The Latest Updates from HCSC

General Updates from HCSC

Feb. 15 Deadline for SEP Training and Affirmation; Required for Compensation
Writing producers selling BCBSIL qualified health plans as a result of a special enrollment period (SEP) must complete their annual SEP training. Follow these steps by Feb. 15, 2019 to qualify for SEP commissions:

  1. Complete the SEP training.
  2. Log in to Blue Access for ProducersSM. Log in using your own nine-digit producer number and password, not that of your agency’s. The affirmation must be made by the writing producer.
  3. Select “Producer Services” at the top of the page and click on the “SEP Training Affirmation” link.
  4. Read the affirmation language and click on the green “Submit” button.

SEP Training Affirmations Recorded by NPN; Affirm Just Once

Note that SEP training affirmations made in Blue Access for Producers are recorded by National Producer Number (NPN). If you are a multi-state producer, you only need to affirm once. You don’t have to log in to each state's Blue Access for Producers site and affirm multiple times. Once will do. After you affirm your training, be sure to keep the “Service Request” ticket confirmation number for your records.

Use the Initial Premium Submission Overview Chart

The premium payment for the first month of coverage for on- and off-exchange qualified health plans must be paid for an application to effectuate. New applicants should follow the instructions on their initial premium billing notices when making their first payment.

See their overview chart for details on how and where new applicants can pay.

BCBS IL

Reminder: BCBSIL Plans Significant Behavioral Health Enhancements in 2019

In July, BCBSIL will begin rolling out behavioral health enhancements. Learn about the changes and attend the Jan. 29 webinar.

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BCBS NM

Reminder: Earn Up to $65 with Their Medicare Supplement Bonus

The 2018/2019 Medicare Supplement Bonus Program runs through March 31, 2019. The greater the number of Medicare Supplement policies sold, the greater the payout per policy. Review the program details.

BCBS OK

Negotiations to Keep OU Medical Center In-Network Continue

BCBS OK is continuing to work diligently with the OU Medical Center to keep them in their networks and are encouraged by the progress being made. They are hopeful that a mutually beneficial agreement will be reached.

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BCBS TX

Reminder: BCBSTX Plans Significant Behavioral Health Enhancements in 2019

In July, BCBSTX will begin rolling out behavioral health enhancements. Learn about the changes and attend the Feb. 7 webinar.

Read More

This is neither legal nor accounting advice. If you have questions, please consult a lawyer or accountant. The information included in this post was provided by the entity referenced herein.

Filed under: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas, Health Care Service Corporation

The Latest Updates from Cigna Supplemental Benefits

2020 Agent Trip

Earlier this week Cigna announced that their 2020 Sales Convention will be held in the beautiful European country, Monaco! 

Come with Cigna to the famed Monte Carlo Casino, dive into the Mediterranean, roam the famed F1 racecourse, and explore the Musee Oceanographique.  The contest period begins March 2019.  Your other life is waiting, in Monaco.

Your Other Life is Here

Changes for 2019

ExpressTXT Change

As of January 1, 2019, Cigna Supplemental Benefits is no longer offering ExpressTXT. All of Cigna’s on-the-go quoting is already available on ExpressQuote, which includes CSB products.

Ditch the paper rate sheets and quote anywhere with their user-friendly mobile interface. If you are not already using ExpressQuote make sure to check out their informational flyer.

Express Scripts is now a part of Cigna

Cigna is excited to announce that Express Scripts is now part of Cigna. They look forward to creating a more sustainable model of health care as a global total health and well-being company.

At this time, there are no changes to broker or customer service. As Cigna moves forward, they will continue to keep you informed of any changes that may impact you or your customers.

Set Sail for 2019

Start 2019 off right and take advantage of the last 2 months of opportunities to qualify for Bermuda!

Cigna is inviting their top producers to join them for the 2019 Agent Incentive Trip from June 20-24, 2019.  As a reminder, there is no cap on the number of qualifiers, reach the required level and they’ll see you (and a guest) on the beach in Bermuda!

