Medicare and most health insurance don’t cover hearing aids, but alternatives including over-the-counter devices can be less expensive.
7 Medicare Advantage Marketing Techniques That Work
Medicare marketing is in the midst of change. The DMN3 Medicare Advantage Marketing Benchmark Study highlights the changes in marketing trends taking place. The study found that online marketing is playing a bigger role in Medicare marketing. By integrating new digital marketing techniques with traditional marketing methods, Medicare marketers can improve their ROI.
Medicare marketers report:
- 62% expect their digital marketing budgets to increase.
- 93% plan to use a digital tactic beyond having a website.
- 50% report direct mail had the best ROI for both cost-per-lead and cost-per-enrollment in recent AEPs.
- 72% report their top digital marketing priority is generating more leads.
So what marketing techniques actually work based on consumer surveys and marketing case studies? Here are seven to include in your marketing arsenal:
- Online Data Insights: Begin with a good understanding of your prospects’ shopping behavior via your website. Google Analytics is a great place to start. Look for pages with high traffic. See how you can improve time spent-on-page by adding more call-to-action buttons and content rich with keywords. Add more tracking codes to “actions” on these higher performing web pages. This will give you more insights on how to improve engagement on your website and landing pages. Also look at using heat maps on critical pages. They will give you a better idea of how to improve on-page design for higher conversion.
- Branded Search Terms: If you used paid search over the last few years, you probably experienced much higher competition for Medicare terms — especially towards the last half of AEP. We’ve found that weighting your online spend to branded terms delivers a much lower cost-per-lead than the popular Medicare terms. In the last AEP, we saw this online buying strategy reduce the cost-per-lead by more than 50%.
- Offers: Educational offers are very important. Good offers in multiple media formats help generate responses from online media you may not have used in the past. Video content offers can differentiate a provider from its competitors. In online research DMN3 did with 1,000 Boomers, we asked them how they use online media. We found that consumers ages 64 – 69 love Youtube! This finding presents new opportunities to educate prospects via online video who might never attend an educational seminar at a physical location.
- Integrate online and offline campaigns: Today’s Boomers, eligible for Medicare, are tech savvy. They go online to learn about topics of interest to them. That’s particularly true for health information and Medicare options. Television and direct mail are still the best offline channels to get people interested in offers or to search online for more information. Search marketing techniques such as content marketing and SEO along and PPC will continue to play a bigger and bigger role in lead generation and acquisition of new members.
- Live Encounters: The Kaiser Family Foundation Study also found that seniors are frustrated by the volume of information they are exposed to during the enrollment period. In spite of information overload, they’re still confused about what plan is best for them. They feel unqualified to compare things like costs, coverage, provider networks and other benefits. They often turn to insurance agents, seminars speakers, plan reps and other trusted sources to help them sort it all out. Qualified Medicare Advantage representatives should deliver clear and concise information that is easy to understand. Communication should be focused on what’s important in choosing a plan. Whether it’s over the phone or at an event, great customer service can mean the difference in getting a senior to enroll.
- Lead Generation and Nurturing: Based on how early potential Medicare Advantage beneficiaries now begin online Medicare research, marketers should start targeting 63 and 64 year olds online sooner than later. The goal is to engage them before competition reaches them. Once prospects opt-in to receive educational emails, marketers can employ marketing automation. This the best way to provide timed email campaigns that nurture Age-In propsects through the decision process.
No matter if you use some or all seven of the Medicare marketing methods discussed here, make sure you include analytics to track which tactics are driving leads and enrollments. Use your online campaign data to improve the overall experience for potential new members.
There are other Medicare Advantage marketing techniques that could be added to this list.
Which ones would you add that actually work?
Scam Targets Oklahomans With Medicare – NewsOn6.com – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – KOTV.com
There’s a new scam you need to be aware of, if you or family members are on Medicare. The Federal government is issuing new Medicare cards to help prevent fraud. But, that is offering scammers a new opportunity.
