The goal of Medicare Rights Center’s work with the financial services industry is to ensure that professionals master the basics of health care coverage for older adults and people with disabilities.
Joe Baker, the Medicare Rights Center president, says, “Financial service pros should never lose client discussions about Medicare to other professionals. It’s vital that you be the expert, you build the client’s trust, and you control the tools provided by Medicare Rights in order to keep your client engaged.”
It is no longer in vogue to be entertained for an hour by a clever, creative presentation at a corporate retreat or industry trade show, then come away with nothing to show for the time spent. Professionals want to enhance their skills and knowledge and take away benefits that they can use on the job, throughout the year.
In addition to Medicare Rights Center speakers and presentation topics, different product offerings could also be bundled with the engagement, offering ongoing client benefits.
Basic Presentation Topics for Financial Professional and Their Clients
Additional Product Offerings:
The Medicare Rights Center has been a tireless advocate of older and disabled Americans, working day in and day out to make sure they have access to affordable health care. With education, training, and service programs like your Medicare Information hotline assistance partnership, you’ve played an important part in making Medicare work for those who can’t afford to fill their prescriptions or get access to essential health care services.”
President Bill Clinton, June 2000
“Just wanted to thank you for the training we were able to attend. With this information, I was able to help a client with both Medicare and Medicaid get her prescriptions. Actual costs for her drugs totaled $1,155 per month, which was unaffordable; now she pays only a fraction of that amount, so she can afford to take her medication. Thank you so much.”
State Health Insurance Assistance Provider (SHIP) staff member, after attending a Medicare Rights Center training session for professionals
“Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the Medicare Rights Center program today. My motivation behind attending was to better understand the Medicare program and its limitations for when my parents enroll in the next few years. The speaker was so entertaining and really presented the information in a digestible format. Thanks so much for organizing it!”
Courtney Mabane, Benefits Administrator, Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft LLC
“Our experience and empirical research indicate that Congress and CMS should do more to simplify plan selection and coverage rules for people with Medicare Advantage. To achieve this goal, we recommend adequately funding unbiased counseling resources, such as State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs); improving beneficiary notice regarding annual plan changes; appropriately limiting the ability of MA plans to make mid-year changes to provider networks; further streamlining and standardizing plans; and making available public data on the performance of MA plans, particularly with respect to appeals and grievances. Thank you for the opportunity to testify.”
From the testimony of Joe Baker, President, Medicare Rights Center, U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee, Subcommittee on Health, July 24, 2014
The Medicare Rights Center is an independent organization whose work is primarily supported by private foundations and public contracts, the latter in areas where they deliver direct services (e.g., New York State). They also receive unrestricted contributions from corporations and individuals, and they maintain fee-for-service relationships with a number of corporations and nonprofits.
The Medicare Rights Center is grateful to the following foundations for supporting our new projects and ongoing services.
Medicare Rights Center: Their Mission. The Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization dedicated to ensuring access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling, advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives. Since 1989, they have been helping people with Medicare understand their rights and benefits, navigate the Medicare system, and secure the quality health care they deserve. They are the largest and most reliable independent source of Medicare information and assistance in the United States. Medicare Rights helps shape the national debate on Medicare, with legislation before Congress (the BENES Act), over 80 bipartisan, national partners petitioning the federal government, and interviews in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, NPR, The Hill, and other news outlets.
What They Do
A partial list of partners and funders: 1199 SEIU Funds, AARP Public Policy Institute, U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), American Federation of Teachers, Community Catalyst, IBM, Medicaid & Medicare Advisory Group, National Council on Aging (NCOA), New York Community Trust, New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), New York State Health Foundation, OpenSesame, Robin Hood, Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Single Stop USA, United Hospital Fund.
Medicare Rights is currently implementing a federal subgrant through the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) to provide training and certification to thousands of counselors associated with State Health Insurance Assistance Providers (SHIPs) nationally. Medicare Rights also develops regular content for the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and for Senior Medicare Patrols (SMPs) nationally.
The best way to maximize your Medicare coverage is to be prepared in advance of the transition. Find out when to enroll, how to save, and what to expect when you’re approaching your 65th birthday. During this session we’ll go over Medicare eligibility, what your new insurance covers, the typical costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and take a look at a few programs that can help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
Hitting 65 often means making big decisions about work and retirement. It also means considering how Medicare fits in the picture for you, either now or in the future. Learn when to enroll into Medicare when you’re employed and when it might be wise to delay enrollment. During this session we’ll teach you how to best avoid penalties and what questions you should ask when making insurance decisions as a Medicare-eligible.
