The Medicare Modernization Act signed into law in 2003 by President Bush signaled the most sweeping changes in Medicare in 40 years.
Not only did the act establish Medicare Part D, the prescription drug plan, it also revived Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage plans. Many agents have refused to offer Medicare Advantage plans feeling they would not last. If you are active in the senior market, you may have lost clients to agents selling Medicare Advantage plans.
How do you view Medicare Advantage plans? Are they competition to the Medicare Supplement plans or a new opportunity for the agent to grow their client base? At Senior Benefit Services, we look at Medicare Advantage as a new opportunity for agents to work in a new market and definitely grow their client base! Consider the following differences between the two types of products:
|Medicare Advantage||Medicare Supplement|
|Low monthly premiums, some as low as $0||Monthly premiums that typically range from $75-$185|
|All rates are the same per service area (usually by county) with no differentiation by age or sex||Rates are frequently based on age, sex, and tobacco usage.|
|Guaranteed Issue (except for usually ESRD)||Underwritten (Turning age 65 and MA disenrollment and certain Guaranteed Issue exceptions)|
|Co-pays when receiving treatment with maximum out-of-pocket expenses that typically range from $2,500 to $6,700||Covers remainder of provider bill after Medicare pays on most popular Plan F, with variations depending on the plan|
|Annual plans that must be approved by CMS (not guaranteed renewable)||Guaranteed renewable plans|
|Annual election, open enrollment periods and lock-in periods dictate when sales can be made||Sales can be made anytime throughout the year without period restrictions|
|Can have networks such as HMO and PPO plans or no networks such as Private Fee-for-Service plans (PFFS).||Can usually go to any doctor or hospital|
With the senior population expected to grow from 42 million in 2005 to over 61 million by 2020, sales of both Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans will continue to grow. Clients have more options available today than ever before. Are you offering them all available options? Your competition is!
Senior Benefit Services, Inc. considers Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage and the Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) pieces of a puzzle that you must help your client put together for their best coverage. An agent in the senior market should be able to understand and explain all three programs to their prospects and current clients. While it is important to have these plans in your portfolio, it is more important to know the differences between plans. Senior Benefit Services, Inc. believes that the growth of Medicare Advantage plans allows agents to serve Medicare beneficiaries who were not likely candidates for Medicare Supplement due to health or pricing issues.
|Medicare Advantage Carriers|
If selling Medicare Advantage Plans, be sure to check out our Hospital Indemnity section. Easily add an additional 50%+ in commissions to each existing Medicare Advantage Sale. Plan can be sold all year long!! Please remember that this plan cannot be sold to a Medicare Advantage consumer until at least 48 hours later. This plan is great to show your existing Medicare Advantage clients, your group retirees, High Deductible Plan F clients, and even your under 65 clients with high deductible health plans.