As the National Sales Manager, I have spent countless hours on the road, teaching agents, conducting training sessions, and hosting recruiting events. I have realized that, no matter how diverse my audiences may be, certain things are universal- such as the unmistakable way my audience’s eyes glaze over as soon as I mention Hospital Indemnity plans. Most agents understand Indemnity plans in theory. They also agree that it is important to include a variety of ancillary products in their portfolio. But when it comes down to it, the majority of agents do not bother to pitch Indemnity plans to their clients. Whether they don’t fully recognize the value, or the flat out don’t know how to sell it- RBI is here to help!
“Never leave money sitting on the table.” The old sales adage rings true. If you are not selling your clients an indemnity policy to complement their low-premium Medicare Advantage plan, that is EXACTLY what you are doing! Indemnity plans are extremely affordable, and you will quickly become your client’s hero once he or she experiences the benefits after that first hospital visit.
The primary concern of my Medicare Advantage clients is often, “How on earth will I pay for a hospital stay?!” I have also had several clients who grew frustrated with the high cost of Medicare Supplements, yet were afraid to switch to Medicare Advantage with their higher Hospital co-pays.. In either case, my solution was to enroll them into a low-premium (or no-premium) Medicare Advantage plan, along with a hospital indemnity plan for added coverage.
I never sign up a client for the “bare minimum.” It is better to have more coverage and not need it – than to not have it when you need it! Hospital costs continue to rise, and insurance plans evolve, but the health of my clients is generally not improving. I make sure to cover them for a hospital stay a little above and beyond the current hospital copay amounts. I do this because if a higher amount of coverage is needed at a later time, chances are they probably will not be healthy enough to pass the underwriting necessary to increase coverage. So far, not one of my clients has turned down the extra money they received from filing a claim.
RBI offers agents a variety of ancillary product carriers- GTL, Equitable, American Continental and Medico. GTL’s Advantage Plus plan is the only plan with a guaranteed issue period for ages 64 ½ to 65 ½. Bill Ellsworth, Vice President of Equitable, recorded an excellent presentation last year on how to sell hospital indemnity during a Medicare Advantage appointment. Frankly, it is probably the best training example I have ever seen, and I strongly recommend all Equitable agents seek it out on the Equiline broker site. Following Bill’s outline, I am confident you will be able to increase your commissions throughout the year.
Health products are the only products you can discuss during a Medicare appointment. You must make sure your client understands the need as you make your presentation. Show them the holes in their current plan, then fill it with an indemnity policy. All of the indemnity products can be cross-sold during an MA appointment. There is even a “Hospital Indemnity Plan” checkbox on the generic CMS-approved Scope of Appointment form most of us already use.
An Indemnity Webinar Invitation
Join us on Thursday, April 7th at 10:00 am (MST) for a webinar about how to cross sell indemnity products year round to protect your clients and increase your commissions. This is particularly important since carriers are now prorating all MA commissions other than a person that is new to Medicare.
My first insurance sales trainer loved to tell me, “Don’t leave money on the table.” When it comes to coupling hospital indemnity plans with Medicare Advantage, his advice resonates a little louder. Hospital indemnity plans are very affordable for your clients and pay excellent first-year commissions, often in the 50 percent range (Of course, commission varies by states).
Most hospital indemnity plans offer inpatient confinement benefits ranging from $100 to $600 as well as an ER benefit. Depending on the carrier, optional features include benefits for skilled nursing facility days, follow-up appointments, outpatient surgery and even payment for the dreaded observation status. A cancer rider is an important option you can review with clients when discussing hospital indemnity.
Guarantee Trust Life, Equitable and Medico are carriers we are proud to affiliate with and offer to our agents. Just click on our Carriers page for more information or contact us at the number below. For those of you who concentrate on the T-65 market, note that GTL’s Advantage Plus plan is guaranteed issue for ages 64 ½ to 65 ½.
Bill Ellsworth, VP of Equitable, recorded an excellent presentation last year on how to give a good explanation of hospital indemnity during a Medicare Advantage appointment. Frankly, it’s the best training example I’ve seen, and I refer all of our Equitable agents to Bill’s training located on the password-protected Equiline.com broker site. My contact information is below if you’re an Equitable agent and are interested in learning more about Bill’s winning presentation.
In fact, Bill came out to our Arizona office last year to give us additional pointers on presenting Equitable’s EquiCash product. He definitely made me a believer. If you follow Bill’s outline, you should be able to double your MA commission for a surprisingly large number of your AEP and Lock-In appointments.
Cross selling you say! Presenting a hospital indemnity plan with a Medicare Advantage plan is totally compliant with the Medicare Marketing Guidelines.
Hospital indemnity plans are right there on the Scope of Appointment form. If the CMS-approved Scope form you are using does not list hospital indemnity, Medicare Supplements and DVH products, I’ll be glad to email you a copy.
Finally, don’t forget the younger members of the household. Many of these hospital plans are offered from 40-80 years of age. They’re particularly reasonable for the younger folks and can really help fill in those hefty ACA deductibles. Just remember that hospital indemnity coverage is not minimum essential coverage.
For contracting opportunities with GTL, Medico and Equitable, and to receive more useful training content, call RB Insurance at (800) 997 3107 or email me.
Hospital indemnity plans, often referred to as HI, have become a valuable add-on for many Medicare beneficiaries. With Medicare Advantage plans’ increasing copays and coshares, these HI options can be a relatively inexpensive solution for your senior clients. Yet seniors are not the only ones who can benefit from HI — you have the opportunity to sell these plans to younger prospects who are not eligible for Medicare.
Make sure your non-Medicare client is enrolled in a health plan that meets the minimum essential coverage guidelines as defined in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before you write. All Medicare clients enrolled in Medicare Part A or who have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan are deemed to have minimum essential coverage. The on-exchange and off-exchange ACA plans also meet the guidelines, as do most of today’s employee group plans and a limited number of other health plan types.
If your non-Medicare client does not have a plan that complies with the minimum essential coverage guidelines, you should not write him or her a hospital indemnity plan. The carrier will most likely not issue the policy, which would result in a declined application and a disappointed client. An explanation of CMS’ regulation and guidance on the matter is available — start at page 54 after clicking on the link.
RB Insurance works with numerous carriers offering Hospital Indemnity coverage, including GTL, Equitable, Medico and others. Visit our Carriers page to find immediate contracting opportunities.
RB Insurance-affiliated agents can explore the excellent commissions HI can generate with our available online training and one-on-one training. Call (800) 997 3107 or email me for more information.
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