The Element Advantage – a practical, accessible, and affordable Long Term Care Plan

Presented by Michelle Daharsh

A new long term care solution was introduced to the industry in late June of this year. Designed by Genworth, this plan was built around their flagship product – Privileged Choice Flex 3. The concept of Element is to still offer comprehensive coverage for long term care but make the process for the client easier to understand, requires minimal decisions for them to make, offers an expedited process through underwriting, and is designed to reach more of the middle market with affordable coverage. Element features four preset packages and two decisions to make: determine what level of protection your clients want, and for couples, if the optional Shared Coverage benefit is desired.

The four plans available are the Element 25, 50, 75, and 100. These plans correspond with the coverage maximum dollars available of $25,000, $50,000, $75,000 and $100,000. These options allow the client to choose the level of coverage that works best with their needs and budgets. The Element plan still includes monthly reimbursement, 1st day home care, inflation protection of 2% compound, waiver of premium and return of premium up to age 65. The belief of selling smaller, easier to understand coverage packages shouldn’t require the same amount of time and effort as fully customized larger plans. With one underwriting category the new business process is expedited, along with minimal additional requirements being used, thus making the policy coverage available faster for you and your client.

The Element brochure is a helpful sales tool to walk a client through the sales process. It includes the prequalification questions, description of the plan, examples of coverage, and monthly premium rates. So if you don’t have access to the internet or quoting software you can still provide your client a monthly price!

Take a look at your book of business and see which of your clients decided against Long Term Care coverage because of premium cost. Maybe Element will be the right fit for them! If you would like the Element Brochure to help you along the way, contact Financial Brokerage at 800-397-9999 and we can provide you that resource!

Do you have the tools to be successful this Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period?

Presented by Michelle Daharsh

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is one of the busiest times of the year for producers that work the senior market and it is right around the corner! Every year from October 15 – December 7, people enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans have the opportunity to dis-enroll from their current plan and select a new MA plan or return to Original Medicare and purchase a Medicare supplement policy.

It’s also the time when MA organizations can discontinue plans which could leave your over age 65 clients looking for health coverage elsewhere. Keep in mind, that even though this is the enrollment time for MA members to enroll/dis-enroll, Medicare supplement members can make changes to their current plan at any time throughout the year, with any carrier. It’s important to stay in touch with your clients as they approach Medicare age as well as current Medicare supplement clients because many situations can occur that will leave them looking for plan solutions. Whether it’s aging into Medicare and finding the best plan for them, or their current plan has faced a rate increase, these situations are a great opportunity to offer that expert help that you bring to the client. Regardless of the situation, do you have the tools to help your senior clients make these necessary healthcare decisions? Financial Brokerage is proud to be representing seven strong Medicare Supplement carriers that hold a national footprint in the Medicare industry and provides an online state of the art quoting portal with e-app capabilities – we have the resources you need in making your client’s Medicare healthcare decisions simple! Visit our website and access these tools to put you on track for your most successful Medicare season yet!

Using the Affordable Care Act to your Advantage

Presented by Leonard Berthelsen

It really doesn’t matter which side of the fence you’re on when talking about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There are opportunities for just about everyone in our business. If you sell individual major medical coverage, you’ve probably found a way to embrace the new way of selling and dealt with the challenges that go with it. On the other hand, you may be one of those producers that say, “I’m certainly glad that I’m not in the major medical market so I don’t have to deal with all those changes”. There are challenges with every decision as well as opportunities.

With individual major medical coverage being offered through the ACA, many of these clients have affordable health insurance for the first time, especially if they are receiving a subsidy from the government for their premiums due to their income. They also found that they can qualify for the first time without their health being an issue. Unfortunately many are finding out the hard way that although their premiums are more affordable, the deductibles and co-pays required by these plans create high out-of-pocket costs. With the caps on these plans being $6,600 and $13,200 for an individual and family respectively, the question becomes how are they are going to pay for it.

This is where you come in. Don’t walk away from a discussion with a prospect that says they have their health insurance taken care of. Explore a little deeper with that client. Is it coverage being provided at work or is it an individual plan, what are the deductibles, what are the copays, what will it cost the family in out-of-pocket expenses? Products like, Critical Illness, Cancer Heart Attack Stroke plans, Accident coverage, Per Diem Benefits for Hospitalization and Intensive Care are all products that can fill that gap. In some respects, we are going back to the early 1980’s before Major Medical coverage for individuals was being discussed. The industry was selling Accident, Hospitalization, Medical/Surgical plans along with limited Disability Income protection as a means of plugging gaps that a client would have in respect to health coverage.

As we close in on another open enrollment period with the Affordable Care Act, keep the above in mind. You can do great things with these supplemental products for your clients but you have to have the conversation with them.

Does Open Enrollment with Medicare Mean the Same Thing from one Broker to the Next?

Presented by Leonard Berthelsen

The answer is, probably not!  We field calls frequently from brokers and agents that don’t work the Medicare market often and we are asked, “When does open enrollment start for Medicare Supplement coverage? 

There has been a fair amount of attention and publicity surrounding Medicare Advantage plans and the open enrollment period each year.  Unfortunately it is called Medicare open enrollment; this of course applies to the Medicare Advantage plans and not Medicare Supplement coverage. 

Medicare Advantage open enrollment starts October 15 and ends December 7, Pearl Harbor Day. The changes or enrollment a person makes during open enrollment takes effect January 1st of the following year.  A person turning 65 during the year can also elect a Medicare Advantage plan outside of the specified open enrollment period as they age into Medicare.

There is no specified date range or time for an “open enrollment” with Medicare Supplement coverage.  Now before readers send comments in stating that yes there is an open enrollment with supplements, let me be a little more specific.  A person turning age 65 and aging into Medicare technically has an “open enrollment” or “guaranteed issue” time frame in which to select a Medicare Supplement carrier without evidence of insurability.  That of course, centers around their birthdate.  This happens all year long with all folks aging into Medicare and wanting to secure a Medicare Supplement.

A person losing coverage at work that is 65 or older, retiring or having an employer drop their medical insurance, as well as a carrier failing, all have a right to supplemental coverage from a private insurer without proving insurability under Medicare provisions.  This of course is with them providing a creditable coverage certificate to both the insurer and Medicare.

Many Medicare Supplement carriers send out advertising and make announcements that they are not affected by open enrollment right about the time open enrollment with Medicare Advantage is about to begin.  There is quite a bit of confusion surrounding this, and we just wanted to bring a little clarity to the matter.

Remember, a person can purchase a Medicare Supplement policy any time during the year provided they meet the eligibility requirements either by age, life event or they can medically qualify.  Medicare Advantage plans have a specific time each year that a person can move into, out of, or change a Medicare Advantage plan.  Aging into a Medicare Advantage plan can happen at any time during the year at the time they reach age 65.

Hopefully, now you know the difference and it helps you and your clients understand what those differences are.