Coordination of benefits is the term used to describe how Medicare works with other kinds of insurance, including employer insurance and Medicaid. In this course, you will learn about the coordination of benefits rules for current and former employer coverage, including COBRA, retiree coverage, and Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB). You will find out if Medicare pays primary or secondary to different employer-related insurance, depending on the number of employees and whether individuals are eligible for Medicare due to age or disability. You will also gain valuable knowledge about various enrollment-related consequences and considerations for beneficiaries who delay their Medicare enrollment.
After taking this course, you will be able to:
This course explores coordination of benefits rules for military and non-employer insurance, as well as other types of insurance a beneficiary may have. We will address TRICARE, TRICARE for Life, and Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, and see how each coordinates—or does not coordinate—with Medicare. This course also includes discussions of liability insurance, no-fault insurance, and workers’ compensation, including information about how all of these pay primary or secondary to Medicare. We will also discuss what happens when Medicare makes a conditional payment and the steps involved in the conditional payment recovery process. Finally, we will take a look at long-term care insurance, dental insurance, and Health Insurance Marketplace plans and what must happen when an individual with Marketplace coverage becomes Medicare-eligible.
After taking this course, you will be able to:
In this course, you will learn about the Medicaid program in more detail and how it affects lower-income Medicare beneficiaries. We will explore the basics of Medicaid, including eligibility and state-specific rules. Specifically, you will find out how individuals can qualify for Medicaid in some states by taking advantage of a Medicaid spend-down, participating in a trust program, or enrolling through the Medicaid Buy-In program. You will learn about Medicaid coverage, including mandatory and optional benefits, and go into detail about Institutional Medicaid and Medicaid waiver programs for beneficiaries who need long-term care. The course will also introduce MAGI (Modified Adjusted Gross Income) Medicaid, including Medicaid for expansion populations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), available to individuals with higher income limits than traditional Medicaid. You will also find out how individuals transition from MAGI Medicaid to Medicare and possible outcomes.
After taking this course, you will be able to:
The Medicare Rights Center offers financial service companies content from Medicare Rights’ Medicare Interactive (MI) resource (www.medicareinteractive.org) for employees and clients.
MI currently answers nearly 2.5 million questions each year for older adults, people with disabilities, their families and caregivers, and the professionals serving them. Given the complex and ever-changing Medicare landscape, Medicare Rights is confident that a private-branded and promoted MI would go a long way toward extending the organization’s areas of expertise into health care coverage. Past and present white label MI clients include AARP, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), and Ceridian (under their Lifeworks brand).
What is Medicare Interactive? MI is a free and independent online reference tool thoughtfully designed to help diverse consumers, caregivers, and professionals navigate the complex world of health insurance. The Get Answers portion of MI contains 459 web pages and numerous linked documents of clear, up-to-date, legally vetted Medicare information. Drawing on the experience and best practices of Medicare Rights’ expert counselors and attorneys, MI offers a wealth of answers to Medicare questions in a variety of formats, and is available for use anytime.
White Label MI Options
Option 1: Maximum customization
Note that for all initial cost estimates assume a one-year licensing contract, during which time Medicare Rights will work with the client to design and launch their white label instance of MI. The specific deployment timeline is contingent upon the client’s needs. There will also be a lower subsequent annual cost to cover hosting, maintenance, and content updates. Mid-year changes will be billed at a separate hourly rate.
Option 2: Moderate customization
Option 3: Minimal customization
Spanish-language translation: All three White Label MI options can be enhanced with a Spanish-language translation of part or all of MI. There will be a baseline translation cost to cover the translation of core content (Get Answers, navigational cues, other text that carries over from page to page), staff supervision, etc. There will be an incremental Medicare content translation fee per web page, which includes expert/legal vetting. The translated site will be staged on a platform that automatically notifies Medicare Rights about any changes to the English language version of MI and flags ongoing translation needs
The Medicare Rights Center offers financial service companies content from Medicare Rights’ Medicare Minute program. The Medicare Minute program can help financial service organizations gain the trust of current clients, reach their potential customer base, and train staff through monthly in-services.
Capital District Physicians Health Plan (CDPHP) is an example of a private insurer who has taken the Medicare Minute program into the public as part of their community outreach and strategic engagement initiatives in upstate New York. Other Medicare Minute partners include the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (the SHIPs are using the program in over 30 states), trade/labor unions like 1199 (the Service Employees International Union) and AFT, and large community organizations like the Westchester, NY Library System. In Missouri, the Medicare Minute materials are used by their state SHIP training AmeriCorps volunteers; in Alaska, the state’s Medicare Information Office trains and presents throughout the state.
In 2015, Medicare Rights Center reached about 340,000 national audience members in over 40 states with the Medicare Minute materials, which is why many in the health care industry call the program “a national discussion.”
