5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!

Independence Day is one of our favorite holidays here at RB Insurance Group. Celebrating our great country with family, friends, a smorgasbord of barbecued food, and fireworks- what more could you ask for? In honor of the holiday weekend, we rounded up a collection of five things you probably didn’t know about the 4th of July.

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  1. Although it had been celebrated prior, the 4th of July did not become a federally recognized national holiday until 1870, nearly a hundred years after the Declaration of Independence was written. It became a paid holiday for federal employees in 1938. Source

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  1. A crazy coincidence: both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4th, 1826, exactly 50 years after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Source

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  1. Many of the key participants in the American Revolution were quite young in 1776. You would never know it based on the impressions we’re given by popular works of art, but despite the powdered white hair and mature features, Thomas Jefferson was 33, James Madison was 25, and James Monroe was only 18 years old! Source

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  1. In 1776, approximately 2.5 million people were living in the United States. As of 2014, the U.S. Census estimates that number has grown to over 318.9 million people. Source

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  1. Hot Diggety Dog, July is National Hot Dog Month! According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, that’s really a thing!), July 4th is the largest hotdog holiday of the year. In just one single day, Americans typically consume over 150 million hotdogs. That’s enough to stretch from Washington DC to Los Angeles more than FIVE TIMES! Source

Happy 4th of July, now go forth and impress your friends and family with your expert knowledge of 4th of July trivia… while enjoying a hot dog, of course!

 


Once you’re done celebrating…

Don’t forget to save $50 on your 2017 AHIP Certification!

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Four Ways to Power Through AHIP- Reboot

“This is a reboot of Brandon Clay’s Blog Post from last year. This advice is so useful we wanted RBI agents a chance to see it again!”

When are you going to start your 2017 AHIP certification?

While the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, AEP, is still months away, I consider right now to be decision time for the training agents must go through in order to be Ready To Sell. What you do in the next few days and weeks will set the tone for how things will go over the next several months and into 2017 for your senior insurance business.

Want to be ready to preserve your current book of business and write new opportunities?  Then today is the most important date on your calendar.

Start your 2017 AHIP certification now, not later to avoid stress and to concentrate on scoring at least 90 percent. Image courtesy of Wikipedia

AHIP

Here are four simple ways to keep October 1st from becoming crunch time by deciding to act now:

1. Consider paying for your AHIP 2017 training. For me, nothing says commitment like spending my hard-earned money on something.  Yes, I understand some of you will wait for the carriers to launch their own training for a discount, and that is a great idea (In fact, my wife does this). However, don’t let the one or two weeks’ difference turn into one or two months before you actually begin your 2017 AHIP certification.  As I looked at my upcoming schedule, I saw the early start was worth more than the savings I would get if I had waited for a carrier discount. I looked up my login information from last year, filled in my credit card information and just a click later, I got immediate access to AHIP 2017. Here’s a link for $50 off provided by RBI.

While I have not yet finished, I have done something that makes most people feel almost as good — I started. You may want to pay for your AHIP up front to avoid stressing out about it later.

2. Download the slides and start reading. Did you know you can download the AHIP slides as a PDF? If you have a slow Internet connection, downloading AHIP 2017 content can make studying much faster than accessing it online. Personally, I don’t like reading while sitting at my computer, so I downloaded all five modules and put them on my iPad.  Over the next three days, I’m planning on reviewing the downloaded slides while riding the stationary bike at my gym. When I’m listening to ’80s music and wiping sweat off my brow, AHIP doesn’t seem as tedious!

3. Pace yourself. If you are a seasoned senior insurance advisor, then the material on the 2017 AHIP is more of a refresher.  If you are new to the business and this is your first AEP, then it will feel more like a university course. Break the five different modules into smaller, more manageable pieces to make it go down easier. You will retain more information this way and score higher on the test!

4. Take the test.  My strategy is simple: I take the test four days after I pay for the course. Because I have already gone through the material at the gym, I allocate two hours for one final review of the modules online. At the end of that session, I take the test (By the way, it’s open book!).  Even if you are a 20-year industry veteran like myself, don’t take the test until you have read all the material! With three attempts to score 90 percent, you have none to waste.

Yes, even for me, hitting the “grade now” button is a little unnerving, but then the passing grade comes.  I will print out my certificate with a sense of satisfaction knowing that one major part of the process is complete.  I can’t celebrate too much as there’s still much work to do when it comes to senior insurance sales.

Agents who subscribe to The Agent’s Advantage can save $50 off their 2017 AHIP certification. Click here to learn more about this offer and how to get your entire AHIP cost reimbursed by RB Insurance when you make five Medicare Advantage sales.

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2017 MA compensation announced

On May 27th, 2016, CMS announced new rates for 2017 Medicare Advantage and PDP commissions. In the majority of states, the commission rate will be $443 for beneficiaries who are new to MA, and $222 thereafter for renewals. In California and New Jersey, initial sales compensation will be $553 per application.  Connecticut, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia will be $498 for an initial enrollment. Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands will be $304. PDP compensation is $71 for the initial enrollment, with a $36 renewal rate.

