Medicare insurance agents are gearing up for a busy season. The Annual Election Period starts October 15 and ends December 7.  It’s an important time for the Medicare enrollees selecting coverage for 2020, and it’s a hectic time for the insurance agents helping them. Here’s what you should expect from this year’s AEP.

More Benefits

Medicare Advantage plans often offer benefits not included in Original Medicare. According to Kaiser Family Foundation, 67 percent of Medicare Advantage plans included dental benefits in 2019, while 72 benefits included fitness benefits and 78 percent included eye exams or glasses.

Moving forward, Medicare Advantage plans may expand their offerings further. Thanks to new rules from CMS, Medicare Advantage plans are allowed to offer long-term care benefits and other non-medical benefits. Keep an eye out for more of these in 2020 plans.

More Enrollees

Every day, 10,000 people age into Medicare. At the same time, Medicare Advantage is becoming an increasingly popular option.

According to CMS, enrollment in Medicare Advantage reached a record high of 22.6 million in 2019. That’s an 11.5 percent increase from 2018, when there were 20.2 million enrollees. It’s estimated that 36.7 percent of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage for 2019.

Between the aging population and the popularity of Medicare Advantage, insurance agents can expect more and more clients each Annual Election Period, this year included.

More Plans

According to CMS, there were 3,700 Medicare Advantage plan choices in 2019, and 91 percent of people had access to at least 10 plans. In 2018, there were 3,100 plans, and only 86 percent of people had access to 10 or more plans.

Medicare Advantage has proven to be an attractive market for payers. Expect more insurance companies to expand their Medicare Advantage offerings, and look for more options for 2020.

Good Value

While health care costs seem to be rising across the board, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D premiums have proven to be the exception.

According to Kaiser Family Foundation, premiums for Medicare Advantage have been decreasing since 2015. In 2019, the average premium for all plans was only $29. Some Medicare Advantage plans come with $0 premiums, meaning enrollees don’t pay any extra for coverage.

CMS says that the average Medicare Part D monthly premium was $32.50 in 2019, a decrease of $1.09 from the previous year.

Get Ready

It looks like this AEP will be an especially busy one. Get ready for October now.

  • Complete your annual certification with America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).
  • Complete your certification and training with carriers.
  • Get your call lists and marketing materials ready.
  • Keep an eye out for new plans and plan changes.
  • Attend our Hooked on AEP agent kickoff event on October 4. Watch your inbox for details.

If you’re not yet contracted with PTT Financial, now is the time. Get comprehensive support for your busy season! Download more information here.