Hi, I’m Ashika, from Ritter Insurance Marketing. While we normally associate the Annual Enrollment Period with Medicare Advantage sales, there’s plenty more to sell during Medicare’s busy season! Today, I’ll be going over why Medicare Supplements make a great addition to your portfolio, especially during the Annual Enrollment Period, AEP for short. It’s easy enough to say, “sell Medicare Supplements.” But, you might be wondering why should you add this type of Medicare plan to your portfolio. Maybe, you’re unsure of which plans to sell. And, what about MACRA? There are plenty of great reasons to sell Med Supps, especially during AEP, based on their value for you, and your clients. Let’s start with agent value. Selling Medicare Supplements, also known as Medigap plans, can help you diversify your book of business. It opens up your business to the Original Medicare market, and according to Kaiser Family Foundation, over 40 million people were enrolled in Original Medicare in 2018. That’s a lot of opportunity for sales. Did you know that, unlike Medicare Advantage plans, most Med Supps don’t require annual certification? Medicare Supplement plans can be sold year-round. Additionally, e-Apps are available from most carriers, and you can sell Med Supps over the phone. As an added bonus, once you are a producing Med Supp agent, you can earn extra cash through carrier incentive programs or contests here at Ritter Insurance Marketing like our 10K and 100K giveaway! OK, what about your clients? How can Med Supps help them? Enrolling in Original Medicare and purchasing a Medicare Supplement may make more sense depending on where your client lives, what they like to do, even their financial situation. For some clients, going with Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement is simply a better fit, especially if they travel extensively or spend extended periods of time in an out-of-network area. Medicare Advantage plans have a set service area and may not be offered where your client lives. Rather than lose the sale, why not have the ability to offer them a Med Supp? What’s more, all Medicare Supplement plans, except for Med Select plans, enable beneficiaries to see any Medicare provider in the country. That can be helpful if your client doesn’t want to switch doctors or hospitals. You can even check to see if your client’s medications would cost less with a stand-alone PDP and Med Supp combination versus their current Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. That covers the why, now for the how. How do you determine which Med Supps to sell? Just like other plan types, we recommend that agents contract with various carriers because your clients have unique needs. It’s important to contract with Med Supps that have different underwriting requirements. If your client doesn’t have a guaranteed issue right for a plan, they might need to pass underwriting. Check carrier financial strength ratings, too. You want carriers with a high financial strength rating to make sure their rates will be steady. Additionally, you want to look for Med Supp carriers who offer household discounts, a strong Plan G, and competitive rates for certain age groups. Want to really maximize your business? You can also provide clients with additional services by offering a strong Part D prescription drug plan selection. If clients are enrolled or want to be enrolled in Original Medicare, they’ll also need to enroll in a PDP to afford their medications and avoid paying the penalty for not having prescription coverage. Our discussion on selling Med Supps wouldn’t be complete without mentioning MACRA. MACRA is short for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which introduced Med Supp changes that will go into effect on January 1st, 2020. What’s changing? The new law breaks down Medicare eligibles into two categories. Newly eligible and non-newly eligible. Newly eligible refers to those who become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1st, 2020. This group is not able to enroll in Med Supp Plans C, F, or High-Deductible F. For newly eligible beneficiaries, Med Supp Plans D and G are the Guaranteed Issue plans. There’s also a new High-Deductible G. Non-newly eligible refers to those who were eligible for Medicare before January 1st, 2020. This group is able to move into Med Supp Plans C, F, or High-Deductible F from their current Medicare plans. They can also purchase the new High-Deductible G beginning with a 1/1/2020 effective date. Of course, this shift in eligibility for enrollment in plans is going to create change for the Medicare Supplement market. Not right away, but over the course of a few years. With Plans D and G becoming Guaranteed Issue, more unhealthy beneficiaries will likely move into the plans, which can skew the risk pools, which would lead to higher claims, leading to higher premiums. Plans C and F will have an aging membership with no new health beneficiaries to balance the risk pools, leading to higher claims, which also leads to higher premiums. As a result, we could see increased interest in Plan N. Next to plans C and F, Plan N is the most comprehensive Med Supp plan, as it pays 100 percent of the Part B coinsurance, excluding copayments of up to twenty dollars for some office visits and up to fifty dollars for ER visits that don’t lead to an admission. As far as other changes, only time will tell, but here at Ritter Insurance Marketing, you can rest assured we keep a close eye on the Medicare market. If you’re looking for more info, we’ve got two great resources that every Med Supp agent needs. The first is our eBook, The Complete Guide on How To Sell Medicare Supplements. It’s a 52-page guide that’s packed with information and includes two phone scripts! Our second resource is something we call a Smart Sheet. It’s a list of the most competitive plans from several top carriers that’s unique to your specific market. We think it will really help when you’re trying to decide which carriers to contract with. If you’ve got questions, would like to request your very own Smart Sheet, or would like to learn more about selling Med Supps, we would love to hear from you! Just click the link in the description below to get started. Have a great day!