Oklahoma has about 700,000 people on Medicare.
New cards without the social security numbers printed on them are being issued to Medicare members in June. So, fraudsters are working quickly now to get those numbers while they still can.
“They called and asked if I was who I am and I said, ‘Yes’,” recalls Verna Stricklin. She recently received a call that there was a problem with her Medicare card. “They said somebody else is using it. I said, ‘Oh really’.”
The person on the other end of the line asked for her social security number to help her change to a different insurance plan.
That is one of likely thousands of scenarios scammers use to commit medical identity theft.
“Fraudsters can use this to open credit accounts, they can use it to file false claims,” explains Ray Walker, the Division Director of the Medicare assistance program with the Oklahoma Insurance Department.
The new Medicare cards will prevent that. But scammers quickly found a way to use the new cards to their advantage.
“They’re calling and telling people you’re going to get a new Medicare number. Isn’t that great. So, we need to verify your information to make sure we get the right number transitioned over to your new number,” explains Walker.
Walker says scammers are also calling and asking if you have received the new card and offering to track it down using your old card number. They are saying there’s a charge for the new cards.
“One, nobody from Medicare or the Social Security Administration is going to call you about these cards. Two there is no charge for these new cards,” says Walker.
Medicare providers will be able to accept both the current Medicare numbers as well as the new Medicare numbers during the transition period. Providers will be able to accept the current numbers until December 30, 2019. But starting January 1, 2020, only the new numbers will be allowed.
The best advice if you get a call? Do exactly like Verna.
“I said you know I may be old, but I’m not stupid. And I hung up.”
The Insurance Department is hosting a number of seminars to help seniors avoid fraud.
Each seminar is free for seniors and includes breakfast. Attendees must register online at map.oid.ok.gov or by calling 800-763-2828.
I recently asked Rep. Tom Garrett to pledge to protect Social Security and Medicare from cuts required by the recent tax cuts.
Our next blog installment turns to Non-Group Health Plans (NGHPs). While the reporting requirements for Group Health Plans are largely uniform, the same cannot be said for NGHPs. If professionals are not aware of the requirements and the potential consequences, these distinctions can lead to confusion, or worse, to double damages and a minimum fine of $1000 per day per unreported beneficiary. The most recent NGHP policy guidance covers several forms of liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, and workers compensation in several states of existence and decay, such as NGHPs that are in bankruptcy, those that are acquired by larger entities, those that are in the liquidation process, and those that are general self-insurance pools. Although we cannot cover every conceivable variation here, we set forth below what NGHPs are and what generally they will be required to report, so that counsel and compliance professionals can identify whether their organization is affected.
Generally, NGHPs are liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, and workers’ compensation laws or plans. The intent behind the NGHP reporting requirements is that if a Medicare beneficiary is injured and another payer (such as a workers’ compensation plan) is responsible for paying for the medical treatment of the beneficiary, then the other party should be the primary payer. Unlike GHPs, there is no blanket requirement that all NGHPs register with Medicare, but those that have reportable information must register at least a quarter before submitting a report. NGHPs are required to submit a report when there is an Ongoing Responsibility for Medicals (ORM) or there is a Total Payment Obligation to the Claimant (TPOC).
An ORM must be reported when there is ongoing compensation to a party for medical care associated with a claim. ORM reports do not include dollar amounts, but do report the start and end dates for payments made for ongoing medical expenses. Additionally, an ORM report should include information about the cause of illness, injury, or incident associated with the claim so that Medicare can determine those claims for which the NGHP is the primary payer and those claims for which Medicare or another payer is designated as primary. An ORM report is separate and distinct from a TPOC report. TPOC reports are made when the sum of a total settlement, judgment, award, or other payment obligation is established. Notably, the TPOC “date” is not when the funds are actually paid, but when the obligation is established. There are various Mandatory Reporting Thresholds that are outlined by CMS in Chapter III of its NGHP User Guide, depending on the type of insurance and the date of payment. All dates listed in the User Guide have passed as of the date of this post and all thresholds have been reached (April 1, 2017 was the last listed date in the charts). However, while a TPOC may have been technically established before a listed date, it may not have been paid or technically reported at the present time. As an example of the reporting requirement, the User Guide provides that after January 1, 2017, where the total TPOC amount is over $750.00 for Liability Insurance (including self-insurance), Section 111 Reporting is or was required in the quarter beginning April 1, 2017.
