Posts

MA-OEP is back!

Medicare cost-sharing

Charlie Ferrell, National Sales Manager

About the Author: Charlie started his senior insurance career after a brief 30-year stint in the restaurant industry. In the 12 years since then, he has been blazing trails and setting standards for excellence all over! A native of Utah, he has been a state manager for RBI as well as an MGA for UHC, Coventry, Molina and other carriers! Charlie came to RBI as the National Sales Manager in 2015, and has been dubbed the “Medicare Encyclopedia” our staff and agents alike. Charlie specializes in the Dual-Eligible market and is leading the charge behind many of RBI’s new training initiatives!

MA-OEP is Back!

Beginning this year the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have given Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries an additional enrollment period called the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA-OEP.)

What this means for Beneficiaries

Each year, starting on January 1st, Medicare Advantage members will be able to make a one time plan change through March 31st of each year.

Agents that have been around for a while remember that the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) was critical for people who failed to change plans during the Annual Election Period or those who made the wrong choice and only realized it when they tried to use their plan in January. This new enrollment period helps protect beneficiaries who may only look at how their co-insurance and co-pays are changing, but may not realize that their doctor will no longer be accepting the Insurance/Plan they haveIt also gives us another three months of selling to increase our customer base.

It’s in your and your Client’s best interest

For new agents who have yet to experience an OEP, you might be scared that all your your new clients could leave and all of your commissions would be charged back and … you would be right! This puts more burden on you the agent to put them in the correct plan in the first place, which is a good thing if you ask me! Make sure you call your clients the first week in January and find out if their plan is working correctly for them. OEP gives you a chance to correct plans if you find out that your client’s doctors are no longer in network after the first of the year. It also allows YOU to market yourself and gain new clients from those agents that are not returning phone calls or following up on their clients needs.

How does OEP protect your business?

It never fails that I have someone call me after December 7th saying they want to sign up for the plan now and I have to tell them “It’s too late, you are locked into your current plan until the end of next year unless you move out of the county.” Even worse is the client that calls me in January looking for my help and another agent put them on a different plan just to make a commission. I have had it happen. An agent “stopped by” just to go over her Medicare even though she told them she had an agent and was already signed up. Next thing you know they are on a different plan and I can’t help them. OEP gives you the chance to keep that business and allows you inoculate your clients from agents that want to poach your business. It forces you to do your job… or someone else will do it for you!

21st Century Cures Act

The 21st Century Cures Act allows all Medicare beneficiaries one change during OEP. The law also prohibits carriers from advertising to consumers to utilize the OEP to change plans. It’s up to us to educate our clients and potential clients of the upcoming changes. If you have a penchant for reading ridiculously long and boring Congressional Statutes, then you can read about this new law in its entirety right here!

Keep up to date with the latest in Medicare news by subscribing to our blog on the right hand side of your screen! 



2020 ahip discount certification
Medicare cost-sharing
2019 Medicare Broker Compensation

MA-OEP is back!

Medicare cost-sharing

Charlie Ferrell, National Sales Manager

About the Author: Charlie started his senior insurance career after a brief 30-year stint in the restaurant industry. In the 12 years since then, he has been blazing trails and setting standards for excellence all over! A native of Utah, he has been a state manager for RBI as well as an MGA for UHC, Coventry, Molina and other carriers! Charlie came to RBI as the National Sales Manager in 2015, and has been dubbed the “Medicare Encyclopedia” our staff and agents alike. Charlie specializes in the Dual-Eligible market and is leading the charge behind many of RBI’s new training initiatives!

MA-OEP is Back!

Beginning this year the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have given Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries an additional enrollment period called the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA-OEP.)

What this means for Beneficiaries

Each year, starting on January 1st, Medicare Advantage members will be able to make a one time plan change through March 31st of each year.

Agents that have been around for a while remember that the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) was critical for people who failed to change plans during the Annual Election Period or those who made the wrong choice and only realized it when they tried to use their plan in January. This new enrollment period helps protect beneficiaries who may only look at how their co-insurance and co-pays are changing, but may not realize that their doctor will no longer be accepting the Insurance/Plan they haveIt also gives us another three months of selling to increase our customer base.

It’s in your and your Client’s best interest

For new agents who have yet to experience an OEP, you might be scared that all your your new clients could leave and all of your commissions would be charged back and … you would be right! This puts more burden on you the agent to put them in the correct plan in the first place, which is a good thing if you ask me! Make sure you call your clients the first week in January and find out if their plan is working correctly for them. OEP gives you a chance to correct plans if you find out that your client’s doctors are no longer in network after the first of the year. It also allows YOU to market yourself and gain new clients from those agents that are not returning phone calls or following up on their clients needs.

