Standard Medicare Supplement Coverage
To make it easier for you to compare one Medicare Supplement policy to another, Indiana allows 8 standard plans to be sold. The plans are labeled with a letter, A through N. Plans H, I, and J are no longer offered, and Plans C and F are only available to people who were eligible for Medicare before January, 2020. There are high deductible versions of Plans F and G..
These 8 plans are standardized, which means that benefits will be the same no matter which company sells the policy to you. Plan A is the basic benefit package. Plan A from one company is the same as Plan A from another company. Since Medicare Supplement policies are standardized, you are free to shop for the company with the best price and customer service. To see what benefits are offered with each plan,.
Generally, Medicare Supplement policies pay most, if not all, Medicare copayment amounts, and policies may pay Medicare deductible amounts except for the Part B deductible. Although the benefits are the same for each standard plan, the premiums may vary greatly. Before purchasing a supplement policy, determine how the company calculates its premiums.
An insurance company can calculate premiums one of three ways.
- Issue Age: If you were 65 when you bought the policy, you will pay the same premium the company charges people who are 65 regardless of your age.
- Attained Age: The premium is based on your current age and will increase as you grow older.
- No Age Rating: Everyone pays the same premium regardless of age.
How To Get Certified To Sell Medicare Advantage Plans
DD: Whats the process for somebody who wants to learn how to become a Medicare Advantage insurance agent?
You have to do more than getting your insurance license, right?
LM: First of all, you need a life and health license, so thats step number one.
Once youre licensed there are some certifications that need to be done. In the final expense world, you get a contract with a carrier and youre good to start selling that product.
Selling Medicare Advantage plans, you get a contract with a carrier, but once youre contracted with that carrier every year that you are in Medicare Advantage sales, youre going to have to take a certification test called AHIP.
A lot of people freak out, Oh, its so hard. Well, its Medicare 101. You need to know the product that youre selling.
Dont view it as, Ugh, I have to take another test. It gives you a very good foundation on what products youll sell.
You got to take the AHIP. You got to pass it.
Easier Than You Think
So is it that complex? Is it hard? No. You just got to do a little bit of homework.
For final expense agents, you already have a list of medications youve got to ask for for your underwriting.
So its really not that much more work. Making the transition from final expense to Medicare would be easy.
DD: So it sounds like when someone says, Oh, selling Medicare Advantage plans is hard, its not that its difficult to sell because these people most likely all have to have Medicare, right?
Theyre all prospects in a way. I guess what youre saying is you just have to find the right plan.
A lot of it is just doing the service, just adding value. You dont have to talk people into these Medicare insurance plans.
This isnt some kind of hard sale or anything like that, right?
LM: It is the easiest sale in my opinion. First of all, most of these plans normally do not have a premium, so youre not asking for money.
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Passive Income Is King
DD: Ill add in my perspective. Ive been in the business since 2011 and most of my business has been focused on final expense.
Ive always been a hardcore workaholic, but I was about 2 or 3 years into the business when I realized,
You know, I wont always want to work this hard because Ill have a lot of kids running around, theyll have activities. I want to be in a position where I can enjoy that.
My father worked 7 days a week, traveled constantly, built a respectable, very big business, retired at 50.
He did very well, but all those years he had no personal or social life.
He couldnt afford to stay away from taking care of his clients and his customers.
The reason I mention this is because I made a decision that I was either going to recruit, which is the path I went, or I was going to sell Medicare several years back.
I wanted a passive renewal driven income added to my business so my income wasnt solely dependent on actively hunting for it based on new policy sales.
Whats great is this passive income opportunity is extended to everybody who wants to get into it.
You may be relatively new to the business or perhaps you have been in the business for several years.
Take it from El Jefe, you need to diversify your income stream!
LM: Final expense life insurance sales means you have to hustle, youve got to consistently be closing business to make that check.
With Medicare Advantage sales, say you want to take a month off, nothing is going happen.
Why Sell Medicare Advantage
DD: Explain to agents what the opportunity is in selling Medicare Advantage plans to clients?
Why would an agent want to consider operating in this particular niche?
LM: Right now the latest statistics show that there are 10,000 seniors a day turning 65. Most of these seniors need coverage outside of Original Medicare.
Youll have military folks with TRICARE, youll have some seniors that work for a company or government position offering health benefits in retirement.
But outside of that, youll have seniors enrolling in Medicare, needing to find a plan. Thats 10,000 seniors a day that need help!
The problem is that there are so many Medicare Advantage plans that they can enroll in!
Learn Cms Compliance Rules And Regulations
The Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines is where all the compliance rules live. These are updated semi-regularly, but you can always check the latest version on this CMS page.
