August 06, 2019
The return of the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) was fraught with uncertainty. No one knew how many Medicare Advantage (MA) members would use this year’s January 1-March 31 time period to switch plans or insurers, but now health plans can use the results of what happened to determine what to do during next year’s OEP as well as the traditional annual enrollment period (AEP). Here is what we’ve learned.
July 22, 2019
The Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued its final Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D plan payment policies and Final Call Letter for the 2020 plan year. This final notice continues the Trump administration’s efforts to introduce significant program changes with new plan option initiatives for the Medicare program.
July 16, 2019
Powell, voted one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to watch by Currency Fair, will share strategies that attendees can use to turn uncertainty into a competitive advantage.
July 01, 2019
Deft Research has announced the update of its 2019 Medicare Consumer List Scoring algorithms timed to coincide with marketing planning for Medicare’s fall Annual Election Period (AEP) and the rest of the year.
June 20, 2019
Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollment has nearly doubled over the past decade, and it is showing no signs of slowing down. Indeed, a new report from L.E.K. Consulting finds that MA penetration will continue to rise as high as 70 percent between 2030 and 2040.
June 19, 2019
The average Medicare Advantage (MA) plan turns over about 10 percent of its members in voluntary disenrollment every year. For a plan with 100K members, this equates to approximately $110M in lost premium reimbursements.
June 19, 2019
Most health plans are not satisfied with the proportion of their former commercial members who convert into Medicare members. This under-performance is called the age-in conversion problem. And it challenges Medicare plans trying to enroll their own individual and employer-sponsored health plan customers.
June 14, 2019
Sixty-eight days. As Medicare marketers, we all know the timeframe challenge that comes with every Annual Election Period (AEP). And we all play by the same rules imposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). So, how can you gain a competitive edge given all the marketing restrictions? Simple: preheat the market.
June 12, 2019
Deft Research’s latest national market research report examines the age-in conversions of current commercial members, the factors that drive enrollment with consumers after the age of 65, and the key times that seniors shop for Medicare coverage. Here are three findings from the executive summary of the 2019 Age-In Study, which surveyed 2,400 seniors who are eligible for Medicare.
May 31, 2019
Only 32 percent of the 800 Medicare Advantage (MA) plan members with chronic conditions are familiar with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) star ratings systems, according to a HealthMine survey. Of those, nearly half said they used the grading system to help them choose a plan for 2019 enrollment.
May 29, 2019
LAS VEGAS — One of most anticipated sessions at RISE’s 12th Annual Medicare Marketing & Sales Summit in February was a town hall discussion about the Medicare Advantage (MA) market. The panel was moderated by Hank Osowski, managing partner, Strategic Health Group, LLC, and included executives from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), Scan Health Plan in California, and MediGold in Ohio, who discussed the inclusion of supplemental benefits into health plan offerings in 2019, how those offerings might change in 2020, and how they are able to stand out in an increasingly competitive market. Here is what we learned.
May 13, 2019
RISE will examine what happened during the 2019 Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) and what actions health plans should take to prepare for next year’s OEP during a webinar on June 11 at 1:30 p.m. EST. The webinar will feature speakers from Deft Research, a Blue Cross plan, a field marketing organization, and an agency. In this article we talk to one of the webinar speakers, Renée Mezzanotte, EVP/client engagement, DMW, about the OEP and the current state of Medicare.
May 01, 2019
LAS VEGAS—One session at RISE’s Medicare Marketing & Sales Summit made us rethink our digital marketing campaign strategies. Justin Stauffer, vice president of integrated marketing at DMW, an agency that specializes in marketing for the health insurance industry, spelled out the six most common mistakes that organizations make and how to fix them. In this article, we examine four of the biggest blunders, and what marketing, sales, and product development professionals can do to avoid them in the future.
April 30, 2019
A new study in Health Affairs paints a bleak picture for the future of middle-income seniors. Fifty-two percent of U.S. seniors who will be 75-years-old and older in the next 10 years will be unlikely to qualify for Medicaid long-term care but won’t have the financial means to cover the costs for assisting living rent and out-of-pocked medical costs. Researchers refer to this growing population as “the forgotten middle.”
April 30, 2019
A California-based health insurance agency was fined $50,000 and ordered to cease and desist from mailing misleading marketing materials to elderly residents in Minnesota.