How does OEP protect your business?

It never fails that I have someone call me after December 7th saying they want to sign up for the plan now and I have to tell them “It’s too late, you are locked into your current plan until the end of next year unless you move out of the county.” Even worse is the client that calls me in January looking for my help and another agent put them on a different plan just to make a commission. I have had it happen. An agent “stopped by” just to go over her Medicare even though she told them she had an agent and was already signed up. Next thing you know they are on a different plan and I can’t help them. OEP gives you the chance to keep that business and allows you inoculate your clients from agents that want to poach your business. It forces you to do your job… or someone else will do it for you!

21st Century Cures Act

The 21st Century Cures Act allows all Medicare beneficiaries one change during OEP. The law also prohibits carriers from advertising to consumers to utilize the OEP to change plans. It’s up to us to educate our clients and potential clients of the upcoming changes. If you have a penchant for reading ridiculously long and boring Congressional Statutes, then you can read about this new law in its entirety right here!

Keep up to date with the latest in Medicare news by subscribing to our blog on the right hand side of your screen! 



2020 ahip discount certification
Medicare cost-sharing
2019 Medicare Broker Compensation

AEP: What to do Now?

AEP: What to do Now! Q&A Webinar

Join us on Thursday, October 4th, to take part in our “AEP: What to do Now?” Q&A session!

This session is for any and all agents and that want some useful tips and tricks about generating new business, cross-selling, and more! During this Q&A, you’ll have the opportunity to ask our panel of experts the questions you REALLY need answered.

To ask questions and participate, you’ll need the following:

  1. Access to an internet connection and computer (or mobile)
  2. A phone or microphone to call in with
  3. Questions you need answering!

 

AEP Final Check-in

Join us on Thursday, September 20th, to take part in “AEP Final Check-in” Q&A session!

This session is for any and all agents and will be centered around last minute preparations before AEP is here! During this Q&A, you’ll have the opportunity to ask our panel of experts the questions you REALLY need answered.

To ask questions and participate, you’ll need the following:

  1. Access to an internet connection and computer (or mobile)
  2. A phone or microphone to call in with
  3. Questions you need answering!

 

S.S.D.Y. – Same Stuff Different Year – Here’s Your 2019 AEP Checklist

S.S.D.Y. – Same Stuff Different Year

Getting Ready for 2019 AEP & OEP – Agent Success Checklist



RBI Senior Sales Coordinator/Independent Agent: James Gramp

With his signature common sense, quiet good humor, and brilliant customer service, Jim is the other half of the RBI phone answering dynamic duo! An Arizona native, Jim manages agent relationships for the East Coast and specializes in the RBI agent tools, especially the Agent Market Edge. Jim has been a licensed health insurance agent for over a year, and has worked at RBI for 3 years. An accomplished bassoonist, he is known around the office for his amazing musical skills. In addition to keeping busy around the office, Jim frequently contributes to our blog, bringing a new agent’s perspective to the RBI online presence.

Hooray, it’s that time of year again where agents spend hours blankly staring at their computers – Medicare Certification Season! Cue the collective groan from agents across the US. That’s why I’m here, to give you a handy 2019 AEP Checklist to get you ready for a successful Annual Enrollment Period!

It’s very important that you get your ducks in a row EARLY! Waiting until September to complete your AHIP and product certifications is a sure-fire way to increase stress levels this fall. The closer it gets to AEP, the more bogged down carriers get with processing new contracts, background checks, and product certifications.

Speaking from personal experience, I’ve seen it take as long as 4 weeks for agents to receive their “Ready to Sell” status after completing their product certifications. There’s nothing more frustrating than losing a sale just because you were still waiting to show up as “Ready to Sell.”

Without Further Ado, Here is Your 2019 AEP Checklist!


AHIP

That dirty four-letter word that spikes agent’s blood pressure far and wide. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary evil in our industry and is required to sell Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans. If you’re an agent that doesn’t sell MA, then I have news for you – You’re Leaving Money on The Table! Read my Blog Post from last year to learn why you should consider adding MA plans to your portfolio. Quick update, there are now over 21 million Medicare Advantage members compared to roughly 14 million Medicare supplement members nationwide.

Haven’t taken your AHIP yet? Follow this AHIP link to receive your $50 discount… But wait, there’s more!

Picking up Additional Products

Now is the time carriers are releasing first-look benefit information for the 2019 plan year. Head on over to our Events Calendar to register for our upcoming webinars. Curious to find out how these carriers stack up in your market? I’m just one phone call away!

Carrier Certifications

2019 Medicare AEP Certifications RBI

More online testing and certifications! Are you excited yet? No? Not sure when each of the carriers are launching their certifications, head on over to our 2019 Carrier Certification page. You’ll be able to see when all the 2019 Medicare Advantage Certifications are released.

