Preferred/Non-Tobacco Rates During Open Enrollement

Aug 13, 2015

  1. potowatomibrown
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    potowatomibrown New Member

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    Can someone point me to a publication that list which states ask the tobacco use question during guaranteed issue open enrollment and which states do not? Also is there something I can reference preferably from the government or an independent consumer advocate group that explains that it is legal to ask this question and rate the client based on their tobacco status?
     
  2. sman
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    sman Guru

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    It's a carrier issue not a state issue.
     
    sman, Aug 13, 2015
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  3. somarco
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    somarco GA Medicare Expert

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    Virtually every Medigap application asks the tobacco question. If it was not legal the question would not be there.

    If the applicant doesn't want to answer the question they won't get a policy.
     
    somarco, Aug 13, 2015
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  4. Fisher
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    Fisher Guru

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    Not entirely accurate during OE. In Missouri I know for a fact that MoO and Stonebridge (now Trans Premier) do not need the tobacco question answered and everyone gets non-tobacco rates. Equitable, on the other hand, DOES rate for tobacco during OE. I found this out the hard way.
     
    Fisher, Aug 13, 2015
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  5. WCMason
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    WCMason Guru

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    I believe one of the traditional tobacco growing states--can't remember which one now--prohibits charging a higher rate for tobacco use.

    Aetna (CLI/ACI/AHLIC) asks the tobacco question but gives the preferred non-tobacco rate to all if app is OE or GI. For these on paper app the question can be left unanswered. On the e-app you have to answer it to get to the next screen but a yes won't increase the premium.
     
    WCMason, Aug 13, 2015
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  6. sman
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    sman Guru

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    That's not what Bob said. He said if it was illegal the question wouldn't be there. At least that's what you responded to. And his statement isn't incorrect. Whether or not the carrier gives a non-tobacco rate during OE is a different story. If memory serves me correctly, New Era gives non-tobacco rates for OE apps even if they answer yes to the tobacco question (at least here in Georgia).
     
    sman, Aug 13, 2015
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  7. smokin goose
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    smokin goose Guru

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    Is it KY maybe? I was under the impression that all states gave NT rates during OE.

    Glad I read this. I'll have to check on the Indiana carriers as I'm starting to sell MS there too.
     
  8. Fisher
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    Fisher Guru

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    Sman, reread what I was responding to -

    "Virtually every Medigap application asks the tobacco question."

    Yes, that is a true statement. My response was that during OE not all companies require that the tobacco question be answered. At least in my neck of the woods.
     
    Fisher, Aug 13, 2015
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  9. sman
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    sman Guru

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    Nit picking here, but he said virtually all Medigap applications ASKS the tobacco question. And he's correct, virtually every application has the tobacco question on it.

    He was responding to the legality of it which was questioned by the original poster. Whether or not it needs to be answered is a different story and can vary from carrier to carrier. And that holds true for different questions or parts of an application. For example, the New Era application has a place for the doctors name, address and phone number. On a paper application it doesn't have to be completed. But on the e-app it does.

    It's really impossible for most of us to know how EVERY carrier will handle a situation without looking it up. Most of us have 2-3 carriers we use on a regular basis and get knowledgeable about how those carriers operate. From time to time we have to stop using one and replace it with a new carrier. I couldn't tell you how several carriers handle the tobacco situation for OE. Only those I work with regularly. But it isn't illegal for a carrier to ask the tobacco question and charge a higher rate unless a particular state mandates that. And I'm willing to bet if a state does mandate that, the tobacco question isn't on the application in said state.
     
    sman, Aug 13, 2015
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  10. cedwards
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    cedwards Super Genius

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    Check MoO's UW guide. Of the few things they do right, producing a great UW guide is towards the top.
     
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