I’m Steve Spinner, the Director for Medicare Advantage Sales. I’m a central Illinois native, born in Pana, and I’ve lived in Decatur since 1979. I have two children and am a grandfather of four young boys.
I’ve been in the insurance industry for exactly 25 years now. Getting into the insurance industry was actually a mistake – I was in insurance right out of college in 1980, and I didn’t really like it. I did it for a few years and then moved on.
Then, in 1993, I sort of got picked by a guy at Country Financial and just kept going. That came to an end in 2001 when they got out of the group health business. I had quite a book of clients, so I took them to an agency.
I turned 60 recently, and I really want to work for the senior market, which is why I’ve joined New Horizons as the Director of Medicare Advantage Sales.
Why is New Horizons getting into Medicare Advantage now?
I know a lot of you are probably wondering – why now? Why is New Horizons adding Medicare Advantage in 2018?
Some of the market trends suggest that Medicare Advantage is going to consume a larger and larger percentage of the senior market space. We’ve seen trends that project as high as 50%, although I'm not sure we can make that big of a leap just yet.
We consider ourselves a full-service organization with the best interest of the senior market in mind, and it’s imperative that we get into this space with a renewed commitment.
I’m a Med Supp agent – why would I pay attention to MA?
Not everyone is a Med Supp-only agent, but for those that are, I think it’s important to take a look at Medicare Advantage now.
Even if you have preconceived notions about its value compared to supplements, the reality is that seniors want it. If they don’t get it from you, they’re going to get it from someone else.
If you recognize the same trends that we have, you’ll start to see the reality of how important MA is to your bottom line.
If you ignore MA altogether, you’ll be reducing your pool of prospects. With the Affordable Care Act, the industry has noticed that there’s a large portion of consumers out there that reduce their premiums in exchange for a higher deductible.
If that trend continues, then Medicare Advantage is a prime candidate to help solve that problem for consumers.
Who is the ideal consumer for Medicare Advantage?
Ideal customers for Medicare Advantage would be veterans and dual-eligibles (people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid).
However, I believe that a growing number of everyday consumers will start gravitating towards Medicare Advantage.
Which is better: Medicare Supplements or Medicare Advantage?
Both products have their niche.
If people like to have a finite amount of money out of their pocket, a supplement is a wonderful solution.
If people think they’re going to be healthy, and their philosophy is that they’re going to underwrite their own health, a Medicare Advantage plan is an equally good product.
How would you propose Med Supps vs MA to a client?
I would ask my client about their current philosophy. How do they handle their healthcare now?
If they say any of the following...
I rarely see the doctor, and I don’t think that will change.
I am challenged financially.
I’d rather have low premiums in exchange for some risk.
...I’d probably steer them towards Medicare Advantage.
On the other hand, if they like to know exactly what’s coming out of their pocket, a Medicare Supplement is a perfect response to that.
How does MA commission compare to Med Supps?
Medicare Advantage is actually a little bit better commission than a Medicare Supplement. It also pays lifetime commissions.
Here’s a chart showing what your income could look like if you sold Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, and drug plans.
|Applications per month||4||8||12|
|Average First Year Commission||$300||$300||$300|
|Annual Income from Medicare Advantage Business||$14,400||$28,800||$42,200|
|Applications per month||2||4||8|
|Average First Year Commission||$360||$360||$360|
|Annual Income from Medicare Supplement Business||$8,640||$17,280||$34,560|
Part D Prescription Drug Plans
|Applications per month||2||4||8|
|Average First Year Commission||$50||$50||$50|
|Annual Income from Part D Prescription Drug Plans Business||$1,200||$2,400||$9,600|
|Total Projected Income||$24,240||$48,480||$86,360|
If you take out Medicare Advantage, you’re taking a severe cut to your bottom line.
Does it matter where I live?
Medicare Advantage is county-specific, so the county you sell in will determine which plans are available.
I’ve seen counties with 4 plans available and counties with 12 plans available. It’s all dependent on the county.
In general, there are more options in larger cities, and for good reason.
A beneficiary in a larger city will have broader access to physicians than in a rural area. That makes it a lot tougher for the insurance company. There’s more to it than that, but that’s the general idea.
Is Medicare Advantage better for the doctor?
Medicare is a government-run program. We know that sometimes, the government can be slow. There can be long lag times.
When you deal with MA, you’re dealing with an insurance company. Doctors and providers would much rather deal with an insurance company than they would the government.
Wrapping It Up
We’re heavily into the agent support system – we have great marketing strategies, and a ton of agent support.
It’s going to be incredibly easy to do business with us, so please get in touch if you haven’t already!