RBI Agents: Your Voice Matters

If there is one thing that we at RBI take seriously, it is how successful our agents are in meeting their business goals.  Your voice matters to us, and as a company, our ever-present goal is to provide you with the best services, tools, and resources in the industry.  That includes, at times, some soul-searching for ways to do better. So here we are, on the last day of January 2017, taking a look at what you have to say to us.

Taking a pulse of RBI AgentsYour Voice Matters

You may recall that at the end of AEP, we sent out a survey to all our agents, asking for feedback on how your AEP went, and ways that we could improve your experience with RBI. We also followed up with phone calls to every agent on our books, asking them the same questions. Questions like: “How many sales do you plan to make per month?” or “What can RBI do to earn more of your business?” and “Would you recommend RBI to other agents/agencies?” The response we got from our agents was amazing. So many of you took the time to speak to us, or filled out the survey on your own — and we are grateful!

We asked, you answered.

As with any survey, we got a lot of different types of feedback, from the laconic agent who responded with one word answers to the humorous (How can we improve? “Give me donuts”).  But the majority of your responses were thoughtful, and thought-provoking. You asked for things like “can I get more training,” or more marketing support, or pointed out carriers that RBI should pick up, so the agents could have the benefit of an FMO-advocate in that relationship.  And above all else, you asked for better communication, so that if we did offer training and so on, you would know what was available to you. We took all those responses and reflected on how we as a company could turn that feedback into action.

Your voice matters – and leads to actual change!

Here are some of the big changes that we have implemented for this year:

  • Webinar Wednesday: Now we offer weekly training webinars on Wednesday mornings at 10 AM MST, each one covering a different Medicare-related topic.  We limited these to about 30-45 minutes long, to be mindful of time-constraints for our busy agents. Join in by clicking here to see the calendar and register!
  • Medicare IntensivesNext we added in some live events in our office, to help out those agents who do better in a “classroom” setting. We formatted these to be a longer, deeper look into Medicare topics, and added in a simulcast option for agents that live out of state.
  • RBI Classroom emails: You may have noticed an increase in the emails you are receiving from us. We want to make sure you are informed about the ways we are available to help you, the tools and training that you can access. With RBI Classroom emails, you can see these resources and training in real time.
  • Additional Carriers + Changes in contracting: We are in the process of adding 10 additional carriers across the US, based upon your AEP survey responses. We also updated the way our contracting process works on our website, to make it even easier to get contracted with the right carriers.
  • Agent Market Edge + Promotions: We have updated the Agent Market Edge online portal with additional products and services, and expanded our marketing credits offerings.  We are developing and testing new compliant mailers for hospital indemnity, final expense and more!
  • Updated Blog Content: If you have been on our blog before, you know that we always strive to make sure it has tons of great content. But navigating on the blog has been difficult, so we have updated the categories and “related content.” Now finding what you’re looking for is much easier.
  • NEW Vlogging component: We recognize that not everyone is a “written word” person. And as one more way that RBI is going above and beyond this year, we are adding a video-log (“vlog”) segment to our blog.  This feature went live just a few days ago — we are extremely excited to expand this in the coming months!

What’s the bottom line?

We love our agents. And we want to do right by you. You asked us for meaningful change and we are doing our very best to make it happen for you. If you like what we are doing, please consider being a part of our family by contracting with us. If you are already contracted with RBI, don’t forget that if you refer an agent to us, you can participate in our marketing credit program!  See all the details here.

Finally, as part of our on-going efforts to be the best FMO around, we’ve created another survey to check in. Please take a moment and tell us how we are doing with our new programs! Click here to leave feedback or call us at 1-800-997-3107 to speak to one of our team!

Video: Medicare Supplements 101 Roll-Up

Did you miss a Webinar Wednesday? Check out our Medicare Supplements 101 Roll-up below!

This week, we focused on Medicare Supplements: so here is Charlie Ferrell, in our Medicare Supplements 101 Roll-up! First, here’s a quick summary:

Most agents in the senior market are familiar with Medicare Supplements (Med Supps) at a surface level, but are you aware of the upcoming changes?  Medicare Supplements work alongside original Medicare Part A and B, to cover “gaps” in Part A and B. The advantage to working in Med Supps is that there is no lock-in period, like with Medicare Advantage. However, the most popular Medicare Supplement Plan (Plan F) is going away after January 1, 2020.  Now is the time to prepare for this change, by taking advantage of the resources and opportunities available through RBI. Watch below for a 60 Second Roll-up of the details!

Medicare Supplements 101 Roll-Up

Look for this symbol on all our new “60 Second Roll-Up” videos!

