News to Use for Agents in the Senior Market
A Publication of Senior Marketing Specialists
Week of February 6, 2017
You can sign up for Part B without a penalty any time you have health coverage based on current employment. (COBRA and retiree health coverage don’t count as current employer coverage.) When your employer coverage ends, you’ll get a chance to enroll in Part B without a late enrollment penalty. That means your Medigap open enrollment period will start when you’re ready to take advantage of it. If you enrolled in Part B while you still had the employer coverage, your Medigap open enrollment period would start. Unless you bought a Medigap policy before you needed it, you’d miss your open enrollment period entirely. https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-other-insurance/when-can-i-buy-medigap/when-can-i-buy-medigap.html
Note – Guarantee Issue rules may need to be considered:
Once your employment (or your employer/union coverage) ends you have 8 months to sign up for Part B without a penalty, whether or not you choose COBRA. To sign up for Part B while you’re employed or during the 8 months after employment ends, complete:
Application for Enrollment in Part B (CMS-40B): https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms-Items/CMS017339.html
Request for Employment Information (CMS-L564): https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms-Items/CMS009718.html
If you choose COBRA, don’t wait until your COBRA ends to enroll in Part B. If you don’t enroll in Part B during the 8 months after the employment ends you may have to pay a penalty for as long as you have Part B. You also won’t be able to enroll until January 1–March 31, and you’ll have to wait until July 1 of that year before your coverage begins. This may cause a gap in health care coverage. https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/get-parts-a-and-b/should-you-get-part-b/should-i-get-part-b.html
Why is this important? Deciding when to elect Part B is critical for individuals using Medicare. Since Cobra often lasts for 18 months the need for electing Medicare part B within 8 months can be confusing to your clients.
Anyone can get cancer at any age, but the risk goes up with age. Nearly 9 out of 10 cancers are diagnosed in people ages 50 and older. And according to Cancer Facts & Figures 2017, Uninsured patients are substantially more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a later stage, when treatment can be more extensive, costlier, and less successful. https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/cancer-facts-figures-2017.html
Glossary of cancer terms: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/glossary.html
American Cancer Society Video: Healthy Eating and Active Living: What’s the Cancer Connection?: https://youtu.be/R7-FqapmbFg
Why is this important? Bringing up the topic of cancer can change the life of your clients. By educating them regarding prevention you might just save their life and by offering cancer insurance you will help prevent financial disaster from this all too common disease.
“Medicaid provides health coverage to more than 4.6 million low-income seniors, nearly all of whom are also enrolled in Medicare. Medicaid also provides coverage to 3.7 million people with disabilities who are enrolled in Medicare. In total, 8.3 million people are “dually eligible” and enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare, composing more than 17% of all Medicaid enrollees. Individuals who are enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare, by federal statute, can be covered for both optional and mandatory categories.” – Medicaid.gov
Why is this important? If you are an agent working in the senior market, dual eligibles can open a new world of opportunities for sales and referrals. If you are not familiar with this market, you can learn more by calling 1-800-689-2800.
You can keep your Marketplace plan after your Medicare coverage starts. However, once your Part A coverage starts, any premium tax credits and reduced cost-sharing you get through the Marketplace will stop.
Note – If you do not already have a Marketplace Plan when you go on Medicare it’s against the law for someone who knows that you have Medicare to sell you a Marketplace plan. This is true even if you have only Part A or only Part B.
Why is this important? If you are an agent working the turning 65 market you will undoubtedly run into individuals who have marketplace plans. They will need your sound advice as to their choices regarding those Plans.
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