April 30, 2019
Nearly 2,000 Highmark Medicare Advantage (MA) members in western Pennsylvania switched insurers during this year’s extended open enrollment period. Most members signed up with big-name national carriers to ensure they would have in-network access to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) hospitals and physicians.
April 30, 2019
The Medicare Board of Trustees has been sounding the alarm about the future of the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund for years. Its latest report warns that the trust fund, which supports Medicare Part A, won’t be able to pay full benefits after 2026. It also projected that overall Medicare costs will continue to grow at a faster pace than the economy and put a strain on the federal budget unless lawmakers act now. Officials from the Trump administration have jumped on the findings, using the latest figures to push back against some Democratic lawmakers’ calls for a Medicare-for-All program.
April 26, 2019
The number of provider-sponsored health insurance plans entering the market is growing exponentially. Why? Because it can be profitable for both health systems and physician groups. But this endeavor is vastly more difficult than launching a new plan from an established brand. There are essential elements for planning, designing, launching, and sustaining a totally new Medicare plan and brand. Plans new to the market need even more of an edge to compete against the incumbents. Therefore, it is imperative to follow these three mission-critical stages of a plan launch.
April 25, 2019
The introduction of a Five-Star Quality Rating System from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans has resulted in opportunities for high-performing organizations to reap significant financial compensation and the ability to offer supplemental benefits while underperforming organizations risk fines, notices to their current members, potential removal of contract, and other punitive actions.
April 22, 2019
A new study that looks at how 4,700 consumers under the age of 65 bought insurance in 2019 provides insights into what prompted them to shop plans. The research, conducted and published by Deft Research, may help marketing, sales, and product development professionals better compete for members in 2020. Here are four findings from the market research firm’s Individual and Family Plan Shopping and Switching Study.
April 11, 2019
Medicare Advantage (MA) plans have another new benefit to offer their members in 2020: telehealth services. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced it has finalized changes that would allow MA beneficiaries to access health care services from places like their homes, rather than require them to go to a health care facility for treatment.
March 22, 2019
Expect collaboration to reshape the Medicare Advantage landscape in 2019-20. Strategic alliances, partnerships, and affiliations are becoming a key component of successful MA programs as they coalesce around three key areas: Product, Care Delivery, & Distribution.
March 22, 2019
When it comes to health insurance sales, the process doesn’t end once members sign their enrollment applications. Onboarding and care transition are key to member satisfaction and retention. When members have a positive experience with their new plan from the very beginning, it sets the stage for a successful, long-lasting relationship. In other words, the enrollment and onboarding process is an interaction, not just a transaction.
March 20, 2019
New research shows seniors want more health and well-being support from Medicare plans
March 15, 2019
Health insurers that have a low conversion of commercial to Medicare members may have an awareness issue. Challenges on increasing awareness include siloism among commercial and Medicare departments within health insurer corporations. Opportunities include creating strategies to encourage collaboration and incentives to provide the motivation for these groups to work together and provide the right Medicare plan to their commercial members.
March 11, 2019
Warning: Many insurance carriers have recently issued alerts about a genetic testing program enticing agents with a generous commission for each client who provides a swab for the cancer screening. The agents are told that the program is legal because the test has been approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Jameson Keller, vice president of strategic development for AgencyRM, says the program is a potential scam to get agents to “pay to play and to gain beneficiary Medicare information.”
March 08, 2019
LAS VEGAS—Senior citizens typically don’t want to shop for insurance products. But this year 1 out of 3 seniors either switched health plans or felt compelled to at least look at other options, according to George Dippel, senior vice president of client services, Deft Research, LLC. And about half of those who switched plans did so even though they were happy with the coverage they had in 2018.
March 01, 2019
Las Vegas—John Moore, the keynote speaker at RISE’s 12th Annual Medicare Marketing & Sales Summit, offered attendees a jolt of “espresso shots of business wisdom” that he has gleaned over his long career as a marketing strategist, including his role that turned Starbucks into a global icon.
February 14, 2019
RISE’s 12th Annual Medicare Marketing & Sales Summit is less than two weeks away. If you’ve already registered for the #1 ranked conference in the industry, we’ve compiled the highlights, so you can make the most out of sessions and networking opportunities. And for those who haven’t yet registered for this premiere event for senior executives in Medicare Advantage, prescription drug plans, and health plan startups, it’s not too late—there are a few delegate spots left. Read on to learn what’s in store when we gather at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on Feb. 25-26.
