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:
For some, responsibility is empowering. For some others, responsibility is frightening, even debilitating. When you get right down to it, when it comes to your work and your responsibilities, you are responsible for everything. So if everything is your responsibility, then you’re the one who must do something to change the outcome from negative to positive. Problems don’t age well. Tiny monsters grow up to be giant monsters. You’re better off dispatching them before they become entrenched, and before they wreak havoc on your results. Be bold; be daring; be resolved to make the hard calls before someone else has to do it for you. You can do this. COLUMN
Change is more difficult than you believe. Having intellectual understanding of the reason something needs to change isn’t enough. An emotional need to change is necessary, and more powerful. Change is psychological. You first have to have a shift in your mindset, your personal philosophy, your personal psychology. Without that shift, there will be no change. Change takes longer than you believe. It takes longer to sell, longer to build consensus and longer to execute before results are seen. Most change initiatives die not because the idea isn’t good or necessary, but because it was poorly executed. The change is usually poorly executed because it lacks executive engagement. Sometimes change initiatives fail because too many variables are changed at once. One major change might have been enough to produce a result, but because so much was attempted, nothing really changed. Change: it works.
The CMS is planning to launch updates to its Medicare Plan Finder this month after a report from a government watchdog flagged significant usability concerns with the tool. The GAO analyzed the experience of comparing plans on MPF and found 58% of beneficiaries described the process as “difficult” while just 13% of beneficiaries said it was easy. “These selections can be difficult due to the Medicare program’s complexity, and can have important implications for beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs and access to providers,” the GAO said. This can limit a beneficiary’s ability to compare their options in traditional Medicare fully with Medicare Advantage plans, according to the report. The tool also lacks information on provider networks offered in M/A plans, which can also confuse the selection process, since it requires a beneficiary to visit individual plan websites to find that information.