Find out more about Bermuda, the Fairmont Southampton and how you can qualify to join Cigna in 2019. For a complete list of trip rules and qualifications, visit AgentView

Agents: Sales Incentive Programs

Cigna’s Final Expense Incentive

Make sure you take full advantage of their bonus program!  You can earn a bonus by selling Cigna Final Expense.  Earn $450 when you sell $3,000 in issued annualized premium per month of final expense.  That’s over $5,000 a year when you qualify every month.  Find out how to qualify.

CHLIC Availability

Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC) is now available in the following states: AL, AZ, CO, CT, GA, IA, ID, IN, IL, KY, KS, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NV, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT and WI.

Check out their product availability chart to see all of the products available in your state.  Order new materials now, by visiting AgentView.

Rate Adjustments

ARLIC Rate Adjustments

American Retirement Life Insurance Company (ARLIC) Medicare Supplement insurance plans are experiencing rate adjustments in the following states:

  • 12/1/2018 – Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming
  • 1/1/2019 – Mississippi
  • 2/1/2019 – Georgia, Illinois, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Wisconsin

Preview the ARLIC rate adjustments in each state listed above.

CHLIC Rate Adjustments

Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC) Medicare Supplement insurance plans are experiencing rate adjustments in the following states:

  • 12/1/2018 – Illinois, Mississippi. South Carolina
  • 1/1/2019 – Georgia, Indiana, Missouri

Preview the CHLIC rate adjustments in each state listed above.

Loyal Rate Adjustments

Loyal American Life Insurance Company (Loyal) Medicare Supplement insurance plans are experiencing rate adjustments in the following states:

  • 2/1/2019 – Oregon

Preview the Loyal rate adjustments in each state listed above.

All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including American Retirement Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company and Loyal American Life Insurance Company. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc.

This is neither legal nor accounting advice. If you have questions, please consult a lawyer or accountant. The information included in this post was provided by the entity referenced herein.

Filed under: Cigna Supplemental Benefits

GoHealth Is ISO 27001 Certified (Again!)

ISO 27001

For a 3rd year in a row, GoHealth has passed its ISO 27001 audit.

What does this represent for agents and brokers?

This internationally-recognized certification demonstrates GoHealth’s commitment to information security and the protection of assets and information governance. The certification was performed by Schellman, an Accredited Certification Body based in the United States.

In short, agents and brokers can remain as confident as ever that their data is safe with us.

What is the ISO?

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 162 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

What are the benefits of ISO International Standards?

ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity. They help companies to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade.

Verify here.

Filed under: News

2018 Open Enrollment: Shortened Window!

Open Enrollment

Did you know? There is a significant change coming our way this 2018 Open Enrollment.

The 2018 Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017 (Healthcare.gov). That is 6 weeks LESS than the 2017 Open Enrollment Period which ran from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017. In other words, your time to enroll consumers in a health plan went from 3 months down to just 45 days.

Why this change from CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)? CMS explains this final rule, known as the “Market Stabilization” rule, should help lower premiums, stabilize individual and small group markets, and increase choices for Americans in the 2018 health insurance market. Additionally, the adjusted dates will better align with Medicare and the private market, encouraging individuals to enroll in coverage prior to the beginning of the year.

ThinkAdvisor.com even notes how CMS officials believe the shorter 2018 enrollment period and tighter SEP eligibility verification rules will improve the quality of the risk pool and help persuade insurers to stay in the individual market.

So how does this increase choices for your clients? For one, the adjusted time will allow issuers additional actuarial value flexibility to develop more choices with lower premium options for consumers, and to continue offering existing plans.

How do you plan on tackling the new open enrollment period? What is your strategy for success? Let us know! Shoot us an email at bizdev@gohealth.com to start the conversation and set up a time to discuss how we can work together this 2018 open enrollment period.

Filed under: News

Fixed Indemnity: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

fixed indemnity

It’s no secret to agents and brokers that there’s a high level of uncertainty when it comes to the individual health market. It is not uncommon for agents and brokers to approach the individual health insurance market with caution as details surrounding the future of the ACA unfold.

Due to this uncertainty, agents and brokers who primarily write major medical plans may find themselves exploring alternative or additional products to offer clients. According to ThinkAdvisor.com, changes to the ACA may result in altered or lessened restrictions for things like supplemental health products. Additionally, if the federal government decides to discontinue mandating that individuals obtain health coverage, employers may consider dropping their major medical coverage, allowing supplemental health benefits to then fill the gaps left in major medical coverage. So, what would this change mean to agents and brokers? What should you do while waiting for the final decision on health care bills?

