Resources for Brokers During Covid-19
As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 outbreak, insurance carriers are providing tools and information to allow agents to continue serving clients. We’ll be monitoring those communications and posting regular updates on this page to assist you in continuing Medicare sales during this time.
To see a list of carriers’ responses to Covid, click here.
Learn How to Access Telehealth Services
for Your Carrier
Compliance During Covid-19
Covid-19 Updates from CMS
Under the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, CMS is authorizing medical providers to provide Medicare recipients expanded access to telehealth services. They’ve released telehealth toolkits to general practitioners as well as providers treating patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). More from CMS:
“Under this new waiver, Medicare can pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via telehealth across the country and including in patient’s places of residence starting March 6, 2020. A range of providers, such as doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers, will be able to offer telehealth to their patients. These benefits are part of the broader effort by CMS and the White House Task Force to ensure that all Americans – particularly those at high-risk of complications from the virus that causes the disease COVID-19 are aware of easy-to-use, accessible benefits that can help keep them healthy while helping to contain the community spread of this virus.”
While the new toolkits are directed at providers, they contain valuable information for Medicare agents on what sort of telehealth access your clients can expect.
- You must have access to the Ascend Virtual Sales Office app. To request access, fill out a quick request form on Producer World. Please note this can take up to 2-7 days to process your request.
- You must have an iPad. This is required. RATE is not compatible with other tablet brands.
- You must complete an online, self-paced compliance training and pass a quiz with a score of 90% in two tries or less.
E-Kits with Aetna'a Ascend App
- No special set up or extra training is required to use e-kits
- works on any laptop or tablet
- Before using an e-Kit to enroll your client, you need to complete a compliant sales presentation
General Remote Sales Guidance from Aetna
- Obtain a Scope of Appointment (SOA) prior to the start of all personal/individual marketing appointments held in person or by phone when MA, MAPD and PDP products are discussed.
- Remember you can obtain an SOA by email or text through the Ascend app.
- Provide Aetna’s CMS-approved MA/MAPD sales presentation, available in video format (English, Spanish and Chinese versions), or in PDF format (English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and Polish versions) from Producer World.
- Provide and review the Summary of Benefits and current star ratings sheet. These documents are available through the Ascend app. Or you can download PDF copies from AetnaMedicare.com
On March 30, Cigna introduced a Broker Enrollment Assistance line for Medicare agents. The carrier has provided the following guidance for agents planning to enroll using this new service:
- Follow CMS guidelines on permission to contact, SOA requirements and presentation requirements with your customer prior to calling the Cigna line
- Explain the process to your customer in advance of the call
- Call — with your customer on the line — once you have made the sale and customer is ready to enroll
- Introduce yourself and your customer to the enrollment specialist
- Provide customer name, customer MBI, plan selection, broker writing number and any other information requested by the enrollment specialist
- Once you provide all necessary information, the enrollment specialist will give the customer a call back number and will advise the customer to call back in order to complete the enrollment
- The enrollment process begins and you remain Agent of Record (AOR)
Arizona enrollments: 866-619-8825
Enrollments in all other Cigna Medicare states: 866-619-9293
Cigna Waiving Customer Cost Sharing
As of March 30, 2020, Cigna is waiving all cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment through May 21, 2020, per a press release from the carrier. All COVID-19 treatments and services will be considered in-network and benefits will be provided at the contracted rate for in-network providers or 100% of Medicare, as applicable.
Covid-19 Risk Assessment Tool
Cigna has released a COVID-19 Risk Assessment tool for policyholders. To access this tool, clients who have Cigna plans can visit the carrier’s Coronavirus Resource Center and click “Check Your Symptoms and Risk for the Coronavirus.” They will then be prompted to select their policy type and log in.
Envision has introduced 3 new attestation options for electronic enrollments. Agents who are used to seeing 2 options for attestation at the bottom of the electronic enrollments will now see 3 additional options.
- For the 1st option of phone approval, you will still need a signed application and SOA, but you can collect these documents at a later date. When you send your client the Scope and Application to sign, verify the application date and the signature date are the same. Enter the date in which you completed phone enrollment and not the date they are mailing the signed documents back to you.
- You may use the 2nd option if the client has a smartphone or can scan and email images or borrow a family member’s phone to take a pic and save it to their records as signatures.
- The third one is for agents who can organize a WebEx, GoToMeeting, or Zoom meeting with a client to serve as their face to face. However, you will need to obtain the transcript or recording of that meeting to save as you would have the signed documents.
As of Friday, March 20, Humana is asking agents to use their e-enrollment tools primarily, and requesting electronic procedures be used to submit any necessary paper applications. From Humana:
“Effective immediately, we are requesting that agents submit enrollment applications using our Enrollment Hub or FastApp electronic tools, with the prospect/member’s permission.
If a paper application is necessary, we are requesting those be submitted using:
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax to: 1-800-351-1401
- Upload through our App Upload Center
During this time, agents should NOT mail paper applications, as postal service delays or vendor limitations that prevent our ability to receive and process these applications are possible.
Your cooperation is appreciated as we strive to provide the best member experience and avoid disruption in care. We will continue to keep you updated about when we expect to resume our standard operating procedures.”
Telephonic Sales Guidance for Humana Agents
In a communication sent out on Monday, March 16, Humana advised agents to avoid face-to-face meetings with consumers.
“In an effort to protect our most vulnerable population, Humana strongly suggests not meeting face-to-face with consumers. Sales agents may conduct a full sales presentation over the phone, with the beneficiary’s permission. Please encourage the use of electronic enrollment tools & telephonic presentations. Some job-aids and guidelines are attached. Our training department will be scheduling additional webinars on electronic tools as well. We will keep you notified as they become available.”
Humana has provided guidance in the form of a step-by-step process for obtaining an SOA and completing a sales presentation by phone, as well as an outline of Dos and Don’ts for phone sales.
Humana Waives Coronavirus Treatment Cost
- Testing and Medical Care Related to Testing. In addition to continuing to waive costs for COVID-19 testing provided at approved locations, we will waive copays, coinsurance and deductibles for visits associated with COVID-19 testing whether care is received in a physician office, urgent care center or emergency department for all Medicare Advantage members. Any additional coverage for treatment for COVID-19 is administered according to benefit plans including applicable cost sharing.
- Medication. Eligible members needing help obtaining an early prescription refill can call the customer care number located on their medical ID card.
- Virtual Care for Highest-risk Members. We are rapidly expanding access to our personalized digital platform which is available on our member website for those who need it most. The interactive platform provides the most up-to-date information about prevention, coverage, care and support needed to rapidly assess symptoms, schedule an in-person or a telehealth visit with their provider, talk to a nurse, refill or schedule home delivery for prescriptions and access 24-hour emotional support.