This is roughly a 3.26% increase over 2016 rates. Although most carriers follow this structure, they are not required to pay the full rate. CMS’s only stipulation is that “the compensation amount paid to an independent agent or broker for an enrollment must be at or below the fair market value (FMV) cut-off amounts published yearly by CMS.”

Most carriers will announce their compensation around the same time their product certification comes out. So far United has announced their certification date, June 27th, 2016, just one week after the 2017 AHIP certification goes live. Humana is scheduled to release it’s 2017 certification modules sometime in August. Keep an eye on our calendar and blog for carrier certifications as they are released.

In the meantime, let RBI help you save $50 on the 2017 AHIP certification!

Be sure to sign up for our blog to enjoy the discounted AHIP Certification rate of $125 ($50 off the retail price of $175). As soon as AHIP goes live on June 20th,  we will send you a personalized link with the $50 discount. You don’t have to wait for any carriers to get the reduced rate, and because our offer is independent of other programs, you will still remain eligible for other possible carrier reimbursement incentives.

Check out our 5-2-1 program and get the remaining $125 reimbursed!

  • 5 -Make five Medicare Advantage sales with our carriers by January 1, 2017
  • 2 -Contract with at least 2 of our Medicare Advantage carriers 
  • 1 -Receive your reimbursement check for $125

It’s as simple as that! Once you’ve met the reimbursement criteria, every five additional sales submitted thereafter will earn you a 1,000-piece mailer for only $300. That’s a $125 discount off of our regular price and a great way to jump start your 2017 sales with fresh direct mail leads.

Learn how to ACE the AHIP by attending our Webinar!

If you find yourself struggling with the AHIP exam, let us help! We are holding weekly webinars on “How to Ace the AHIP exam”

How to Read The Agent’s Advantage blog

With over a year in the making, our new website is easy to use and is easier on the eyes … Consider The Agent’s Advantage to be your new home for contracting, lead management and product promotion news from RB Insurance.

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Ace your 2019 AHIP Discount Training

You can get a $50 AHIP Discount with RBI! Check out our National Sales Manager’s blog post and get $50 off 2019 AHIP Today!

Most Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan insurers accept or mandate America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Medicare Training, we would be remiss not to assist our affiliated agents with some tips regarding the navigation of this annual rite of passage. Be advised though — a few carriers have their own internal training available in lieu of the 2019 AHIP courses. Usually the test costs $175 but RBI is offering it’s very own AHIP discount for agents.

AHIP has announced a June 19 release date for the 2019 AHIP annual sales training.

Many agents who have successfully completed AHIP for several years now are probably spending more time than necessary completing the courses and preparing for the test. Newer agents often invest days in study and rote memorization efforts. Hopefully we can ease any trepidation with a few simple tips and reminders as we head into this year’s sales season.

Besides remembering that learning and accountability are why we take the AHIP, keep the following in mind:

  • The 2019 AHIP is an open-book test. Remember that term from school? It means you can print the entire course slideshow or even order a booklet. If you don’t know the answer, look it up. Call us at the number below to learn a better way to keep information in front of you while you take the test.
  • Pace yourself. The comprehensive test phase of 2019 AHIP gives you two hours to complete it, and you have three attempts to pass with a minimum score of 90 percent. Eliminate all distractions while you’re taking the test — leave your phone in another room, close out of other programs or websites on your computer, etc.
  • If you don’t pass 2019 AHIP within your three allotted attempts, you’re done for the next six months. Some carriers do have alternative training available, so check with their broker support. Do not re-register for the course and pay another $125 or $175. Just because you got the AHIP discount with RBI, doesn’t mean you can pay again elsewhere to retake the test. You can re-register, repay and go through the course to take the test again, but Medicare Advantage carriers will not recognize the pass grade for the fourth or subsequent attempts. Last year we assisted three agents who made this rather expensive mistake.
  • You’re not finished after you pass the General Compliance portion of the test (Modules 1-5). You still must complete the Fraud, Waste and Abuse (FWA) module and test before you are totally done. You’ll know you’re done when you receive a certificate.

RB Insurance-affiliated agents can call us at (800) 997 3107 to discover simple strategies to pass the AHIP with a 90 percent or better score. Don’t forget to sign up for our blog and earn an 2019 AHIP Discount of $50 instantly!

Better Results with Community Marketing

ICYMI -La Vida Felicidad Family Fun Festival. How to use community marketing at family oriented events.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the 3rd annual Family Fun Festival in Los Lunas, New Mexico. More than 600 people showed up for fun and information supporting a great nonprofit, La Vida Felicidad. La Vida supports Life quality for children and families, adults, and seniors, through advocacy and individualized services in collaboration with community partnerships. Most of their relationships are with those that support individuals with developmental disabilities.

Meet More People and Find More Clients with Community Marketing.