Its a massive document, but weve boiled it down to some key points you should know.
Remember that we have developed some Medicare Advantage marketing materials you can use, but its still important to understand these rules. The certifications you take should also cover all of this, but again, were just covering some basics here.
What Are The Long
DD: What would you describe as the long-term advantages selling Medicare Advantage plans as your primary line of business?
LM: When youre doing cross-selling I offer multiple lines in my agency.
When I have one hook into a customer, one product, that customer tends to stay for a period of time.
As I put two hooks into them, three hooks into them, they just stay with me longer. Its harder for them to leave because Ive got more hooks on them.
So I think for the agents that are just offering final expense, adding the Medicare Advantage is going make them so much more valuable to that insured individual.
Theyre not going to want to leave and go somewhere else.
When that other agent comes knocking on their door, you make the job much harder for that other agent.
Describing The Plans Benefits
We do the presentation, and review the Summary of Benefits. After the Summary of Benefits, well get into the additional benefits they get with an Advantage plan.
Sometimes theyll get dental, vision, hearing, an over-the-counter benefit, transportation, or a gym membership.
Depending on your product or the area youre in, youll have some benefits that you can review. Thats usually a plus.
At that point I pretty much have won them over and then we do an application.
Sometimes Ill do paper apps, sometimes Ill do an electronic app.
Im loving the electronic apps. Theyre very easy to do and the chance of making a mistake is slim.
Comb Through Your Existing Client Base
Wondering how to market Medicare Advantage products to your clients? Start by combing through your existing book of business.
- Do you have any current Med Supp clients who cant pass underwriting and have sky-high premiums?
- Do you have any Med Supp clients who are healthy but are still uninsurable and are stuck with rising premiums?
- Or, do you have any current Med Supp clients who might prefer the out-of-pocket risks associated with Medicare Advantage in exchange for low or even $0 premiums?
Many client profiles would benefit from and/or be interested in the Medicare Advantage world.
The lowest hanging fruit will be those clients who are stuck in very expensive Med Supps but cannot move. An MSA is often their best buy.
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Prospects Want To Speak With You
Learning how to sell Medicare Advantage, youre selling a product that theyre using thats going to maintain their health. So its so much easier.
Remember, youre not asking for money. I love that! I have a product that I sell that is a PPO. My premium for the PPO product is $15 and guess what?
Its not coming out of their account, its coming out of their Social Security. Im getting it before they spend their check.
DD: No more misdrafts anymore, guys, thats a nice thing.
LM: Exactly. Im getting that money first, and thats if I sell PPO. I dont sell very many PPOs. PPOs are not rich in benefits, copays are usually higher than the HMOs, so HMOs are normally what gets sold.
I hope I answered that question. My partner Patrick and I put resources out where agents can get them.
Well share those resources with you so you can provide them to your agents.
So in case they need an answer right there and they cant get a hold of me because Im in the middle of a meeting, then they should at least know, Okay, Im going to go here and type in whatever the scenario is, and try to find a little one to five minute video on how to solve that problem.
What Services Arent Covered By Original Medicare
This is very important. Your Medicare Supplement sales will suffer if you cant answer this very common question.
Original Medicare is not an all inclusive health insurance plan, so you need to make sure and understand the services that will result in gaps or out of pocket expenses for your clients. Below is a list of the services Medicare doesnt cover.
- Preventative dental
- Silver Sneakers
Its important to share this information with your client so they arent suprised at the time the need these services. Most of these services are covered through additional supplement insurance products. Make sure you understand the cross selling rules to ensure you are compliant.
Do You Need A License To Sell Medicare Licensure And Ahip
When selling insurance products, agents are required to be licensed according to their states Department of Insurance requirements. So that means that you will need to get medicare agent training so that you can get some medicare sales. Some states require general health insurance licenses, while others require specific Medicare-related licenses so check your states requirements.
In addition to general training for licensure to sell Medicare, you may need specialized training and certification. This is true for those selling prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage.
For these products, you need AHIP training, composed of two parts: Medicare and FWA certification. These courses teach extensively about Medicare plans and how to legally comply with Medicares extensive sales guidelines.
In addition to AHIP, to sell these products, youll need certification specific to the companies and products themselves. AHIP certification offers directly and through Medicare Advantage or Part D carriers, with certain discounts available.
Worth noting is that some plans do not require AHIP certification if you are only interested in standard licensure. Such plans include some Medicare Supplement plans in addition to certain dental, vision, and hearing plans depending on the carrier.
When To Sign Up For Medicare
As you approach age 65, its important to know which enrollment deadlines apply to your circumstances. Begin by checking on your eligibility. To avoid costly penalties and gaps in coverage, most people should for Medicare Part A and Part B in the seven-month window that starts three months before the month you turn 65 and runs for another three months following your 65th birthday.