If you would like to learn more about Medicare Supplements, click here.  Watch the full length recorded webinar “Medicare Supplements 101” by clicking here.

Want to get additional Medicare Supplement contracts? Take a look at the carriers we partner, or call us at 1-800-997-3107 today!

USA Senior Care Network
2019 AHIP

Agent Market Edge – Your Marketing Solution

Many of you know that RB Insurance Group works closely with print & fulfillment companies and are able to provide print and fulfillment services at cost to our agents.  Which is why we decided to create the Agent Market Edge, an online portal for our contracted agents, where you can see all the products and services we provide our agents to help drive your business.

Not only can you see different products RBI can produce, the Agent Market Edge is where you can see how many marketing dollars you have earned to date as part of our new marketing program the “Every 5 Sales Drive.”

Here’s a quick preview of what the Agent Market Edge looks like when you log-in.  You can see the available marketing credit total in the top right corner of the screen.

Agent Market Edge Dashboard

For those of you who don’t know, here’s how it works:

  • For every 5 Medicare Advantage applications you submit under RBI, you will earn a $125 marketing credit
  • Credits roll over from month-to-month which means you will never lose your hard earned marketing credits
  • Marketing credits are handed out at the end of the effective date’s month (i.e. If you write 5 MA apps for a 2/1 effective date, you will be given your $125 credit at the end of February.)
  • Program available for direct contracted agents only
  • Similar programs available for agencies but credit amounts will differ

Here’s a real life example of the “Every 5 Sales Drive”

We mail about 2,000 pieces a month for one of our agents who does about 40-60 enrollments per month.  When you look at the cost break down: $445 (price of 1,000 piece mailer) x 2 = $890.  40 enrollments x $222 (MA commission) = $8,800.  If you take into account the marketing credits he earned (40 enrollments = $1,000 in marketing credit) he is actually getting his two 1,000 piece mailers completely free. He did have to come up with the money for the original mailings, but after that he is able to get both of his 1,000 piece mailers for free every month.

There are all kinds of products on the Agent Market Edge that will help you grow your business, whether you’re trying to generate new business or if you’re trying to maintain your current book of business and work off referrals.  And if you want to use your credits towards an idea that’s not on the Agent Market Edge, just give us a call and we’re more than happy to accommodate you.

We commit to make it happen for you!

As part of our commitment to “make it happen for you,” RBI will actually help you create a custom marketing plan to help you reach your sales goals!  Keep an eye on our blog in the coming weeks for an article about how this works, or give us a call at 1-800-997-3107 for an in-depth look at RB Insurance Group’s MAPS method to success!

Mergers and Acquisitions

2019 United Healthcare

(Updated on February 9, 2017. ) I’m sure you have all heard the news that the Federal government is suing to stop 2 healthcare mergers and acquisitions from happening. The latest news has both Aetna/Humana and Anthem/Cigna at odds with the Justice department. Both cases should be wrapped up soon.

Aetna would potentially owe Humana a “break-up” fee of $1 billion if their deal is not closed by February 15th, 2017 while Anthem would owe Cigna a $1.8 billion fee if that deal is not done by April 30, 2017. Aetna and Humana are vigorously defending their position to allow the sale to proceed. The Anthem/Cigna merger has had several setbacks and is in question.

On the Aetna/Humana merger: (Blocked January 23, 2017)

  • Aetna/Humana released a statement announcing a sale of some of their Medicare Assets to Molina Healthcare. You can see the press release here. The asset sale is contingent upon the sale of Humana to Aetna being completed.
  • The DOJ called Molina a junk-bond-rated company and Molina responded they could easily shoulder the additional 290,000 members in addition to their current membership of roughly 4.3 million lives, and restated their position as the 10th largest health insurer in the country hardly qualifies it as “junk status.”
  • In its final argument, Aetna said, “The government has rested its case upon theory and speculation from beginning to end.”

On the Cigna/Anthem merger: (Blocked February 8, 2017 )

  • Attorneys for the federal government have said that the deal would harm competition in the national insurance market. Anthem countered they are only a regional player licensed in 14 states.
  • The merger would make the combined carrier number 2 nationally in overall lives insured second only to United Healthcare.
  • In some markets, the combined carrier would reduce the number of insures down to 3. The federal government says the competition between Cigna and Anthem in these markets is leading to innovation, while keeping prices down. Anthem and Cigna contend that the merger will decrease prices due to better bargaining power with large provider groups, lowering costs to the consumers even more.

Both of these were bench trials and final arguments have been made.  The Anthem/Cigna merger is expected to be blocked but there is no time frame for the ruling. The outcome of the Aetna/Humana merger was blocked today on Antitrust grounds. Aetna has said it plans to appeal the DOJ ruling.

