Believe it or not, but it’s already time to start looking toward the next Open Enrollment Period. CMS has released information on agent compensation rates, as well as training and testing requirements for 2020. The busy season will be here before you know it. Here’s what you need to know:
2020 Agent and Broker Training & Testing Requirements
Every year, agents and brokers who sell Medicare Advantage and Part D plans must complete training and testing. CMS provides an outline of the content that should be covered, based on CMS’ Medicare Managed Care Manual, CMS’ Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Manual, Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines, and regulations at Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 417, 422, and 423).
The 2020 Agent and Broker Training & Testing Guidelines have been released. The document includes an outline of topics that should be addressed, as well as a list of references and 20 practice questions. All agents and brokers will need to pass with a score of 85 percent or higher.
The main topics in the outline are:
- Medicare Basics
- Enrollment and Disenrollment
- Communication and Marketing Requirements and Other Regulations
Each broad category is further divided into more specific topics. In addition to the topics covered in this outline, organizations may add questions on other relevant topics as well.
2020 Agent Compensation Rates
Once you complete your testing, your hard work will be rewarded with the opportunity to earn a good income selling Medicare products. CMS has announced the fair market value (FMV) cut-off amounts for Medicare compensation rates and referral fees for 2020. This is maximum amount that Medicare Advantage Plans and Plan D Sponsors can pay agents and brokers – some plans may pay less.
Here are the 2020 limits, compared to the 2019 limits:
- Medicare Advantage (Initial Year): National including Texas: $510 (up from $482 in 2019)
- Medicare Advantage (Renewals): National including Texas: $255 (up from $241 in 2019)
- Prescription Drug Plans:
- Prescription Drug Plans (Initial Year): $78 (up from $74 in 2019)
- Prescription Drug Plans (Renewals): $39 (up from $37 in 2019)
The referral/finder’s fee limits for 2020 are as follows:
- Medicare Advantage Plan Referrals: $100
- Prescription Drug Plan Sponsors Referrals: $25