“We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.”
What are the complaints? Newsweek recently published an article by Mississippi agent Justin Brock. Agents are not the reason for the complaints that inspired the CMS rule, he says, and shares industry concerns about the impact of the rule. Read here.
Help spread the word that agents are not the cause of the increased Medicare complaints.
“Your voice is important! Help us educate CMS on the value of an independent agent and the lifelong relationships we have with our clients. Independent agents spend numerous hours with the beneficiary completing a thorough needs analysis. Independent agents’ commitment to their clients and prospects is to forge a relationship with them above and beyond being transactional, unlike the TPMO’s. Independent agents do not have a job, we have a career which we are passionate about. We receive great satisfaction knowing we have helped Medicare beneficiaries.”
~ Michele Malooley, Florida AHU
National three-digit suicide and mental health crisis hotline 988 began July 16
States across the country are rolling out a three-digit number — 988 — that people can call or text to reach a trained counselor to help them deal with suicidal thoughts and mental health crises.
The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 received approval from Congress after advocates pushed to shorten the suicide prevention line’s 10-digit number. Establishing 988 as the number to call helps both those in crisis, who will have access to trained counselors, and emergency responders not trained in behavioral health response, giving them more time and resources for other needs.
Updated Guidance from the DOL on FMLA and Mental Health
The Dept. of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division issued updated guidance on May 25 via Factsheet #280 regarding mental health and FMLA leave rights. FMLA applies to mental health under the same guidelines as physical conditions. The fact sheet provides more clarity for employers and HR professionals.
It will be important for your clients to familiarize themselves with this guidance and review their HR policies to avoid the risk of violating employees’ rights when it comes to FMLA and mental health treatment.
Six Ways Pandemic Changed Health Insurance Trends in 2021
We’ve all experienced that the COVID-19 pandemic caused drastic shifts throughout all segments of society. According to Devin Partida of ReHack.com, there are six ways the health crisis influenced trends in the insurance industry.
- Increased Telemedicine Coverage
- Employees Offered More Mental Health Care
- Movement Away From Traditional Insurance Models
- Employers Expanding Voluntary Coverage Options
- Insurers Adapt to COVID-19 Necessities
- Care Payment Options Increase for Patients
Source: ReHack.com Read full article
Here’s a great cheat sheet from healthinsurance.org for client’s who have young adults with health insurance needs.
Whether your child is heading off to college, or out into the world, it’s important to find out if their health insurance coverage will still meet their needs. Louise Norris, an analyst for healthinsurance.org notes: “The Affordable Care Act improved the coverage picture for young adults, but there are limitations for when you can make coverage changes, so it’s good to plan ahead.”
As a broker, you probably know already how to help them compare plans. But there’s lots of helpful information at your state’s health insurance marketplace. You can also enlighten them about how to buy health insurance and get answers to frequently asked questions for students and young adults by visiting healthinsurance.org.
Health Plan Design Tips
For your clients, choosing between different funding models can be difficult and confusing. As their broker, providing guidance can be made easier with Nonstop’s Guide to Traditional Health Plan Design. The guide provides a quick overview of traditional health plan funding models, including definitions, risks, opportunities and sources.
Increase Production by Selling Travel Insurance
Offer your clients peace of mind at home and abroad with travel insurance. There’s many ways to add this to your product portfolio. Travel Insurance Center® is just one. Find out more here.
Ready for Mid-Year Compliance Check-Up?
We’re already halfway through 2022 — how are you (and your clients!) doing on your compliance activities? Here is a self-test checklist to ensure your clients are prepared for them, courtesy of iSolved.
CDC: U.S. uninsured rate continues to drop
Preliminary data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics showed 8% of the U.S. population lacked health insurance in the first quarter this year. This is compared with 9.5% in the same period last year. The U.S. uninsured rate, however, could increase again with the expiration of enhanced Affordable Care premium subsidies and the return of Medicaid eligibility redeterminations once the COVID-19 public health emergency ends. Full Story: HuffPost
Telehealth expansion bill passes U.S. House
The Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives in late July and will go to the Senate for consideration. The measure would extend existing pandemic-era provisions through 2024, including:
- doing away with geographical requirements for telehealth services
- increasing the number of telehealth-originating locations,
widening telehealth services offered by clinicians, and
- extending Medicare reimbursement for remote care by federally qualified health centers and rural clinics. Full Story: The Hill
Health Insurance Price Data: It’s Out There, But It’s Not For The Faint Of Heart
“Health insurers are posting their negotiated rates for just about every type of medical service they cover across all providers to comply with federal rules aimed at price transparency that took effect July 1 … Realistically, though, consumer use of the data may have to wait until private firms synthesize it — or additional federal requirements start to kick in next year aimed at making it easier for consumers to use the price information to shop for scheduled medical care.
So why post prices? The theory is that making public this array of prices, which are likely to vary widely for the same care, will help moderate future costs through competition or improved price negotiations, although none of that is a guarantee.”
Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News / The Lund Report / / Read Article
Botswana HIV Progress Hailed, Tackling the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and more. READ here.
Health Care News & Tips for Insurance Brokers
Check out this great resource from general agency and top CalBroker advertiser Word & Brown
Listen in: Benefits Cool Down Podcast. Check out this cheekie take on insurance benefits. In less than 7 minutes, the podcasters make the topics fun. For example: Do Brokers Need Mental Health Breaks Too? Listen in to a discussion about how everyone needs to take time away from work to refresh, unplug, and fight burnout in an industry that prizes ‘getting it done no matter what.’
Modern Healthcare’s Digital Digital Health Business & Technology Transformation Summit – now on demand. Want to hear the latest on healthcare transformation? Tune in here.
SIIA Webinar: Drug & Healthcare Cost Reporting
What you need to know (to meet CMS Dec. 27 deadline) Thurs. Aug.11, 11 a.m.-12pm PST, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST. Presenter: Mark Combs, CEO of Healthcare Reporting. Info here.
- NAIFA’S APEX Conference Sales Summit for Producers, Aug. 16-19, Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix. In person. Register
- IEAHU, OCAHU & SDAHU Senior Summit, Aug 23-25, Pechanga resort and casino, Temecula, Calif. In person. Register. More info here.
- OCAHU Annual CE DAY – Earn 5 CE hours. Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In person. Register
- NAIC Insurance 2022 Summit, Sept.19-23, Kansas City, MO. In person & virtual Register
- LAAHU’s Annual Medicare Summit Marriott Burbank Airport, Thursday, Sept. 15. In person. Register.
- CAHIP Virtual Medicare Event: Sept. 20 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Register.
- Ellevate Women’s Leadership 2023 Summit ALUMNI Registration Special Price – now open until Aug 19. March 13-15, 2023. JW Marriott just outside Las Vegas. In person. Register.
California Broker Directory coming this fall! Be a part of the best resource of insurance professionals in the state. Get your listing in now. For listing and ad prices (ads as low as $495) contact Devon Hunter at Devon@calbrokermag.com. 1-626-755-4770