Certainly don’t wait until the last week in September to do these! If you’re not marked as “Ready-to-Sell,” you will not be able to pick up any sales kits or marketing materials for the upcoming Annual Enrollment Period.

Evaluate your FMO Relationship

evaluate you FMO Medicare Advantage

If your FMO isn’t holding up their end of the bargain by providing you the support you need to grow your Medicare book of business, then now is the perfect time to re-evaluate that relationship. If your Field Marketing Organization doesn’t provide anything in the way of marketing support, they’re really just a Field Organization. The bottom line is, your FMO should work for You! These are things you should consider when choosing who to work with.

  • Sales training + coaching
  • Marketing support
  • Compliance support
  • Accessibility

“If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.”

The most successful agents don’t go into AEP flying by the seat of their pants. At RBI, we develop marketing plans with our agents the M.A.P.S. way. Your marketing plan should be Measurable, Actionable, Profitable, and Scalable. Check out my blog post that I linked to above to learn more about the M.A.P.S. method for success.

A lot of agents I speak with only look for referrals from their existing book of business but are totally ignoring a HUGE opportunity, getting referrals within your community.  The easiest place you can start is your very own doctor’s office.  If you’ve ever wondered how an agent is able to be successful in this industry without breaking the bank by purchasing leads, here’s your answer: Community Marketing.  Not sure how, or where to start?  Check out my blog post, “Building Your Referral Network” and download the free white paper where I demonstrate how to get started!

AEP + OEP

With our selling season lasting almost three times as long than in previous years – OEP lasts from January 1st through March 31st, now is the time to start planning! You’re probably thinking, “wow, that’s a lot to think about.” That’s because it IS a lot to think about. But, if you really want to be successful in this business, then don’t let another Annual Enrollment Period pass you by without doing everything in your power to make it happen!

RB Insurance Group has the tools, marketing support, and most importantly, the expertise to turn you into a Medicare selling machine.

Give me a call today to learn all about how we do things differently than our competitors! (800)-997-3107 .



2020 ahip discount certification
OEP
Medicare cost-sharing

AEP Marketing: How to Execute a Successful Plan

Join us on Thursday, August 16th, to take part in AEP Marketing Q&A webinar session!

This session is for any and all agents and will be centered around successful AEP Marketing plans. During this Q&A, you’ll have the opportunity to ask our panel of experts the questions you REALLY need answered.

To ask questions and participate, you’ll need the following:

  1. Access to an internet connection and computer (or mobile)
  2. A phone or microphone to call in with
  3. Questions you need answering!

 

Stress Free AEP Planning

Join RBI on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 for this must-watch webinar: “Stress Free AEP Planning!”

Learn how to eliminate the stress, fear and anxiety of certification and AEP planning.

 

Certification and AEP Planning

Here’s what you will learn:

  • How to decide on additional products for 2019
  • Setting a realistic deadline for being AEP-ready
  • What certifications you need and when to take them
  • Plan your AEP Sales and lead generation
  • Build a working strategy to make this AEP your best yet!

 

Don’t Plan to Fail this AEP

Medicare SEP

About the Author: With his signature common sense, quiet good humor, and brilliant customer service, Jim is an integral part of the RBI team — we’d go so far as to say we’d be lost without him! An Arizona native, Jim manages agent relationships for the East Coast and specializes in the RBI agent tools, especially the Agent Market Edge. Jim has been a licensed health insurance agent for 2 years, and has worked at RBI for almost 3 years. An accomplished bassoonist, he is known around the office for his amazing musical skills. In addition to keeping busy around the office, Jim frequently contributes to our blog, bringing a new agent’s perspective to the RBI online presence.

Don’t plan to Fail this AEP

You may have heard the phrase, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” And you’ve also probably heard that “with great power comes great responsibility.” But I bet you haven’t heard the phrase, “with great planning and hard work comes great success.” That’s because I just made it up and it doesn’t flow as nicely. You can’t just expect to have a successful AEP without putting an ounce of thought into how you’re going to make that happen (much like the phrase I just came up with). Being a Medicare broker that offers a complete portfolio of products means having to comply with many regulations, including the Medicare Marketing Guidelines. Being in violation of these guidelines could cost you your Health Insurance License so it’s crucial that while you start putting together a plan, you remain compliant in marketing for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans.

AEPBuild your Portfolio

Unless you are a super hero and always happen to luck your way into a successful Annual Enrollment Period, we mere mortals will have to stick to smart planning and hard work. This means having the products you’ll need in your portfolio that allows you to sell to at least 80% of the prospects you meet. Justin Bever, RBI Director of Marketing, gave a great workshop earlier in the year about the “Power of the Portfolio”. I would HIGHLY recommend giving it a look, especially if you intend to make a career in the Medicare market. Click here to watch the recording!

