We often get questions relating to the enrollment of Medicare eligible veterans outside of the Annual Election Period. In short, veterans are treated just as any other Medicare eligible person. There are a few things to note, however, when working with a veteran who is Medicare eligible. Here’s a short list of things to consider when helping veterans make an informed decision about Medicare Advantage enrollment:
MAPD and PDP membership
This was a question from one of our clients this past week. They sell Medicare Advantage policies and, as a prerequisite to selling these policies, are required to go through AHIP’s marketing certification for MA policies. By going through this Medicare training and signing an agreement with the carrier, are they HIPAA compliant?
We can’t forget the importance of service, ethics, and compassion for clients in our roles as insurance professionals. I was reminded of this when I fielded a call last week from a plan member, who had some legitimate concerns. I rarely speak with the members themselves, so this caught me off guard at first. The lady on the line was noticeably upset, a bit frightened even, and looking for someone that would help her. She had just received notification that her Medigap plan was going to experience a significant rate hike for both she and her husband, and while she never came out and said it, I could sense that affordability of this new premium was a major challenge. She shared that it was very difficult to reach her agent, and after several attempts, was told that there was nothing that could be done, and that the reason for the increase was “Obamacare”. Her husband, also an older gentlemen, struggles with hearing on the phone, so she was stepping up to the challenge of finding solutions on behalf of them both. This woman was very sharp, and perceptive, but obviously needed someone with the expertise to advise her of any and all options available to reduce their cost of coverage. Having recently celebrated a birthday, her research revealed that there may be some favorable rules within this time period that might allow their to select another plan in their state of residency. Her existing agent had already written this option off.
Earlier this week I read that our country’s spending on health care has been at historic lows for a third straight year. The conclusion was formed by comparing health spending growth rates to the overall growth of the economy, reasoning that it’s easier to keep up with the costs if the two are aligned, than if health spending surges ahead.
Many of you may know that this year will be a milestone birthday for me. I turn 65 in May! In the past I never associated Medicare benefits with my own personal circumstances, but now it’s become something I think about frequently. I’d like to share some of the experiences I’ve had recently, and hope you find it insightful as you grow your business and interact with folks like me for years to come.