Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Alphabet Soup (What is MADP?)

Even experienced “Medicare Agents” sometimes will read MADP and just think it is a typo of the acronym for the Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) health plans.  But, though related, it is a point in another direction.

MADP is the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, which takes place each year from January 1 to February 14.  It gives an individual enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan the opportunity to leave their plan and switch back to Original Medicare. If that person decides to switch back to Original Medicare during this period, they'll have until February 14 to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage.  That coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form.

Why would someone do such a thing?  Perhaps there was a change in the MAPD plan’s network, or medication usage changed and the MAPD Plan’s formulary doesn’t accommodate the needs as it had projected, or maybe the person just simply changed their mind.  Whatever the reason, the Medicare beneficiary has the chance to make that change, and they do not have to state the reason they are doing so.

What that beneficiary CANNOT do is:

·         Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
·         Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
·         Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another
·         Join, switch, or drop a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan

Additional detail can be found here.
As independent insurance agents, this gives us an opportunity to market traditional standardized Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans on a guaranteed issue basis until Valentine’s Day.  Commission levels for these plans may vary from underwritten plans (just because the insurance company is obligated to issue those plans doesn’t mean they are obligated to pay you in the same fashion as underwritten plans).  It does mean the insurance company can’t use a pre-existing condition waiting period for that policy, or use medical underwriting, or apply a different premium for that policy.

We recommend you, as an agent, log into our website, www.thebrokerageinc.com, and make use of both the Medicare Supplement Quote Engine to help your prospect/client find the Medicare Supplement plan they may be best for them, and the Medicare Supplement Cheat Sheet to help you determine your rate of commission.  While doing what is right for the client is first and foremost our chief purpose, we need to make certain we are able to make a living and stay in the business to service that client, and being aware of the commission differences between carriers and plans is necessary to do so.

Referencing your “bible” for Medicare Supplements is so very helpful too.  The guide from CMS, “Choosing a Medigap policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare”, can help make certain you conduct yourself properly, and compliantly.  It is linked on our website as well - Choosing a Medigap Policy, and discusses guaranteed issue rights on page 21.

We invite you to call with any questions you may have regarding Medicare Supplements, and join us for any scheduled live meetings or webinars to learn more about marketing Medicare Supplements.  We also have recorded webinars for you to access 24/7, posted on our website.

-John Dubas, VP Senior Sales

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