Medicare Advantage

As far as Medicare Advantage is concerned you want to make sure you have different carriers and plan types to offer beneficiaries. I always like to have a few competitive HMO’s, a good PPO option, a DSNP, plus any CSNP’s that are available. It’s your job to research the plans available in your market and determine which ones are likely to be competitive. Four things about all MA plans to consider are Network, Formulary, MOOP and cost sharing. If you need help deciding which carriers you need in your market, ask us, WE CAN HELP! Typically carriers will start to release ‘sneak peeks’ of their plan offerings for the new year towards the end of summer (July/August-ish).

Medicare Supplements

It seems like there’s as many Medicare Supplement carriers as there are stars in the sky. When looking at which Medicare Supplement carriers to add to your portfolio, rates aren’t the only thing you should be looking at. You’ll want to see what their outlook as a company is by using the market analytics in our quoting tool. You will want to look for companies that have been more stable with their rates and have a substantial number of lives insured in case the carrier has a bad year in claims. Click here to watch a demo of what RBI’s quoting software can do! 

Discounted AHIP and Carrier Certification

You will also need to take and pass the AHIP certification or an equivalent test. Just like the past two years RB Insurance will be offering all agents a $50 discount off your AHIP exam, all you need to do is subscribe to our blog and register for the AHIP with using the RBI link. Additionally, all RBI agents had the opportunity to be completely reimbursed. The AHIP exam is usually released the third week in June, so be sure to keep your eyes on the look out for our discount to be released in the coming weeks. Shortly after AHIP is released, carriers generally release their roll out schedule and let us know when we can begin the carrier certification process as well.

Goals – the Start of any Serious Plan

Like I said earlier, you can’t expect to have a great AEP without a plan in place. At RBI we develop marketing plans with our agents the M.A.P.S. way. Your plan should be Measurable, Actionable, Profitable, and Scalable. I’ll be doing a more in-depth article strictly about developing a marketing plan, but the basics of building a good plan starts with a goal. Long-term goals like, “I want to buy a Mercedes” are great, but I’m talking short term. Specifically, how many sales or how much money do you want to get out of the upcoming AEP. Who knows, maybe you’ll hit your long-term goal sooner than expected.

Brainstorming with agents on how they can grow their Medicare business is part of my job, so if you have any questions about how RBI can help you get started or grow your book of business, then give me a call directly at 1-800-997-3107!

2020 ahip discount certification
2019 AHIP
2019 Medicare Broker Compensation

2018 Sales Champion Summit Wrap-up

Join Charlie Ferrell, RBI’s National Sales Manager for this webinar: “2018 Sales Champion Summit Wrap-up!”

 

Calling all agents that want to increase their sales and revenue this open enrollment period! If you couldn’t make the 2018 Sales Champion Summit yesterday, it’s a great time to catch up on all the highlights!

 

Learn how to have your best AEP yet!

 

Want to get started? Click the button below to register.

 

 

Interested in building a partnership? Check out some of our fantastic incentives and amazing tools for contracted agents. Then click here to get started with our Fast-Track Contracting!

Reboot: Agent Market Edge Basics!

Join us on August 23 for our Webinar Wednesday: “Reboot: Agent Market Edge Basics!”

This reboot goes over all the latest AEP updates for 2018! The Agent Market Edge is our internet-based portal that streamlines purchasing marketing collateral from our print and fulfillment partners.  Get an in-depth look into the many features and benefits of the AME and learn how use it to increase your marketing!

This training will cover:

  • Basic introduction to the Agent Market Edge
  • Easily keeping track of your marketing credits
  • View full list of products and unique pricing available to contracted agents
  • Learn where to find special deals on featured packages
  • Uploading your own templates
  • Latest 2018 AEP discounts and opportunities

If you are a contracted agent and want to learn more about using the free Agent Market Edge portal, this training is for you! Not yet contracted? Click here to get started and join the training to find out more about RBI Agent Tools!

2018 Cigna-Healthspring Sneak Peek Webinar

Join RBI’s National Sales Manager, Charlie Ferrell, for this great webinar: “2018 Cigna-Healthspring Sneak Peek Webinar.”

Are you ready for open enrollment?  We are starting to get excited for all the great new things this year’s AEP will bring! Join this webinar and get a first look at Cigna-Healthspring’s benefits and more!

 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • 2018 Sneak Peek of Benefits
  • Contracting with Cigna-Healthspring

 

Note: For Licensed Health Producers Use Only.

 

Want to attend?  Use the button below to register.

 

Events

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