Agents are always asking how to get in front of more potential clients. This Family Festival was a perfect example of how to do that. Get out of your booth and explore the event to see who else is there. True, it was not our usual target market yet we still found relationships to nurture and develop ongoing business.  Don’t just sit on your butt waiting for people to come to you, get out there and mix it up! All of these relationships (even with other vendors) are just waiting for you. We haven’t even talked about the grandparents that stopped by our booth who were attending the Festival with their grand-kids.

Community Marketing

Charlie Ferrell Having a great time in Los Lunas, NM

While this wasn’t our normal sales event, the Family Festival was a great place to make community contacts. There were booths for dental and vision services for low income families. All of the major Medicaid providers were there as well. We forged some great relationships (and got their cell numbers) with those individuals that can actually help our clients with their Medicaid issues when they arise.

Native American parents of children with developmental disabilities asked us to speak to their service coordinators next month too. Additional community and tribal resources were also available to assist those families in need. We spoke to everyone we thought we might be able to use as a contact sometime in the future.

Confusion is Common and Your Knowledge is Power.

Most seniors I spoke to agreed that Medicare is quite confusing to someone turning 65 and don’t know where to turn for answers. I had great conversations with a couple of participants that were/are turning 65 soon. I told them to call Social Security and apply for Medicare as soon as they get home. These beneficiaries were just waiting for their Medicare cards to appear. All of their friends told them the cards come in the mail 3 months before you turn 65. It turns out they didn’t know that they had to apply for Medicare because they were not receiving Social Security benefits yet.

They were lucky that one had a birthday in June and the other in July and both are still in their initial enrollment period. Several others stopping by our booth filled out a “Permission to Contact” (PTC) card allowing us to give them a call for this year’s AEP.

Be on the lookout for events being held in your community. Using community marketing, you never know where your next client or contact may come from.

Remember that Sales events must generally be posted with most carriers with a 10 day or 2-week notice. You can hand out business cards and other sales literature and collect PTC cards.  You may discuss plan specific benefits and collect enrollment applications. Educational events do not require any  carrier registration but you can only talk with potential members about Medicare in general terms. You are not allowed to “hand out” business cards but you can make them available on your table and encourage participants to “Take a card”. Any materials must be general in nature. Collecting personal information or PTC of any kind is not allowed.

Contact us for all of your questions regarding how to register a sales event with the carrier. If you have questions about what is or isn’t allowed at marketing events, check out the guide to what a Secret Shopper will be looking for here.  RBI and Medicare Compare really do make it happen for you!

$50 Off 2017 AHIP Certification is Here

Please Note:  This article is from 2017 and is out of date.  We are now offering a 2018 AHIP discount/reimbursement program, click here for more information!

What does the “it” in “We make it happen for you,” our slogan, mean? This time of year, “it” means 2017 AHIP Medicare Training for many of our agents and we make it happen for you at no cost (or at least at a discount)!

Through direct negotiation with America’s Health Insurance Plans, we are offering an exclusive $50 discount to our partners. Pay $125 for your 2017 AHIP certification with our no risk, no obligation offer.

To access our offer, all you need to do is subscribe to our blog by clicking this link.

We didn’t just work to save you $50 on your 2017 AHIP certification and connect you to our blog, where we go over how to fine tune your appointments for more sales and four simple ways to power through AHIP 2017.

RB Insurance will also cover the rest of your 2017 AHIP certification cost ($125) when you submit five Medicare Advantage enrollments (submitted between July 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017.)2017 AHIP

That’s right, AHIP for free for just five sales. This reimbursement is independent of any carrier offer, meaning if Cigna-HealthSpring, Aetna, Humana or any other carrier offers you an AHIP reimbursement for their sales, you’ll still qualify for our reimbursement program.

Here’s the 5-2-1 program to get you reimbursed for your AHIP. Remember, you must complete 2017 AHIP through RBI’s link first so we can verify you took the test:

  • 5 -Make five Medicare Advantage sales with our carriers by January 1, 2017
  • 2 -Contract with at least 2 of our Medicare Advantage carriers 
  • 1 -Receive your reimbursement check for $125

That’s all there is to it! For every five additional sales you make after your reimbursement, will earn you a 1,000-piece mailer for only $300. That’s a $125 discount off of our regular price and a great way to jump start your 2017 sales with fresh direct mail leads.

Our offer applies to Agencies as well. Contact us today for ways we can partner with your agency to help you grow and be more profitable.

RB Insurance truly is your one-stop shop for all your senior insurance needs. We’ve already pioneered new technology for agents and agencies with our custom CRM designed by agents and for agents. We are adding our Medicare Marketplace where your applications really are worth more. Now we’re bringing mandatory sales training to you for nothing out of pocket.

Click here to subscribe to our blog for timely information about what matters most to agents.

Remember that if you have subscribed to our blog by June 20th, you will get your own personal link to AHIP as soon as the 2017 AHIP program goes live. Take advantage of our exclusive discounted AHIP offer through RBI without waiting for the carriers to release their 2017 certifications.