Fixed indexed annuity sales in Q2 were $20 billion, 14% higher than prior year results, according LIMRA. Annuity sales were up sharply again across the board, continuing a sales rebound that began with the defeat of the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule early in 2018. “This quarter’s FIA sales total represents the highest quarterly sales for FIAs ever,” LIMRA said. “Despite declining interest rates, we are forecasting the current momentum of FIA sales to continue through the end of the year, and expect sales of FIAs to exceed $70 billion for 2019.” In the first six months of 2019, FIA sales were $38 billion, an increase of 18%, compared with the first six months of 2018. Total annuity sales were $63.9 billion in Q2, up 7% compared to 2018. This is the highest quarterly sales recorded since Q1 2009, and the third consecutive quarter where total annuity sales surpassed $60 billion. Year-to-date, total annuity sales were $124.8 billion, an increase 11%, compared to the first half of 2018.
HealthCare.gov and the state ACA exchange websites will start publishing quality star ratings for insurance plans, CMS announced Thursday. Under the now-nationwide policy, set to start for the 2020 plan year, exchange insurers will be rated using a 5-star quality rating system similar to Medicare Advantage’s. The number of stars awarded depends on how enrollees rate in-network doctors, care received, customer service and overall experience with the insurer. HealthCare.gov will post the ratings.
All but one of the five largest for-profit payers saw double-digit growth in their Medicare Advantage membership in Q2 2019. Insurers are listed in order of year-over-year M/A enrollment growth, as of June 30:
- Aetna: M/A membership – 2.3 million, 30.6% growth;
- Anthem: M/A membership – 1.2 million, 24.9% growth;
- Humana: M/A membership: 12.4 million, 19.2% growth;
- Cigna: M/A membership – 1.6 million, 10 % growth;
- UnitedHealthcare: M/A membership – 5.2 million, 8.4% growth.
Cigna is planning to expand its Medicare Advantage footprint by 14% next year, according to Forbes. The insurer plans to enter 37 new counties with individual HMO plans, and 43 new counties with individual PPO M/A plans in 2020. “We see tremendous growth opportunity in M/A, starting in 2020,” CEO David Cordani said. This comes on the heels of Centene announcing its plans to expand into 100 new counties and enter a new state – Nevada – to expand M/A to seniors in 2020. Cigna now joins a group of well-known health plans looking to capitalize on new rules that allow M/A plans to offer more benefits to seniors. Cigna’s M/A business had 440,000 members at the end of Q2, significantly fewer than rivals such as Humana, UnitedHealth and Aetna.
“Let me think about it … I’ll get back to you.” How many times have you gotten this answer when trying to close a sale? Too often, it never closes. You presented a good idea in the prospect’s best interests. You answered the questions. It seems like a square peg and a square hole. Many agents and marketers wonder why prospects hesitate. I wondered too. When doing research, I surveyed and interviewed scores of marketers and insurance agents, asking the question, “Why don’t prospects and clients make decisions?” There are logical reasons they don’t make decisions. Once you understand a prospects’ concerns, you can address them: