News to Use for Agents in the Senior Market
A Publication of Senior Marketing Specialists
Week of November 21, 2016
Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program
Individuals on Medicare who meet income and asset requirements may qualify for assistance from the state to pay their Medicare
part B premium through a program called SLMB. SLMB is one of four Medicare savings programs offering help to low income individuals. They are QMB, SLMB, QI and QDWI.
What items are included in the Medicare Savings Program resource limits?
Countable resources include:
- Money in a checking or savings account
Countable resources don’t include:
- Your home
- One car
- Burial plot
- Up to $1,500 for burial expenses if you have put that money aside
- Other household and personal items
If you qualify for a QMB, SLMB, or QI program, you automatically qualify to get Extra Help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage. Learn more on Medicare.gov at the following link:
Social Security Credits
The number of work credits you need to get retirement benefits depends on your date of birth. If you were born in 1929 or later, you need 40 credits (10 years of work). People born before 1929 need fewer than 40 credits (39 credits if born in 1928; 38 credits if born in 1927; etc.).
Credits are the “building blocks” Social Security uses to find out whether you have the minimum amount of covered work to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits. In 2016, you receive one credit for each $1,260 of earnings, up to the maximum of four credits per year. Each year the amount of earnings needed for credits goes up slightly as average earnings levels increase. The credits you earn remain on your Social Security record even if you change jobs or have no earnings for a while.
“How You Earn Credits” Pamphlet: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10072.pdf
Aetna E-Kit Option
The new e-kit option allows you to send your clients a professional email after meeting with them. The email summarizes the specific plan you discussed and contains your contact information, Agent Writing Number or National Producer Number, and a link for your clients to enroll online. If your client uses the link to enroll online, you’ll receive credit for the sale and will earn commission. E-kits are available through the Ascend Virtual Sales Office app. E-kit quick start guides, plus a recorded webinar training about e-kits, are available in users’ Resources folder in the Ascend app.
Among People Older Than 65, 1 in 6 Suffers From Depression
Depression in older adults is estimated to occur in 25% of those with other illness including cancer, arthritis, stroke, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease. Other stressful events, such as the loss of friends and loved ones, are also risk factors for depression. Opportunities are missed to improve health outcomes when mental illness is under-recognized and under-treated in primary care settings.
Medicare covers an annual screening for depression (up to 15 minutes) for people with Medicare in primary care settings that have staff-assisted depression care supports in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and follow-up. You pay nothing for this test if the doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment.
Guide to Medicare’s Preventive Services: https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/10110.pdf
Finish AEP Strong
- Seize every opportunity to talk about the valuable ancillary products available like Hospital Indemnity Plans, Cancer Plans, DVH and Recovery Care/Home Health Care Plans.
- Set up follow-up appointments for the first quarter of 2017 to make sure their plans are being used properly and to create additional sales opportunities.
- Make sure all of your applications have been received by the carrier and verify that they are enrolled in the correct plan.