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Archive for the ‘Cigna’ Category

On Friday, June 1st, 2012, two major insurance companies announced that they will be paying “lifetime renewals” on Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D.  Aetna announced this for both products and Cigna for just their Part D plans.  In the past, some carriers had extended renewals for up to 10 years, but these are the first carriers to extend renewals for as long as the plan remains in force.

This creates a good deal of certainty for the producer as there has always been a lingering doubt about exactly how long renewals would be paid.  When CMS began regulating the compensation agreements between insurance companies and insurance agents, they set up a 6 year renewal cycle.  This guidance came out on December 24th, 2008.  The first year a Medicare beneficiary enters a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Part D plan is called the “initial year” or “cycle year 1″.  If a Medicare beneficiary has been in a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Part D plan for 1 year or longer, CMS reports the “cycle year” to the insurance company.  For example, a Medicare beneficiary may be in cycle year 2, 3, etc.

Now that the compensation rules have been in place for several years, it is possible to write a Medicare advantage this coming AEP for a Medicare beneficiary who is in cycle year 6 (2008, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13, with 2013 being the 6th cycle year).  So this begs the question, if the insurance company is paying commissions on a 6 year cycle (one initial year plus 5 renewal years), how many years of renewal commission can an agent expect to receive, assuming their client stays in the plan.  I’ve spoken with insiders and never really got a definitive answer on this question.

By going to a 10 year renewal cycle, some carriers “kicked this can down the road”.  Now that we’ve seen 2 major carriers embrace lifetime renewals, this whole question may become a moot point.

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Here is the story from the Baltimore Sun.  This transaction closed yesterday.  The acquisition of HealthSpring is a major step in building Cigna’s presence in the Medicare Advantage and Part D market.  Prior to adding HealthSpring, Cigna’s business in Medicare Advantage was limited to an HMO plan in the Phoenix market.

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Cigna has cleared the first hurdle in it’s acquisition of Medicare advantage provider, HealthSpring.  Here is a link to the story from CBS News.

The Cigna/HealthSpring deal was valued at $3.8 billion and was the largest in a series of acquisitions in the Medicare advantage market which have occurred in 2011.

Virtually all of the major carriers in the Medicare advantage market have completed sizable deals in 2011 including UnitedHealth, Humana, WellPoint and Cigna.  The only major player who is yet to make an acquisition is Aetna (but there are still a few weeks left in 2011!)  Earlier this year, however, Aetna did acquire a Medicare Supplement business from Genworth, so they seem to like to business.

Earlier this week, United announced the acquisition of XLHealth which further reduced the number of potential candidates.

I commented back in August that I felt the deals would continue and I still feel the same.

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Holy smokes, I didn’t see this one coming!  Cigna is getting back into the Medicare Advantage market in a BIG way.  Here is a link to the story from Businessweek.

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Enrollment Kits for CIGNA Medicare Rx® (PDP) are now available to order from the CIGNA Medicare Services®
Marketing and Fulfillment Portal at: http://custompoint.rrd.com/cignamedicare.

Reminder:  Orders for enrollment kits can only be placed online, phone orders will not be accepted.

At the login screen, enter your CIGNA Agent ID in the User ID field, your CIGNA Password in the Password
field. If you are having problems placing your order or have questions, please call 1-800-973-9183
for assistance.

Marketing Materials

If you wish to create your own marketing materials, be sure to send your drafts to CIGNA through your
Agency Manager, as CMS approval is required on all Medicare marketing materials.

Certification

Producers contracted to sell the CIGNA Medicare products must successfully certify prior to marketing or
selling CIGNA Medicare products. Producers must complete requisite lessons and pass requisite exams
with a score of 85% or better prior to distributing any of CIGNA’s Medicare products.
If you fail to pass the
exams within three attempts, you will not be allowed to market or sell CIGNA’s Medicare Products for the
2011 selling season.


Click here for certification instructions.


Click here to get trained and certified
– Use your CIGNA Agent ID and password to login.

If you have technical questions about certification, please contact CIGNA’s Certification Help Desk at
1-866-228-1920 or email us at CIGNAUniversity@gpworldwide.com.

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This comes from the CMS enrollment figures for Medicare Advantage plans.  Cigna announced on June 10th, they will be exiting the PFFS market in 2011. Here are a couple different looks at their enrollment as of May 1st, 2010:

State Totals:  Cigna PFFS Total Enrollment by State

State/County totals:  Cigna PFFS Total Enrollment by State by County

Top County Enrollment Figures:  Cigna PFFS Enrollment Ranked by County (Minimum 100 enrollees)

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Here is the press release.

Many of you who follow my blog may have noticed back in April that I referenced that in their press release, they didn’t mention individual PFFS business for 2011.  My original coverage of this story can be found here. I thought that was a pretty good tip that this press release was coming!

Additionally, I followed their analyst conference call in May where they mentioned that they hadn’t made up their minds on this book of business.

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