If you currently get Social Security, you will be automatically enrolled if not, you need to sign up either online or at your Social Security office.
Also Check: What Is Medicare Part A And B
Medicare Advantage Marketing Plan Examples
Youre licensed and certified, you know your target market, and you have heaps of marketing materials at your disposal. Now what?
There are so many different Medicare Advantage marketing plans you could develop, which can be a bit paralyzing. Theres radio, you could do a billboard, but what about Facebook, and arent you supposed to do some kind of advertising on Google?
It can be overwhelming, and it is even for seasoned marketing professionals.
However, you need your marketing plan to be manageable, especially if youre doing everything yourself.
Here are some examples of what other agents have done hopefully, this sparks some ideas on how you can strategically reach your community.
Agent Commissions In Medicare And The Impact On Beneficiary Choice
Business Analyst, Saeidan
Licensed Medicare agents, or brokers, can help beneficiaries choose the right coverage, but financial incentives also can influence which plans they highlight
Differing commission rates could force agents to choose between their earning potential and helping beneficiaries choose coverage that meets their needs
Licensed agents and agencies can help Medicare beneficiaries choose the right coverage. Agents are individuals who are licensed and registered to solicit and enroll people into insurance products. Agencies provide administrative support such as marketing, technology infrastructure, compliance, and other services for agents. Medicare plans contract with agents and agencies to reach and enroll beneficiaries in return, agents earn commissions directly from insurers. Independent agents and agencies represent multiple insurers and help beneficiaries compare and enroll in options in their area. In this capacity, they represent both plans and beneficiaries, with compensation tied exclusively to enrollments with contracted insurers. As a result, agents may find themselves choosing between their income and beneficiaries needs.
Also Check: How Much Does Medicare Part B Cost For A Couple
Medicare Select Insurance Policies
Medicare SELECT policies are a type of Medicare Supplement insurance sold by a few private insurance companies. A Medicare SELECT policy is one of the 8 standardized supplement policies.
It differs from Medicare Supplement insurance because you are expected to use a network of hospitals associated with the insurance company. In return, you will usually pay lower premiums. Also, in order to enroll in a Medicare SELECT plan, you must live within the service area of a network facility.
Do I Need Medicare Insurance Agent Training Where Do I Get It
Outside of any training needed to complete state licensing requirements, you will also be required to complete training and certifications to offer certain Medicare product options, namely Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans.
Proper certification for these product options will generally include AHIP training, as well as carrier specific training with each individual company and product you plan to sell. Medicare supplement products however , do not require any additional certifications beyond your states licensing requirements.
You can completeAHIP training directly through AHIPor through a Medicare Advantage or Part D carrier. At PSM we offer our agents a discount for AHIP training. Do some research to find out what discounts might be available before purchasing your training.
While the training modules youll work through to complete Medicare Advantage and PDP certifications will be provided by the carriers, CMS publishes two annual resources that make valuable self-study resources: Medicare and You, and theChoosing a Medigap Policy Guide.
Additionally, CMS has an excellentonline training librarythat you can use to dive deeper into specific topics of Medicare and even have fun with mock tests.
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How To Become An Appointed Field Marketing Organization / Ga / Individual Agent With Emblemhealth
We look forward to doing business with health insurance brokers throughout New York. So, we invite you to partner with us by applying to become an EmblemHealth Medicare broker.
All brokers seeking appointment must provide upon request the following documents and complete our online training:
- Current New York State Accident & Health license
- Current Errors and Omission Insurance
- Current AHIP Certification
- Executed EmblemHealth Medicare Advantage Broker Contract
Becoming A Licensed Medicare Agent
Insurance sales can be a lucrative career for the right people. After all, if you become a Licensed Medicare Agent it can be a great choice. If you are not only a motivated self starter but you also enjoy interacting with people, you may succeed in the field of insurance sales. In order to sell Life and Health insurance, you must become licensed. Becoming a licensed Medicare agent is not difficult but there is a process. We list a step-by-step walk-through of the process as you can see below.
Also Check: What Are All The Medicare Parts
How Long Does It Take To Complete Medicare Training
If you’ve never trained to sell Medicare before, set aside two to three weeks to complete all of the requirements. The best time to get started is ASAP, even if the next open enrollment period is months away.
You need to know as much as possible about Medicare to earn policyholders’ trust. Therefore, the sooner you get started, the deeper your learning will be.
Starting early also entails that you can begin onboarding more clients earlier. If you start this process well before open enrollment, you’ll be ahead of the competition and positioned for early success.