Suckered by Mutual of Omaha

Aug 1, 2019

  1. BuckNasty
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    BuckNasty Super Genius

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    Come clients receiving 20% year over rate increase going from 65-66 years old. Needless to say, folks are not happy. Be careful with these guys. I'm in deep with over 1,000 policies of theirs on the books in various states.
     
  2. vic120
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    vic120 Guru

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    Unfortunately, I think it can happen with any carrier, Had it with equitable, Who was supposed to be good with increases, Had it with Aetna too, Even had one with Either new era or phili American (can't remember which) called me recently went up think $70 over 3 or 4 years I had him on plan N

    Like MA plans changing networks premium copay this is the thing with Supps

    Never know who or where
     
    vic120, Aug 1, 2019
    #2
  3. somarco
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    somarco GA Medicare Expert

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    Early on I almost bought into the MOO siren song. As a "Boomer" I grew up watching the Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom. Figured most of my generation did the same.

    I have clients with United World, United of Omaha, Omaha Insurance Company.

    We now have the "Mother" in Georgia . . . Mutual of Omaha

    Haven't written anything with them in years. Don't have that many clients total. I figure it has cost me $$$ not to jump on the bandwagon and beat the drum. But my clients are happy for the most part. Their rates have been relatively stable (except those with the Omaha carriers and a few others like Equitable).

    I have tried to spread business around and so far it has worked.

    It is increasingly difficult to roll clients from year to year. I tell them I can probably save them more by changing their PDP vs changing Medigap. Something that can't be done when their health changes.

    But some of the PDP changes have resulted in savings of $50/month and even more. A couple of years ago I had two clients that saved over $500/mo by changing drug plans.

    Good luck
     
    somarco, Aug 1, 2019
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  4. yorkriver1
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    yorkriver1 Guru

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    What a great way to wrap the situation when folks can't pass medical underwriting. Even if they can, of course, savings on Rx is good. I saved some folks about $1,000 each a few years ago. Doesn't happen that often, but always worth checking for multi-Rx clients for sure.
    It's hard to decide on carriers in any perfect way, just aiming for best decision in any given year. I am staying away from the newest low price leader plans new to the market. I learned a long time ago that those situations often have the biggest rate increases.
     
  5. VolAgent
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    VolAgent Guru

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    Mutual of Omaha has always been and will always continue to be a snake.
     
  6. somarco
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    somarco GA Medicare Expert

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    The rate increases are usually a non-issue.

    Copay's and coinsurance on higher tier drugs are the killer.

    I will put you down as undecided for now
     
    somarco, Aug 2, 2019
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  7. VolAgent
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    VolAgent Guru

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    I've been bitten twice, that's enough for me.
     
  8. vic120
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    vic120 Guru

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    Never know where it comes from, Just got increase for Bankers fidelity Il in one are 15% for preferred 20% for standard
     
    vic120, Aug 5, 2019
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  9. sshafran
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    sshafran Guru

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    Agree 100%. I'm basically of the opinion now that no matter what criteria I use... it's just a guess - even if I do want to do a good job picking a carrier. We may think we know what'll happen, but we don't.
    • "Go with the largest, UHC - they are stable due to blah blah blah, and you can go to the gym!" Well, maybe, but who wants to pay $20/mo more at 65? Plus, many other carriers band age 65, 66, 67 at the same rates... so... And the gym thing, we were just kidding. That was so 2 years ago.
    • "Go with Lumico (or whoever), they are the cheapest!" Well, maybe today. And they may end up like Forethought (one of the few bygone carriers that I have fond memories of) with really really stable rates for several years until they just couldn't hang on to the closed book... Or they can go up crazy fast.
    • Go with Heartland - the new friendly carrier of today.... (see Lumico above)
    • Go with Manhattan, they won't play the shell game (well, hello there, western united, nice to meet you).
    • Go with CSI - A+ rating. Wait, who is CSI Life? Now, CSI Life reimagined?
    • Everest is great, we can get you approved! (is that a commission schedule or a rate increase schedule?)
    • Go with Transamerica (good grief, just no.)
    • Go with Aetna - what a great brand we all know and love. It's like a phonetics class talking to the underwriter, "which entity are you calling in for today, AHLIC, CLIC, AHC, ALOHA, ALICA, ALEGRA, or Alexa?" (see what I did there?)
    • Go with Cigna - we love them and trust them (Ok great. Hold on, I see 28 different Cignas in my quote engine. Which flavor should I pick today?)
    • Go with the Blues - we always trust the Blues. Your client in 3 years: "Welcome to Walmart, I got a new part-time job so that I can afford the premium."
    Kinda makes picking your carries based on a mix of current rate, commission (we are running a business), size & rating, ease of use (easiest e-apps), and any other factor that can help close it, not such a bad plan after all. Because no matter how we slice it and dice it - we just can't predict it.

