Now, more than ever before, Medicare Advantage plans are leaving beneficiaries exposed to hefty bills for hospital stays. Hospital indemnity insurance helps your clients have the money they need to get back on their feet!

A type of ancillary product, hospital indemnity insurance can pay for expenses related to inpatient stays. Here’s why you should carve out a spot for these plans in your portfolio this fall.

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The Ideal Cross-Sale

Many Medicare eligibles are attracted to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans because of their extra benefits and low, or nonexistent, premiums. While appealing for those reasons, $0-premium MA plans have high copays and high deductibles. They can also have annual out-of-pocket limits as high as $6,700. A tab like that can spell big trouble for seniors who require medical attention.

For someone 65 to 84 years old, the mean length of a hospital stay is 5.2 days and the mean cost of a stay is $13,000. Even with health insurance, it can be tough for clients to afford their payments, especially if they’re living on a fixed income or miss work due to their illness or injury.

Even with health insurance, it can be tough for clients to afford hospital payments.

Hospital indemnity plans provide a fixed amount of money directly to the beneficiary upon a qualifying event. This predetermined benefit can pay for deductibles, ER visits, observation stays, surgeries, medications, transportation, lodging, health screenings, and more. Additionally, individuals can add riders to these policies to help pay for cancer, ambulance, or skilled nursing related costs!

If you’re a Medicare sales agent, offering this product is a great way to go that extra mile for clients. It’s truly possible to earn more money selling hospital indemnity insurance. And, one of the greatest things about these plans is that you can sell them year-round!

A Huge Market Opportunity

Let’s take a look at some statistics. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Medicare Advantage 2017 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update:

  • 33% of Medicare beneficiaries are in MA plans in 2017.
  • 89% of MA beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans.
  • 97% of MAPD beneficiaries have access to a $0-premium MAPD.
  • Of those 97% of MAPD beneficiaries, a whopping 50% are in a $0-premium plan.
  • The average OOP limit for MAPD enrollees was $4,313 in 2011, and now, it’s $5,219.

Right now, there are a lot of beneficiaries out there who could benefit from hospital indemnity plans. With the Congressional Budget Office projecting that MA enrollment will grow to 41 percent by 2027, you should expect to keep meeting people who make excellent prospects for this product.

Right now, there are a lot of beneficiaries who could benefit from hospital indemnity plans.

Is Hospital Indemnity Insurance Right for My Client?

People of any age can enroll in this form of coverage, but it’s not a good fit for everyone.

The ideal client for hospital indemnity insurance is someone who’s already in your book of business. Specifically, consider enrollees who have $0-premium MA plans. Also look at clients who are on fixed budgets and can’t afford high out-of-pocket costs.

Before making any suggestions to your client, do your research. Compare the benefits of your client’s primary health insurance plan and hospital indemnity plans, and see if he or she stands to gain more in protection than they have to lose in monthly premiums.

Are There Any Rules on Selling Hospital Indemnity Plans?

Please note that you cannot sell these plans at a Medicare sales appointment UNLESS your client has checked off the hospital indemnity related box on their Scope of Appointment form.

Fortunately, the new 2018 Scope of Appointment changes allow for same-day compliant scopes, according to the most recent version of the Medicare Marketing Guidelines.

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So, is hospital indemnity insurance worth selling with Medicare Advantage plans? We believe the answer is a resounding YES. Like blankets and sweaters, certain MA plans and hospital indemnity plans work better together. Having more complete coverage will help keep your clients feeling all warm, fuzzy, and protected even on the coldest days ahead.