Each month a Medicare Minute (MM) partner receives three sets of materials: Teaching Materials, Talking Points Script, and Beneficiary/Consumer Handout. The MM materials are in English, however there is an opportunity to license a Spanish language version.
MM partners are given the license to convert program content into other media, too – some use cable access television channels, others present the content in radio shows, some organize and train volunteers in the community to deliver the material each month, some go into nursing homes and community centers and adult day care centers to deliver the Minute messages, some present at community health fairs, and some record them as audio or video and email them, along with downloadable versions of the handouts, to their clients, insureds, or patients. Clients may group a small cluster of Medicare Minute topics into a single video webinar. Some clients do a monthly wine-and-cheese reception to bring their clients and prospects together and guide them through this useful, timely information. Most MM partners email blast the monthly handouts to their clients, accompanying their regular corporate newsletter.
The following chart shows the program topics for the past five years (the program is over 15 years old). Medicare Minute topics are currently set with input and votes by the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs – and the Medicare Rights Center mission is to help get the word out about Medicare, all to benefit consumers and their families.
2017 Medicare Minute themes, which are subject to last-minute change, include: What’s New in 2017? (January), Part D Special Election Periods (February), Medicare Coverage of Hospital Stays (March), Medicare Savings Programs (April), How Medicare Works with Employer-based Coverage (May), Medicare and Medicaid (June), Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace (July), Common Fall Open Enrollment Notices (August), Fall Open Enrollment (September), Protecting Yourself from Enrollment Fraud (October), Medicare Appeals for Care that is Ending (November), and Common Medicare Coverage Problems (December).
The education department at Medicare Rights Center would conduct a training webinar with a core of internal staff at the new client to orient them to the program (in-person if in the tri-state New York metro area or by remote webinar if elsewhere). This is a train-the-trainer presentation with handouts to get everyone oriented to the MM program, and facilitate the program as an in-service. Medicare Minute program features summary:
Clients and prospective clients receive good information about Medicare from a trusted MM partner, they combat isolation by coming together with other like-minded people, and they’re able to share their experiences with others (personally validating).
The White Label Medicare Minute program features flexible annual subscription pricing, including discounts offered for multiple-year subscriptions.
Medicare Rights Center launched in December 2016 17 new e-learning modules, forming a comprehensive online Medicare curriculum that fills a piece missing in today’s workforce knowledge. The learning style for the program is asynchronous, with single-sign login enabling the busy learner to study anytime, anywhere. The learning management system (LMS) for the courses is within the Learning Center on the popular Medicare Interactive website, which is on track in 2017 to help almost 3 million users find answers to their Medicare questions.
The online training program is called Medicare Interactive Pro (or MI Pro) since it was designed to live in the Learning Center on the MI website, with training to empower professionals to help their clients master Medicare and better navigate the health care system. As the health care landscape changes in the coming years, MI Pro will continue to provide facts, in keeping with Medicare Rights Center’s role as the largest and most reliable independent source of Medicare information and assistance in the United States.
In partnership with a financial services company, Medicare Rights will provide a customized white label online learning environment and extend a site license to the client for unlimited training sessions, unlimited users. MI Pro would become the go-to in-house training resource for staff and new employees on Medicare and related topics.
MI Pro is structured as a four-level core curriculum, with four to five Captivate 9-authored course modules in each level – 17 core modules total. Each module is self-contained, with learning objectives, two to three knowledge quizzes for each instructional section within the learning module, a final review quiz of 10 assessment items, a certificate of completion that can be printed for learners who get 80% or higher on their final review quiz score, and a host of downloadable supplemental materials. Each module also features animations and interactions with the learner. The following is a description of each module and its learning objectives.
|Financial planners wanting in-depth knowledge of the rules and regulations regarding Medicare will find this 17-module Intensive program useful to help clients navigate the Medicare maze.
Topics covered include health insurance terms, a Medicare program overview, options for coverage, enrollment periods, dissection of Medicare Parts A, B, and D, Medigaps, Medicare Advantage Plans, Original Medicare appeals, Medicare Advantage appeals, Part D appeals, Medicare Late Enrollment Penalties, IRMAA, Medicare and the coordination of benefits with employer insurance and other types of insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and Medicare Assistance Programs.
|After taking this course, you will be able to:
There are 20 hours of seat time for the 17 modules, including all time for the online materials, knowledge quizzes, and final review quizzes. As observed by the 15 Medicare Rights Center volunteers who were training on the program in November 2016, there was approximately 3 hours of time spent on the final review quizzes for each of the 17 modules (10 questions each, 170 questions total), for a net seat time of 17 hours.
Medicare Rights Center has created an assortment of fliers that could be utilized by financial service professionals with internal staff, clients, and prospects. Here is a list of fliers for professionals and consumers.
Fliers for Professionals