You are here:
  • KB Home
  • talkingMEDICARE Week of March 6th, 2017
< Back

News to Use for Agents in the Senior Market

A Publication of Senior Marketing Specialists
Week of March 6, 2017

tmbubble  Veterans Demographics

Why is this important? With such a large population of veterans you will need to be familiar with veteran programs and how they work with Medicare. Many products are often beneficial to veterans including Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans.

tmbubble  VA Benefits as Credible Coverage – Part D Yes/Part B No

“If you are eligible for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, you need to know that enrollment in the VA health care system is considered creditable coverage for Medicare Part D purposes. This means that VA prescription drug coverage is at least as good as the Medicare Part D coverage. Since only Veterans may enroll in the VA health care system, dependents and family members do not receive credible coverage under the Veteran’s enrollment.

However, there is one significant area in which VA health care is NOT creditable coverage: Medicare Part B (outpatient health care, including doctors’ fees). Creditable coverage for Medicare Part B can only be provided through an employer. As a result, VA health care benefits to Veterans are not creditable coverage for the Part B program. So although a Veteran may avoid the late enrollment penalty for Medicare Part D by citing VA health care enrollment, that enrollment would not help the Veteran avoid the late enrollment penalty for Part B.”

Why is this important? Medicare can be confusing for even the most seasoned agents. Your clients can easily feel there is no harm in delaying Part B enrollment.

tmbubble  Can I get Medicare if I am Not a U.S. Citizen?

If you are not a U.S. citizen you might be able to get Medicare. It depends on the circumstances.

  • You will qualify for Medicare even if you are not a US citizen if you qualify to receive or receive Social Security, Railroad retirement or disability benefits. In this case, you will qualify for Part A without needing to pay a premium. You will need to pay a premium for Part B.
  • If you do not qualify for Social Security, railroad retirement benefits or disability benefits, you can qualify to buy Part A (and Part B) if you are a current US resident and either
    • A US citizen or
    • A permanent US resident having lived in the US for 5 continuous years before you apply for Medicare

Tool to determine your eligibility:

Why is this important? Questions about immigrants are a primary subject in main stream media. As advisors to senior clients you need to be familiar with this topic.

tmbubble  Important 2017 Changes for AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

New enhancements are being implemented in most states for plan effective dates of July 1, 2017, and later. Changes will vary by state and will include some or all of the following:

  • Modified enrollment applications, including enhancements for simplification, clarity and ease-of-use.
  • Streamlined underwriting to set rates:
    • Reduced the number of medical conditions that cause a higher rate
    • Changed requirements so that all applicants outside of Guaranteed Issue or Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment answer the same health questions
  • Expanded duration for the early enrollment discount, and increased the early enrollment discount starting percentage.
  • Offering Plan G, in many states, as an additional plan option for consumers

Be sure to keep checking your email, the Focus News and the Agent Distribution Portal to stay up to date with the latest information regarding these changes.

Why is this important? When a carrier the size of UHC decides to make such positive changes to their product offerings it will no doubt create huge opportunities for you and your clients.

For an on-the-go and printable version, try the talkingMEDICARE Dowloadable Edition!