We are continuing to follow these carrier mergers and acquisitions, and will bring you up-to-date information on our blog.  Click here to subscribe!   

2020 ahip discount certification
Medicare cost-sharing
Aetna certification
2019 Humana certification

Video: Mastering Hospital Indemnity Roll-Up

Did you miss a Webinar Wednesday? Check out our Mastering Hospital Indemnity Roll-up below!

This week, we focused on Hospital Indemnity: so here is Charlie Ferrell, in our Mastering Hospital Indemnity Roll-up! But first, here’s a quick summary:

Are your clients struggling to pay for a hospitalization, chemotherapy or skilled nursing? Hospital Indemnity is the answer, especially relevant for those struggling to cover the financial gaps in traditional Medicare Advantage. A hospital stay comes with ancillary costs that are a burden to many Medicare Advantage clients. Hospital Indemnity works as cash-in-hand for these clients, and provides the peace of mind they need! Watch below for a 60 Second Roll-up of the details!

Hospital Indemnity Roll-up

Look for this symbol on all our new “60 Second Roll-Up” videos!

Register here to watch the full recording of the “Mastering Hospital Indemnity” webinar. For other great tips on why you should pick up a Hospital Indemnity product, or how to sell Hospital Indemnity, subscribe to our blog!

RBI has a number of great Hospital Indemnity carriers that we work with, including Equitable, Medico, as well as GTL.  If you would like to pick up a carrier, please click here for contracting information, or call our office at 1-800-997-3107.

Short Term Home Health Care
New Agent
Sales Champion Summit

Think Outside the Box: Hospital Indemnity for ACA Clients

Here at RBI, we are using the month of January to focus our thinking outside the standard AEP-box, with lots of training and materials to increase your sales. Earlier this week we heard from Tom O’Neil with a closer look at Hospital Indemnity products, with a highlight on Guarantee Trust Life (GTL). But there’s more to Hospital Indemnity.  Let’s go deeper.

Why Hospital Indemnity for ACA clients?

Young Indemnity Couple

Some carriers have very affordable options for people under age 65.

As senior insurance agents, we often don’t think about folks in the age group under age 65. These folks are “young people,” and therefore usually outside our focus.  But many are struggling with health plans under the Affordable Care Act that feature high deductibles and out of pocket expenses. These folks are looking for alternatives.  And if you have a Hospital Indemnity product, like GTL, Medico, or Equitable, these clients could actually be a gold mine.

Hospital Indemnity is a great gap product for people in this age group. Most of the time, Hospital Indemnity carriers have very affordable options for people under age 65, often as low as $30-40.  Furthermore, most clients would be willing to pay this monthly premium, just so that they are protected from getting hit by a high deductible payment if they needed to visit the hospital.  In my opinion, overlooking this demographic is the same as leaving money on the table.

Where to find these clients

The best way of reaching this type of client is to talk about what you do.  For example, I actually got a client during AEP simply from wearing my button down shirt with my business logo on it.  A gentleman at the next gas pump asked me about it, and before you knew it, he asked for a business card. When the time was right, he called me up and I was able to get him enrolled in a plan that fit his needs.  Agents tend to minimize their experience and ignore the people around them every day. People who know you, people who you meet in your daily life, have no idea what you do. Spend 3 minutes with these people, tell them exactly what it is that you do, hand them a business card.  It will be the least expensive lead you ever have.

Brand Package Image

RBI can help you update your business cards and more!

 RBI can help you get started with Hospital Indemnity for ACA clients

We can help you plan out your approach to getting into Hospital Indemnity products. If you are thinking, “well, I don’t have a Hospital Indemnity plan,” contact RBI at 1-800-997-3107 for information about contracting with carriers in your area. RBI works with a great design team who can help you updateyour business cards, letterhead and so on, at discounted prices.  Above all, get comfortable talking about your own expertise, and practice your elevator speech.  I know you’ll see results.

Keep an eye on our event calendar for great webinars and in-person events to up the ante with your business this year! Click here to see full details.

Hospital Indemnity Earn $2k on Take Action Tuesdays

hospital indemnity

Hospital Indemnity – Take Action Tuesday: weekly action items to build a stronger business


Senior Agent Contributor: Tom O’Neil

Note from the Author: While most of this blog post is a product of my gray matter, I will borrow shamelessly some content from RBI’s Charlie Ferrell, our National Sales Manager.  He has some great insights into our business, surely developed when I was training him as a young pup new agent many years ago!