It helps to first understand your options and do your research on supplemental health products. One product in particular we recommend you learn more about? Fixed indemnity products.

BenefitsPro defines fixed indemnity products as supplemental health insurance products with pre-determined lump sums to pay for certain medical expenses, regardless of how much the provider charges.

Because the benefit is preset and paid out regardless of what the total bill for the qualified service might be, it may also be called “fixed benefit insurance” or “fee for service insurance,” as pointed out by UHC (UnitedHealthcare). Given that all health insurance plans have out-of-pocket costs, (i.e. deductibles, coinsurance, or copays), the consumer can utilize their fixed indemnity plan that pays a predetermined amount of money for any qualified medical services.

While fixed benefit insurance pays a certain amount per covered service, it’s important to remember that the benefits provided are limited. Here are a few things it does not cover:

  • It is not major medical insurance.
  • It does not provide the mandated coverage necessary to avoid penalty under the ACA.
  • It does not provide coverage from expenses resulting from any preexisting medical conditions.

Why does GoHealth suggest you consider a fixed indemnity product? A few reasons:

  • Something is better than nothing: ACA instability, the lack of carriers, and the new Short Term limitations imposed on April 1st, 2017 have left few options for consumers to purchase. Fixed benefits are making a strong push into the individual market, and in some cases, may be the only thing available to provide coverage to consumers if they don’t qualify for a SEP (special enrollment period).
  • Affordability: Fixed benefit plans are a more financially beneficial option in some cases (even when factoring in a potential tax penalty), and as we all know, the number one thing on consumers’ minds when purchasing insurance is cost!
  • Access to healthcare network: Everyone wants to be first in line and no one wants to wait. Have you ever been to the ER without insurance? Not only will costs skyrocket without any type of insurance (no network discounts), but you will be deprioritized based on the fact that you don’t have insurance. Hospitals and doctors know what they will be paid if a consumer has an insurance card, while it’s a more of a gamble if they don’t. Fixed benefit plans give you the access you need to ensure health services within a timely manner.
  • Simplicity: Fixed benefit plans are laid out very simply compared to a standard major medical policy with deductibles and coinsurance. If you go to the doctor, the plan pays $X if you get hospitalized, and the plan pays $Y for each day. It is very easy for a consumer to grasp how the plan works!

Are you interested in offering fixed indemnity products? Or perhaps want to learn more about how these products can benefit your clients while also expanding your portfolio? GoHealth is happy to answer your questions! Email bizdev@gohealth.com today to learn more.

Filed under: News

ACA Challenges & Our Advice to Agents

As a leader in the industry since being founded in 2001, GoHealth knows a thing or two about the ups and downs of the insurance industry. This year is no different; we’ve seen significant industry changes and ACA challenges, from rising premiums to declining sales commissions.

We recognize that these changes present unique challenges to agents. But fear not! We have advice on how to take these so-called challenges and turn them into opportunities for growth.

GoHealth’s Advice to Agents

Target Carriers and States with High Commission.

  • Examples: Anthem, Molina, HCSC

Expected commissions from each of these carriers are in line with previous commissions or are higher than previous years due to the increase in premiums. In addition, by adding each of these carriers you are immediately equipped to sell in over 20 states!

Target Areas with Low Competition.

  • Examples: Illinois, Florida, Oklahoma

Oklahoma only has a single carrier (HCSC), Illinois has traditionally been a state dominated by HCSC based on networks, and Molina is the lowest priced silver plan in Florida, a market with less competition than usual!

Cross Sell! Cross Sell! Cross Sell!

Our suggestion? Consider selling ancillary products, such as SecureAssist!

SecureAssist products lowers consumers’ costs, alleviating the burden of paying their entire deductible out-of-pocket. They’ll receive critical illness protection and a cash benefit if they incur a medical expense, saving them from out-of-pocket expenses!

In addition, consumers will have 24/7 access to doctors via phone or online chat, a personal healthcare concierge team, an extensive discount network for prescription medications and dental/vision services, and identity theft recovery services.

Major Changes Are Coming: Get Ready for Brokers to Serve a Greater Purpose in Coming Years.