January 15, 2019
For many health insurance Marketers, a key problem is managing and improving the return on investment of their campaigns. A typical metric used is overall ROI: sales divided by marketing & sales dollars spent. Another metric capturing management’s attention is “cost-per-conversion” or marketing & sales dollars spent divided by number of sales.
January 15, 2019
One of the many highlights at this year’s RISE Star Ratings Master Class was the results of the 2018 RISE/Engagys Survey on Healthcare Consumer Engagement. The survey, now in its third year, included 140 participants who represent the top health plans, provider systems, and pharmacy benefit managers. More than 70 percent of the respondents work in risk adjustment and almost half of them said they also work on Stars and HEDIS. In addition, more participants were from regional health plans, an increase of 26 percent compared to last year. This greater representation of regional plans may indicate their increased interest in consumer engagement, according to Kathleen Ellmore, managing director of Engagys. Here are seven takeaways from the survey results.
January 14, 2019
Editor’s Note: The original version of this story, 2019 Medicare OEP: You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression, was published by RISE in July 2018, Open Enrollment Period (OEP) regulations have since changed and Wunderman has updated the article to reflect current requirements.
December 07, 2018
RISE previously reviewed the biggest changes contained in updated Medicare Communication and Marketing Guidelines, which include a new definition of marketing, the addition of the term communication, and guidance for the pre-enrollment checklist. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services relaxed its previously stringent requirements and made what many consider to be long, overdue changes, just in time for the 2019 open enrollment period. RISE Executive Director Kevin Mowll looks back at the complex history of the guidelines, questionable health plan sales practices, and why now is the right time for CMS to have released the updated guidelines.
November 05, 2018
The good news: 2019 premiums in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace are flat or falling in many parts of the country. The bad news: A Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) analysis finds that the premiums would be substantially lower still if the Trump administration didn’t make a series of changes to private insurance markets.
October 12, 2018
Medicare Open Enrollment is right around the corner. It’s formally known as the Annual Election Period, or AEP. However, in layman’s terms, the AEP is commonly known as the Open Enrollment Period. As noted below, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has expanded the OEP, which happens during the first quarter of 2019. In this article, RISE looks at what’s new for the upcoming year to make sure health plans are prepared to hold on to their existing members and attract new ones.
September 20, 2018
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) discussed its updated communications and marketing guidelines during its annual Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan fall conference on Sept. 6. In this article, we look at the most notable changes.
July 11, 2018
Engagys conducted our second annual examination of healthcare consumer engagement practices to further understand the rate at which the techniques pioneered by consumer marketing firms have been adopted by healthcare organizations.
July 10, 2018
Starting January 1st, 2019 there will be an Open Enrollment Period (OEP) that will allow Medicare beneficiaries to make “like plan” changes until March 31st, 2019. This is not just an extension of the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) (which is between October 15th and December 7th each year); rather the OEP should be likened to a “grace period,” where Medicare beneficiaries are allowed the opportunity to disenroll from their current plan and select a new plan with their existing carrier or competitor.
April 20, 2018
Air conditioners for people with asthma, healthy groceries, rides to medical appointments and home-delivered meals may be among the new benefits added to Medicare Advantage coverage when new federal rules take effect next year.
April 11, 2018
Medicare products are expected to be the fastest growing insurance sector over the next 10-years. At the same time, Boomers are transforming care delivery, from aging-at-home services to convenience-driven alternate sites of care such as retail clinics, telemedicine and wearables to anti-aging nutraceuticals.
April 11, 2018
For the past 12 years, Deft Research has tracked Medicare consumer shopping and switching behavior during each fall’s annual enrollment period, or the fall AEP. The results of these national studies have many uses including predictive modeling, but most people first become familiar with them through the annual report Medicare Shopping and Switching.
March 05, 2018
The annual review and selection of health insurance for one’s self and family has become an American tradition. During these annual enrollment periods (AEP’s, but referred to under various names), employees, Medicare recipients, and those in the individual and family markets conduct their own variations of the due diligence necessary to assure they will be in the right plan in the coming year.
March 01, 2018
On February 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Part II of the 2019 Advance Notice and Call Letter (ANCL). The ANCL is an annual regulatory policy document that describes the agency’s proposed payment and coverage policies for Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D plans for the upcoming plan year. While normally a single document, this year’s ANCL was separated into 2 parts.