Now that AEP is over, we enter into the MAPD world of reduced commission advances for the next 11 months.  What is a good way to keep up the cash flow?  What about the business you left on the table with your turning-65 new-to-Medicare clients? Hospital Indemnity plans offer good commissions for agents year-around, and a unique opportunity for all those T-65’s you enrolled going back for the last 5 or so months.

Drop the excuses and sell Hospital Indemnity

Hospital Indemnity Image

Agents often tell me that Hospital Indemnity plans are too hard to sell, their clients are broke, underwriting is difficult, the clients enrolled in a supplement and so have no need for Hospital Indemnity, yada, yada.  GTL (Guarantee Trust Life) has the cure.  They offer guaranteed issue status to all applicants ages 64 ½ to 65 ½.  How do you beat that?  GTL may be a perfect fit for your MAPD clients who can afford a $40 or $50 premium.  If you sold a supplement to a client who is still working, GTL can provide some loss of income protection for days spent in the hospital as well.

Have a new client in the age range 64 ½ to 65 ½ who anticipates a hospital stay later in the year?  This plan is a slam dunk.  Yes, there is a 6-month pre-existing condition clause.  Accidents covered at issue, of course.

In my state, Arizona, GTL’s Hospital Indemnity plan pays around 50% commission for the first year, with a 9-month advance.  Let’s do the math.  My last guaranteed issue GTL application with a $39 monthly premium was submitted online on a Monday, and the approximately $200 advance was in my bank account on Thursday.

Start with Existing Clients

Okay, so where do I get the $2K teaser in the blog title?  I am guessing that any busy agent that goes over the last 5 months of enrollments will be able to find at least 10 clients that fall into the guaranteed issue age range.  Reach out to these clients about the benefits of having Hospital Indemnity coverage. Don’t stop there.  The fully underwritten GTL can also be a gold mine.  They have an easy “yes” or “no” online app, as well as a paper app.  One of our top agents estimated that about 70% of his clients pass underwriting easily.

One of the best Hospital Indemnity training videos I have seen was produced by Bill Ellsworth, VP of Equitable. It is available on Equitable’s broker page as well as on YouTube. Check it out to get started on training.

For those agents working in areas where GTL is not available, of course, we also offer contracts for Equitable, Medico and other Hospital Indemnity plans with more traditional underwriting.  If you do not have a Hospital Indemnity contract in your portfolio, or to request a specific market analysis for your area, give RBI a call at 800-997-3107 and talk to Charlie about these great products and how to present them.

Join Charlie Ferrell for a introduction to Hospital Indemnity with RBI’s Webinar Wednesday topic for January 18: “Mastering Hospital Indemnity!” Register now!

Upcoming Events:

MA Compliance Requirements for Agencies

If you’ve ever wondered if you were following all the guidelines for compliance, you’re not alone. As the Director of Compliance for RB Insurance Group, I talk to agencies nearly every day that are struggling through a carrier audit, often bringing daily business to a grinding halt.  If you are nodding along, don’t panic!  We can help you build processes to get compliance under control.

That’s right, I’m the “FUN” guy in the office.

Compliance = fun right?

All MA carriers are audited for compliance by CMS every 3 years. Contracting with multiple carriers increases your chances that at some point you will be picked for a random agency compliance audit.  CMS requires the carriers to hold agencies accountable for the compliance of contracted agents and employees.

Are you an agency with no employees (besides yourself) and you still get certified every year and sell?  Rejoice, as much of this doesn’t apply to you.

Basic Requirements

The most commonly overlooked CMS requirements for FDR’s (First, Downline and Related Entities) not an exhaustive list.

OIG/SAM Exclusion Check

Upon hire and monthly thereafter you must check all employees, (even yourself), against both the OIG List of Excluded Individuals/Entities and SAM Excluded Persons List System (EPLS).

Most agencies know about the OIG (Office of Inspector General), but not the SAM (System for Award Management) requirement. The button looks like this:

You must keep records of the searches. Some carriers have a spreadsheet they want the tracking in, others want you to make one.

Regardless, it will need to include the basic information on all your employees/agents as well as dates of the checks. A sample Excel Spreadsheet will be made available to contracted agencies inside the Medicare Sales Engine.

CMS General Compliance and Fraud, Waste and Abuse Training (FWA).

GC/FWA training must be completed upon hire and annually thereafter. Every employee must complete it.

If you and all of your staff are licensed writing agents with all the carriers you represent, you’re in luck: it was included in your annual training and you do not have an additional requirement.

For everyone else, there are 3 ways to meet the requirement:

  • Have all your staff enroll in the MLN (Medicare Learning Network) and complete the courses and get the certificates.