All indications show that insurers are beginning to find ways to become profitable during OEP. We expect that trend to continue, which will create more need for brokers.

Save Money on Enrollment Solutions. Sell More Efficiently without Breaking the Bank!

Email sales@gohealth.com now to sign up with our new low rate!

Filed under: News

AEP Reminders & How to Take Advantage of This Short Window

October 15, 2016.

This marked the start of the Annual Election Period, and when agents could start selling over-65 health insurance plans. Have you hit the ground running?

If you haven’t, there’s still time—but you must act fast. While the Annual Election Period window is short (October 15 – December 7, 2016), it presents a significant opportunity to write a lot of business!

As a reminder, here are 3 reasons why you should sell Medicare this Annual Election Period:

  1. Longer policy duration than under-65 plans
  2. Higher lifetime value and worth 7 x’s more (on average) than a major medical policy
  3. According to CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid increased to 119 million in 2014, and it could rise again to 150 million in 2025.

Help Aging Seniors Get the Coverage They Need1.

While individuals are not required to re-enroll in Medicare each year, Agents can review, change, and expand plans if needed. Once individuals have Medicare Parts A & B, you can begin explaining Medicare coverage options and guide them through the enrollment process to help them find the coverage that’s right for their unique needs.

During This Time Period, You Can Assist Consumers with the Following1:

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
  • Change Medicare Advantage plans
  • Find a new Medicare Advantage plan that offers prescription drug coverage
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug plan
  • Switch from one Prescription Drug plan to another

REMEMBER! You must complete your AHIP Certification before you can sell.

GoHealth Has the Solutions You Need to Hit the Ground Running This AEP.

  1. Certification Guides
    • AHIP and carrier-specific guides to aid in navigating seemingly complicated certification processes
  2. Compliance Resources/Job Aids
    • Guides and trainers available to teach agents the CMS-compliant processes for meeting with consumers, presenting their options and facilitating their enrollments
  3. Lead Sourcing Expertise
    • Industry-leading knowledge in senior-lead sourcing options

Contact GoHealth today to get moving!

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

Sources: 1. “When Can I Join a Health or Drug Plan?” Medicare.gov: The Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.

Filed under: News

The Annual Election Period Is Almost Here!

The Medicare Annual Election Period is upon us! Are you prepared?

For your over-65 consumers, the annual election period is critical for reviewing and changing plans.

For agents, the annual election period is crucial for maintaining your book of business and increasing your income! Medicare products offer a higher lifetime value, a longer payback period than under-65 plans, and are worth 7x’s more (on average) than a major medical policy.

Curious about the future of Medicare enrollments? According to CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid increased to 119 million in 2014, and it could rise again to 150 million in 2025. This, and the fact that Medicare is by far and wide a more stable market than under-65 right now, should be all the reason you need to get involved.

For a successful AEP, be sure to review the important dates and reminders below!

Annual Election Period

Ready to take on this Annual Election Period? Contact GoHealth to get started (before it’s too late)!

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

Filed under: News

Open Enrollment for 2017 Health Insurance: Dates & Reminders

The Open Enrollment Period for 2017 health insurance coverage is fast approaching.

Do you know when Open Enrollment begins and when it ends?

Here are a few important dates and reminders you should know:

Open Enrollment Dates and Reminders

For a successful Open Enrollment Period, you should schedule a free demo of the GoHealth Marketplace (our user-friendly shopping and enrollment technology), consider purchasing health and senior insurance leads (delivered right to you), and subscribe to our newly renovated agent newsletter, the GoHealth Industry Insider (delivering the latest news and trends, announcements, technology updates, and more)!

Filed under: News

Open Enrollment for 2017 Health Insurance: Dates & Reminders

The Open Enrollment Period for 2017 health insurance coverage is fast approaching.

Do you know when Open Enrollment begins and when it ends?

Here are a few important dates and reminders you should know:

Open Enrollment Dates and Reminders

For a successful Open Enrollment Period, you should schedule a free demo of the GoHealth Marketplace (our user-friendly shopping and enrollment technology), consider purchasing health and senior insurance leads (delivered right to you), and subscribe to our newly renovated agent newsletter, the GoHealth Industry Insider (delivering the latest news and trends, announcements, technology updates, and more)!

Filed under: News