    Similar to Somarco - my book is purposefully mixed. My last 10 med supp sales, 5 carriers (aetna, MoO, Heartland, CSI, and UHC). Go back a few weeks and you'll see some Lumico, Anthem, and a bunch of others in the mix. The mix is good IMHO. I also have MAPD business in there too - I think that'll become more and more common.

    I think one of the primary problems with all of it is that rates should be raised $30-40 across the board tomorrow. Then, we'd have some stability as most carriers are under pricing the market. But no one wants to do that because they'd be the only carrier to do so, and they'd lose business.
     
  10. somarco
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    somarco GA Medicare Expert

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    Scott, you are correct.

    Carriers I once considered stable are no longer in the market . . . with one exception. UHC.

    However they are not competitive here. Not broker friendly. The love to cross-sell (via AARP) anything from travel cruises to Ginzu knives.

    Anything for a buck . . .

    My most stable carrier tag team has been New Era - PALIC and Bankers Fidelity - Bankers Assurance.

    Both of those teams are easy to work with. Broker and client friendly. Rate increases so far have been manageable.

    The challenge with ANY senior health insurance is nothing is stable or predictable. Having spent MANY years in the health insurance business I have never had clients like I do now.

    Stay with me year in year out in spite of rate increases. And these folks hand out referrals like there is no tomorrow.

    Other than death, I lose 1 - 2% of my client base annually. Most of the time I find out after the first of the year that someone has changed to an MA plan. But then many of them want to come back but that often is not possible.

    On a very rare occasion they will be approached by another agent pitching the low rate flavor of the day. I can only think of one client I lost that way but there are probably a few more. Most of the time they will call me and ask about carrier X having a low rate. After talking about it either I move them to another carrier (same plan, lower rate) or we have a serious discussion about how they will not pass underwriting.

    I am appointed with maybe 10 carriers. Always have a few household names, carriers no one has heard of but are consistent players and a few low price leaders. I have WULA and before that used Manhattan but very sparingly. Having access to CSG gives me the ability to talk about other carriers with low rates but have only been in the market for 10 minutes.

    Seniors like stability and when they are educated about the market will shy away from a carrier that has no track record. I also mention the menagerie of Omaha and Aetna offspring, especially if they ask about all the information they see about either of those parents.

    The biggest challenge I have now is Anthem. Their G rates are very competitive and folks will go direct. They also include Silver Sneakers . . .

    I offer Anthem but also tell folks their app is almost impossible to navigate without help. There is no way to keep folks from going direct to any carrier including Anthem/BX or UHC/AARP. The only thing I can hope for is they talk to me somewhere along the process and I have a chance to talk about the value I bring to the table.

    Plus if they call me they won't have to press 1 for English . . .

    The only thing an agent can do to preserve their block is to stay in constant contact and offer information that is helpful. Not just Medicare related, but anything of interest to your client base.

    I send out an email newsletter every month. Tips on saving money, travel, food, Medicare news and always a funny meme or cartoon.

    Lately I have made it a bit more personal including info on my family and that was well received.

    What works for me may not for you. It is a constant battle but considerably easier than fighting the U65 health insurance rate increase battle.
     
    somarco, Aug 6, 2019
    #10
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