NGHPs should be aware of these reporting requirements, and the person or group responsible for overseeing compliance should be well versed in the intricacies of the payment structure and the CMS’s manual guidance, which is set out in six detailed reporting manuals issued on December 15, 2017.
As discussed earlier, NGHPs are the primary payer in certain instances, and failure to uphold this responsibility can result in litigation. GEICO, an NGHP, is currently involved in litigation for allegedly failing to reimburse a Medicare Advantage plan which made payments to beneficiaries. The plaintiffs filed two separate class action suits against GEICO—one involving injured beneficiaries covered by GEICO and another involving tortfeasors carrying GEICO insurance who later settled with the beneficiaries. In both suits, the plaintiffs allege that Medicare Advantage plans made payments to beneficiaries that GEICO was statutorily required to pay in the first instance. GEICO filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiffs lacked standing because the plaintiffs did not suffer an injury. The plaintiffs responded that the Medicare Advantage plans assigned their rights of recovery to the plaintiffs, convincing the court that this assignment gives the plaintiffs standing. GEICO also argued that the amended complaint lacks the necessary specificity to proceed. The court noted that while the plaintiffs did not include a lot of detail in their amended complaint, the information included was sufficient to overcome a motion to dismiss, and that more specific information would need to be produced in discovery or the defendants would be entitled to file for summary judgment.
The rules governing NGHPs are summarized in the following chart:
|Acting Party||Responsibilities||Liabilities for Non-Compliance|
Non-Group Health Plans
(NGHPs) (Liability Insurance, No-Fault Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation)
· Reporting requirements differ among NGHPs and are fact specific
· Must register with BCRC on the COBSW if NGHP has a reasonable expectation of having to report in the future
· May register on behalf of itself or its direct subsidiary (may not register on behalf of its sibling or parent company)
· May use agent for administrative duties, but RRE retains liability.
· Ongoing Responsibility for Medicals (ORM) Reporting: Must report existence of ongoing payments associated with medicals to beneficiaries
· Total Payment Obligation to the Claimant (TPOC) Reporting: Must report the sum of a total settlement, judgment, etc. in accordance with price and date schedules found in NGHP User Guide Chapter III: Policy Guidance
· Must report all claims where injured party is or was a Medicare Beneficiary
|· Failure to report results in a minimum fine of $1,000 a day per unreported beneficiary, with CMS reserving the right to collect double damages|
This is part 4 of 7 in the Medicare Secondary Payer Compliance series. Subscribe to our blog for future updates. Part 3 can be accessed here: Medicare Secondary Payer Compliance: Group Health Plans (Part III)
Andrew Kuder, a Law Clerk (not admitted to the practice of law) in the firm’s Newark office, contributed significantly to the preparation of this post.
 CMS, MMSEA Section 111 MSP Mandatory Reporting: NGHP User Guide 6-1—6-7 (v5.3 2017).
 42 USC § 1395y(b)(8).
 CMS, MMSEA Section 111 MSP Mandatory Reporting: NGHP User Guide Ch. III (v5.3 2017).
 CMS, MMSEA Section 111 MSP Mandatory Reporting: NGHP User Guide 6-17 (v5.3 2017).
 Recovery v. Gov’t Emples. Ins. Co., No. PWG-17-711 (D. Md. Feb. 21, 2018).
 Id. at *10.
 Id. at *24, *45.
Ginalisa Montessoro, founder and CEO of Medicare and Medicaid Advisory Group, is a leading expert in raising awareness and educating people about their rights concerning Medicare and Medicaid. She …