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Archive for November 7th, 2009

Here is the Press Release from AARP. 

Some question whether or not AARP’s licensing fees from Medigap insurance had any influence over it’s decision to endorse the bill.  AARP has approximately 29% of the Medigap Market in terms of # of insureds.  More here.

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The debate began at 2pm today.  You can watch it live on C-Span.  The fact that the Democratic Leaders brought this up for debate indicates that they have the votes to pass it.  The debate is scheduled to last for 4 hours. 

You can also follow the conversation on Twitter!

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Agents in the Senior Market, MUST PAY ATTENTION TO THIS!!  PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG to your fellow agents IMMEDIATELY!!  We must get the word out to all Insurance Agents in the Senior Market about this subject.  This could affect Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D marketing and enrollment.  Obviously, this could be expanded to more insurance coverages in the future.

CMS is proposing a Demonstration Project which could limit or eliminate the ability of the Medicare Advantage company to conduct Marketing and Enrollment in areas which are classified as “Medicare Enrollment Assistance Demonstration Site(s)”.  This could limit or, possibly, eliminate the role of the independent agent in these markets.  This could also limit the company’s ability to MARKET THEIR OWN PRODUCTS in these Demonstration sites.

I realize this is a bit complicated, but it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW THIS!!

This Demonstration project would be limited to a couple of states in 2011 (probably 1-2 states) with a Third Party Contractor.  This would most likely take the form of a Call Center with Representatives trained to provide one-on-one assistance to beneficiaries to help them understand their coverage options and ENROLL in plans.  They would also conduct outreach via direct mail and telephone.  The products they would enroll Medicare Beneficiaries in would include:  Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage, Medicare Supplemental Insurance Coverage (Medigap) and Employer coverage.  They would also conduct outreach via:  Direct Mail, Community and Educational Activities, Sub-Contracting with Community-based organizations, Community-based enrollment centers and processing enrollment applications and submitting enrollment requests to plans.

The Demonstration project would (potentially) mirror the current system of MediCAID enrollment where states use contractors to facilitate this enrollment (no agent involvement). 

CMS is also contemplating placing RESTRICTIONS on MARKETING and ENROLLMENT activities in areas which are classified as “Medicare Enrollment Assistance Demonstration site(s)”.  Essentially, CMS is posing an open question on what (if any) role the Medicare Advantage company would have in Marketing and Enrolling Medicare Beneficiaries in it’s own products in these demonstration areas.  Would the Third Party Contractor be the SOLE source for enrollment and marketing in “Medicare Enrollment Assistance Demonstration Site(s)”???  That’s an open question at this time. 

On October 28th, CMS conducted an Open Door Forum to discuss the Demonstation project.  HERE IS A LINK TO THE ANNOUNCEMENT.

The Audio Recording of this Conference Call is supposed to be available on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9th, 2009 and will be available for 30 DAYS!  Here is a link on where to get it.  I have not heard the Conference Call, but I intend to listen to the call on Monday and download the transcript to learn more about this.

CMS has also established a website for this Demonstration Project.  Click here to Access the Medicare Enrollment Demonstration Website.  You can also subscribe to get email updates from CMS on this Demonstration Project by clicking here.  (I suggest you get the updates!)

PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO YOUR FELLOW AGENTS.  WE MUST STAY EDUCATED ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON HERE.

I just wanted to get the initial information out there.  In the future, I’m looking to put together some sort of internet based group to keep everyone informed on what’s going on!  Check back to the blog for updates.

Craig 

 

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