  • Go over the CMS training in PDF form with all your staff and have them take the exam on paper, then generate the certificates.

  • Incorporate the CMS training information into your existing compliance training and testing, and generate your own certificates. (Not suggested and not accepted by all carriers.)

We can assist you in obtaining the required materials for this training, just give us a call at 1-800-997-3107.

You must also have:

  • Written Code of Conduct

  • Written Code of Ethics

  • Policies and Procedures manual that applies to Medicare Advantage and Medicare as a whole.

  • HIPAA Security Plan

  • Compliance Officer (yes, you have to have one)

  • A method for employees to report suspected FWA or other violations internally and anonymously.

There are a lot more requirements and details than I can get into in a short blog article, but this will get you started.

If you are currently the subject of a sales allegation, carrier audit, or just want to prepare so you aren’t scrambling to get compliant when you receive an audit notice, you can contact our office for assistance.

RB Insurance Group, LLC 1-800-997-3107

Video: Low Income Subsidy Roll-Up

Did you miss the Webinar Wednesday this week? Here’s a quick review with the What is Low Income Subsidy Roll-Up!

If you are interested in a new way to get energized this new year, you need to watch this What is Low Income Subsidy Roll-Up!

Low Income Subsidy is a federal program to help Medicare recipients who are making less than 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Low Income Subsidy helps reduce the costs of medications by up to $4000 per year for those who qualify. Because medication non-compliance is the number 1 reason behind hospitalization in this country, it’s important to educate yourself and your clients on the aid that is available. Watch our short 60 Second Roll-up to get the quick basics:

Low Income Subsidy Roll-Up

Look for this symbol on all our new “60 Second Roll-Up” videos!

Now that you’ve got the basics down, register here to watch the recording of the full webinar: “What is Low Income Subsidy?” If you want more information on this important topic, you can check out this article on our blog. Finally, to see what types of programs are available in your state, click here.

Still not sure where to go from here? Call RBI at 1-800-997-3107 and speak with one of our experienced team! We have lots of resources to get your on your way!

2018 Anthem Certification
2018 Amerigroup Certification
Cigna-Healthspring Sanctions Lifted
Humana certification

Build Momentum in 2017

Take Action Tuesday: weekly action items to build a stronger business

Build Momentum in 2017

— From the Desk of Bob Bever

I hope you took a few days off over the holidays to enjoy your family and to relax after AEP. It’s hard to believe it’s January already, and time to put that momentum from AEP to work! Let’s hit the ground running!  Here’s what I focus on this time of year:

Reach out to clients:

I usually give my clients a call over the holiday season or early January, especially new clients. New clients often run into challenges in January when their plan becomes effective, and it’s important that your clients know that you’re here for them. For any existing clients that are already on your books, it’s still essential to touch base with them to wish them happy holidays, and thank them for their business. In every call to my clients, I remind them that I am here as a resource for any family member or friend who has questions about Medicare. Above all, I know that a simple phone call will keep my name fresh in everyone’s minds — it is a personal touch that will keep my business on the books and will generate more business.

Plan the coming year:

The other target of my attention in the beginning of the year is putting together a business plan. I consider the following questions. How much income do I want to make? How many sales do I want to generate? Am I currently on target to meet these goals? I have found that it is ill advised to only do your best during AEP, and plan your financial goals for the year around AEP. Instead, as a self-employed professional, I come up with a monthly quota of sales or income for myself, and plan daily goals to hit those numbers.

Expand business lines:

As part of my new plan moving forward into the New Year, I take a look at my portfolio. Am I contracted with the most popular carriers in my area for Medicare Supplements?  Have I diversified my portfolio with Medicare-related products like Hospital Indemnity?  Often times with Supplements, the choices come down to money spent, so see if you are contracted with competitive carriers. Do the same thing with Hospital Indemnity products like GTL or Medico. Hospital Indemnity plans especially are becoming more important because the cost of hospital visits are skyrocketing.

Get involved in the community:

A lot of people are looking for an expert to help their parents and their friends’ parents with Medicare. An age group that often gets overlooked is those who are between 45-50. People who are in this age group often have parents, aunts, uncles or friends that are turning 65, and know nothing about Medicare. Becoming the go-to expert for these people starts with community involvement. I focus my efforts on food banks, church and social clubs for Medicare 101 presentations, and build my relationship with social workers, as well.

Do you have a plan for your business for this New Year?  If not, it’s time to get started!

If you need help creating a plan and breaking it down into achievable daily chunks, we have the best organization in the country to help you out! Get in touch with our marketing and sales team at 1-800-997-3107, and build momentum with RBI’s MAPS method for success!

Upcoming Events: