Event Recaps, Medicare

Medicare Advantage Trends for 2024

Episode Summary

This transcript summarizes the key announcements from top Medicare Advantage carriers during an annual broker event. Wellcare started by sharing enhancements to their Dual Special Needs Plans, including new spendable debit cards that give members flexibility in using their allowances for dental, vision, and hearing care. This provides a better member experience.

Cigna highlighted their new Part B premium giveback plan that will help reduce the costs that members pay for Medicare Part B. This puts money back in their pockets. Cigna also discussed increased allowances for grocery and utility benefits with their MA plans to help offset these rising household costs.

UnitedHealthcare reinforced its strong market position, having been the number one MA and Medigap carrier for 10 straight years. They touted their membership growth and retention thanks to consistent plan offerings, benefit enhancements, and strong customer satisfaction.

Humana shared details on their record enrollment year for 2022 and how they will be adding a new travel benefit to many HMO plans in 2023. This benefit will reimburse members for hotel stays to make travel more affordable.

Aetna focused on its major expansion efforts in the Dual Special Needs Plan market, entering 82 new counties with DSNP in 2023. They also highlighted enhancements to their MA PPO and HMO plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield discussed their investments in new benefits like hearing aids and fitness memberships as well as their introduction of new HMO plans and expansion into 80 new counties for 2023.

Nearly all carriers emphasized their commitment to achieving 5-star ratings, which led to higher member bonuses and benefits. They are making major investments in enhancing benefits, improving healthcare services, and investing in technology to improve Star Ratings. Medicaid redetermination was also a hot topic, with carriers keeping a close eye on potential membership impacts.

Overall, the carrier announcements highlighted the strong competition in the MA market. Carriers are fighting for membership growth and retention by expanding geographically, enhancing benefits, improving services, and investing in technology. This is great news for brokers and Medicare beneficiaries who will have more plan options, benefits, and value to choose from. The carriers are innovating and competing for their business.


(0:00:05) - Broker Link podcast recap from the annual kickoff event for Medicare and brokers
(0:00:55) - Shane White is part of WellCare's national distribution team
(0:01:57) - Ryan Girot is Cigna's sales director for Texas and Oklahoma
(0:02:57) - Gabe Moore: Humana is having a record year this year
(0:04:14) - David Gaitan is the sales director for Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma
(0:05:42) - Jen Cruz: Blue Cross is expanding into 80 more counties in Texas
(0:06:51) - There is a concern with the stability of part B give-back plans
(0:09:20) - 97% of Humana's membership is on a four-star plan
(0:10:13) - Ryan, what can you tell us about the Cigna give-back plans
(0:12:56) - Aetna expanding into 80-plus counties in Texas this year
(0:15:24) - We've seen several new partial dual plans and premium-based Lis benchmark Medicare Advantage plans
(0:17:12) - Josh: What is the lead plan from Blue Cross in 2024 that agents need
(0:17:46) - Our flex plan has been a big seller for med sub-buyers
(0:18:52) - Wellcare has been most aggressive in standalone part D world
(0:21:27) - Wellcare has made significant improvements to customer service and broker support
(0:22:55) - We're really happy with our new spendable card on DSNP plans
(0:24:07) - As agents finalize their AEP strategy, they're looking for carrier partners
(0:26:16) - JB, I want to ask about AOR protection with UnitedHealthcare
(0:29:21) - There's been a misconception that there was going to need for a migration
(0:30:06) - Care N Care is the only carrier that covers COPD through the donut hole
(0:30:31) - JB: Who has the best dental network Humana

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