Our agency has consistently supported the Medicare community since we began in business back in 2003. We thought we would take this opportunity to highlight some of those accomplishments.
2019-2020-CA and a couple of other states allow Medicare Supplement clients to change their supplement plans on or around their birthdays without qualifying medically. All other states do not allow that so once you have a supplement you cannot change it without qualifying medically. We have been working with the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU); my trade organization to make this happen. We are also working with the major insurance carriers and our local NV legislators to adopt the CA birthday rule in NV. Our clients will then be able to change plans on their birthday without having to qualify medically. This project is just starting with the hope of implementation in 2021 or 2022.
2019-2020-COBRA under federal law is considered creditable coverage. Under Medicare rules, it is not considered creditable coverage and those Medicare recipients who choose COBRA over Medicare are subject to lifetime fines of 10% per year based on the current Part B premiums. This change in the law will make COBRA creditable coverage, thus eliminating the lifetime fines. This agency has been working with Congress and my trade association, NAHU since 2013 to make this a reality. The bill was originally introduced by my then Congressman Dr. Joe Heck. It is still pending in Congress.
2017-18-Re-establishing the OEP (Open Enrollment Period) in Medicare from January through the end of March. The OEP gave Medicare recipients another three months to make changes to their Medicare plans. The OEP went away when the affordable care act became law in 2010. In 2013 my agency met with then-Congressman Dr. Joe Heck, to make some changes to the existing Medicare laws. The idea was to re-instate the OEP and make COBRA creditable coverage under Medicare. The former was completed for the 2019 Medicare season. Again, thanks to the help of NAHU.
2013-14-Insurance brokers selling Medicare are required yearly to take and pass an AHIP (American Health Insurance Plans) tests to prove Medicare competency and then take separate fraud, waste, and abuse testing from all appointed insurance carriers. Since we are required to take and pass the AHIP test why not include fraud, waste, and abuse in the same test thus eliminating taking it from multiple carriers. Working with my trade organization NAHU, for 6 years until we were able to accomplish that in 2017. Now, fraud, waste and abuse are included in the AHIP certification to sell Medicare.
Len Barend, broker
The Barend Agency Inc.