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Topic: Agent Oversight
All agents are expected to comply with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations and guidelines, federal and state laws, and health plan rules, policies, and procedures. But what does that mean, and how can health plans enable their employed sales staff and contracted agents to stay compliant while achieving target goals and growth?
Time and time again, we encounter “the coolest workarounds” ever invented within the government programs space. Said a different way, we encounter staff who are stuck inventing ways to accomplish the regulatory burden upon their shoulders when they don’t have the right processes and tools to efficiently do their job. The manual effort and workarounds almost get the job done but ultimately leave the plan short of their end goal. This phenomenon is not just seen in one operational area but is commonly experienced across multiple disciplines within the health plan.
Agent compensation for Medicare Advantage has changed drastically since the implementation of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) of 2008. MIPPA included regulations, for the first time, around Agent/Broker Commission – among many other things. The goal of implementing commission requirements was to ensure there was a level playing field between plans by implementing the Fair Market Value (FMV) limits, thereby removing the incentive for agents/brokers to enroll a beneficiary into the top-paying plan or to churn beneficiaries from one plan to another. Rather, the goal was to ensure the beneficiary was enrolled in the plan that best fit his/her needs.
Preparing for the 2016 selling season means implementing a strategy that mitigates compliance risks for your organization and empowers your sales force to meet your enrollment targets. In our recent webinar regarding the impact of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) changes on Medicare Advantage (MA) and Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) 2016 Agent Readiness, I outlined key takeaways your organization needs to enforce in order to protect your health plan from compliance risks while also positioning it for sales success in 2016 and beyond.
It’s so much more than training. GHG’s fully-automated Sales Sentinel™ can take your agents from zero to ready-to-sell in as little as one week, ensuring agents are not only trained, but contracted, licensed, and appointed per CMS requirements. Sentinel can also assist the organization with administrative onboarding functions such as form collection and writing code assignment.
“Do It Yourself”, or DIY, has been the rave for years now. From social media sites like Pinterest to television networks like HGTV, Americans have become fond of this philosophy. Now, I am a big believer in being self-sufficient and must say that I have been sucked into marathon viewings of DIY shows often (Nicole Curtis of Rehab Addict is no joke!). And, while I have seen my share of success stories, more often than not, I see DIY projects result in complete frustration from those attempting to DIY and very costly mistakes.
It is truth that in the second term of Democratic administrations, scores get settled between Washington regulators and business partners of the Federal government. 2015 will be no different for our favorite agency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). It’s already on a pace for 2015 to be the toughest year ever in enforcement actions against Medicare Advantage plans. And generally speaking, the regulatory bar is rising faster than anyone imagined. Consider: Read more