohio Department of Insurance, 19 counties in Ohio will have access to individual health insurance coverage in 2018 from the following insurers: Buckeye Health Plan, CareSource, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Molina Health Care of Ohio, and Paramount Health Care.

The 19 counties are: Coshocton, Crawford, Guernsey, Hancock, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Logan, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Van Wert, Vinton, Williams and Wyandot.  ODI estimates that approximately 11,000 Ohioans purchase coverage through the health care exchange in those counties.

COMPANY COVERAGE BREAKDOWN BY COUNTY

  • Buckeye Health Plan: Harrison, Logan, and Van Wert
  • CareSource: Guernsey, Jackson, Lawrence, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, and Vinton
  • Medical Mutual of Ohio: Crawford, Knox, Hocking, and Hancock
  • Molina Health Care of Ohio: Coshocton, Hancock, and Holmes
  • Paramount Health Care: Williams and Wyandot

Details regarding the types of plans that will be available, as well as the rates that will be charged will be released at a later time.

In order to sell coverage on the federal exchange, insurers are required to sign contracts with the federal government by late September.

Questions? Contact Cornerstone today for details.

 

RESOURCES

Access to Health Insurance Restored in 19 Ohio Counties

Sign Up For Any Of Cornerstone’s Weekly Webinars!

Our Strategy Your Success Webinars: Who is Cornerstone?

July 13 @ 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Cornerstone’s Our Strategy Your Success weekly webinar series is back in July. Learn more about Cornerstone’s value-added programs and services, including Agency Services Division Referral Program, Broker Centric, succession planning, and more!

 

Join us every Thursday in July from 2:00–2:30 pm. Register today!

Cornerstone — Our Strategy Your Success

July 13, 2017 | 2:00–2:30 pm

A presentation showcasing our service programs and value-added resources.

REGISTER

Cornerstone’s Succession Planning Program

July 20, 2017 | 2:00–2:30 pm

Do you have a plan for your business and your clients in the event of your death or disability?
We can help!

REGISTER

Cornerstone’s Broker Centric Knowledge Base & Marketing Solutions Platform

July 27, 2017 | 2:00–2:30 pm

Create customized marketing pieces and gain access to carrier product, and industry resources.

REGISTER

UPDATE: Cornerstone and Allwell’s 2018 Product Training Dates

See below for the updated dates and locations for both training opportunities.

AllWell 2018 Medicare Advantage Training!

Join Cornerstone & AllWell as we discuss their 2018 MA products with you. AllWell will be expanding into 9 more counties in Ohio for 2018!

Please RSVP for one of the locations below.

To RSVP, click here.

(please include your name and the location you would like to attend)


Friday July 28, 2017 | 9:00 am–11:00 am

Yankee Trace Golf Course

10000 Yankee Street | Centerville, OH 45458

 

Friday July 28, 2017 | 2:00 pm–4:00 pm

Cornerstone Media Center

2101 Florence Avenue | Cincinnati, OH 45206

 

Not contracted with AllWell (Centene)? Contact Cornerstone today to get started!

1-800-246-7675

 

Medicare Cost Reference-Based Pricing Product

Nelson Culp | Director, Employee Benefits

Nelson Culp | Director, Employee Benefits

As the cost of healthcare continues to increase, employers are seeking effective solutions to control the expense of healthcare benefits, while providing valuable offerings to their employees. Traditional healthcare options, such as PPO and High Deductible Health Plans using PPO networks, can be ineffective cost containment solutions in the long run. The consistent increases when an employer renews their health benefits coverage often lead to additional cost shifting in the form of greater employee contributions, higher deductibles, and higher coinsurance, sometimes making access to affordable healthcare a challenge for employees.

There is a health insurance product that is becoming more and more popular for larger employers that want to stay away from these traditional products. Medicare cost reference-based pricing is a self-funded health plan built upon a reference-based payment formula. Reference-based pricing is a method of reimbursement that collects data on prevailing costs for medical services and benchmarks them against CMS Medicare filings. Medicare bases provider reimbursement on the actual cost plus a moderate profit margin. Reference-based pricing offers group health plans the ability to place limits on what will be paid by the health plan, making it a good alternative to your traditional PPO plan. This product enables employees to go to any provider they choose, without having to worry about in- and out-of-network coverage.

Sometimes balance billing can become an issue, but a reputable TPA will have a procedure in place to deal with these situations if they occur. Employees like the freedom to go to any provider without network limits. They also like the lower out-of-pocket contributions and the easy-to-understand plan deigns. The employer is confident they are paying a consistent and fair amount regardless of which provider(s) the employee chooses. Employers appreciate the simple plan designs, ability to recruit and retain employees with better benefits, lower costs and stabilized claims, as well as complete transparency of claims. Providers are satisfied with predictable reimbursement, elimination of the administrative burden of backend collections, and the direct relationships with area employers.

To learn more about Medicare cost reference-based pricing products, please contact your local Cornerstone representative.

Sign Up For Any of Cornerstone’s July Webinars!

Cornerstone’s Our Strategy Your Success weekly webinar series is back in July. Learn more about Cornerstone’s value-added programs and services, including Agency Services Division Referral Program, Broker Centric, succession planning, and more!

 

Join us every Thursday in July from 2:00–2:30 pm. Register today!

 

Cornerstone’s Agency Services Division Referral Program

July 6, 2017 | 2:00–2:30 pm

Earn $$ for Individual, Group, and Medicare referrals

REGISTER

 

Cornerstone — Our Strategy Your Success

July 13, 2017 | 2:00–2:30 pm

A presentation showcasing our service programs and value-added resources.

REGISTER

 

Cornerstone’s Succession Planning Program

July 20, 2017 | 2:00–2:30 pm

Do you have a plan for your business and your clients in the event of your death or disability?
We can help!

REGISTER

 

Cornerstone’s Broker Centric Knowledge Base & Marketing Solutions Platform

July 27, 2017 | 2:00–2:30 pm

Create customized marketing pieces and gain access to carrier product, and industry resources.

REGISTER