Dickerson Update, July 24 – Industry Events, Rate Changes and More!

Aetna Announces New Broker Bonus for July!

Aetna has exciting news to share for fourth quarter. They announced a new broker bonus for July where brokers can earn up to $100 per enrolled subscriber on new business.

Apps sold Bonus per enrolled employee
1 – 74 $50.00
75+ $100.00

For more information on the details of the broker bonus, click here.

Aetna has also announced rate changes for Q4. Rate changes for Northern and Southern California are listed below

Rating Areas 15-19

Rating Areas 1- 14





4th Quarter





As a reminder, several Aetna underwriting guidelines have changed and took effect on July 1. 2019. From relaxed quarterly wage & tax statement requirements to valid waivers for individual coverage on and off exchange, there are new ways to sell Aetna this quarter.

See new underwriting guidelines effective July 1, 2019:

  • Relaxed Quarterly Wage & Tax Statement requirement
    • No QWTS required for groups with 6 or more enrolling with prior employer group coverage
    • No prior carrier billing required at this time
    • QWTS must be provided for:
      • 1-5 enrolled employees
      • 6 – 100 employees with:
          • no current health coverage
          • more than 10% of the employees are located outside California
          • more than 20% are COBRA/CalCOBRA enrollees
          • associated, affiliated, multiple companies
  • New Business Submission Deadline
    • 1st of the month effective dates:  1st of the month
    • 15th of the month effective dates:  15th of the month
  • Participation Guidelines
    • Aetna being the sole carrier:  60% participation
    • Groups offering other carrier’s HMO must have at least 25% participation and a minimum of  five employees enrolling in an Aetna plan
    • Valid Waivers now include Individual coverage on and off exchange

For more information, please contact your Dickerson Sales Executive.

Aflac’s “Breakaway Awards” Event Celebrates the Aflac-Dickerson MGA Partnership

On Friday, July 19, selected guests were treated to a VIP tour of Porsches’ motor laboratory in Carson and got a chance to get pinned into their favorite Porsche, co-piloting one of the world’s most famous sports cars around every bend of the test track. The experience rivaled a roller coaster ride!

After the hair-raising test rides, guests were calmed down by Naama O. Pozniak who led a meditation session before lunch. After the meal, Master of Ceremony Joshua Schneeloch introduced Roby Kukerdo, Aflac Broker Sales Consultant, who provided background on maximizing the Dickerson-Aflac work relationship. David Reid, CEO & Co-founder of Ease also added a few remarks around the benefits of using technology for enrollments. The program also included a few words by Michael Wolff, Dickerson Managing Partner. Rounding off the speakers’ program was Arnd Stollman, Porsche Operations Manager, who gave everyone a warm welcome.

Accepting the Breakaway Award for Highest AP Earner and the Largest Group Established Award on behalf of the Shomer Insurance Agency was Diana Miller. Diana Miller also accepted the Fast Start Award on behalf of Michael Evans. Receiving the Highest Lead Generator Award was Mike Coscolluela on behalf of John Andreos. And Accepting the Legacy Award was Dickerson Insurance Services founder, Carl Dickerson.

Like ducks flying in aerodynamic efficiency, guests left with a better appreciation for using a “Wingman” to enhance their sales and a Porsche rubber-duckie, compliments of the Aflac-Porsche experience!

*Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.

Blue Shield Adds Memorial Care to List of Providers

Blue Shield announces that effective immediately, MemorialCare Medical Foundation has been added to its list of Trio providers in Los Angeles County (Covered California Rating Region 15). This will impact all Trio plans across commercial lines of business including Core, Premier, Small Business and Individual and Family Plans.

This is considered a separate network change from the 2020 Trio service area expansion that is currently pending regulatory approval. Please note that only offices located in the Long Beach area have been added to the Trio network. MemorialCare locations in Orange County are excluded from this network change.

For a complete list of providers, please click here

Covered California Announces Regional Rates for 2020, with Lowest Rate Change in Years

Following last week’s announcement regarding a 2020 rate change of .8% (the lowest in five years) for individual health plan premiums, Covered California has recently released 2020 regional rates for health plan premiums. 

Here are some key highlights:

  • Due to regional variations, consumers in some regions will see premium decreases while consumers in others regions might see small increases. Most consumers will see little to no change.
  • California consumers stand to save as much as -9.0% if they shop and switch to the lowest-cost plan in the same metal tier.
  • The State estimates that about 922,000 people will be eligible for a new subsidy program that lowers cost of coverage, including 235,000 middle-income Californians who previously received no federal help.
  • All 11 carriers will return to the exchange in 2020, with three carriers expanding their offerings.

Although open enrollment with Covered California doesn’t start until October 15, 2019, some special circumstances allow consumers to enroll prior to this date. Consumers interested in signing up can visit the Covered California website here.

Click here to read the full press release.

Join Dave Fear For a 30-minute Presentation on HRAs

Shepler & Fear is now part of the Dickerson Insurance Services family. We’ve been tasked to help agents understand the pros and cons of alternative funding of health care benefits including HDHP/HRA plans. Shepler & Fear is one of the leaders in HRAs, and we can show how both you and your client can benefit by changing from an expensive “traditional” plan to an affordable HDHP/HRA plan. Consider this:

• HRA’s are approved under the ACA for employers of all sizes

• An HRA can provide “platinum” level benefits closer to the cost of a “bronze” plan

• SFGA/Dickerson has arranged HRA packages with several carriers who sell HDHPs that can be used for an HRA – no worry about the old “wrapping prohibition”

• SFGA/Dickerson has arranged HRA service packages with several licensed/bonded Third Party Administrators at very competitive prices which can include additional compensation for the broker

• SFGA/Dickerson has arranged for optional “Employer Excess Loss” insurance coverage that can limit an employer’s HRA claim exposure so that the maximum cost of the HDHP/HRA will be no more than a “traditional” plan

Our next presentation on HRA’s will take place on Thursday, August 8th at 10:30 a.m. and will be limited to the first 30 enrollees. We will also be promoting our fully insured carriers as well. Please join us to learn more!

How ER Visits Unnecessarily Contribute to Health Care Costs

According to a new study by UnitedHealth Group, patients who use emergency rooms to treat problems a primary care provider (PCP) could triage contribute to growing health care costs in the United States. The US is on track to spend about $6 trillion in health care by 2027.

The study found that out of 27 million emergency room visits, two thirds are not actual emergencies. Each of these visits that a PCP could have solved tops $2000. A dearth in timely and convenient access to primary care seem to be the cause for patients going to emergency rooms for non-urgent care.

Click here to read more.

Senators unveil compromise to reduce drug costs for seniors

On Tuesday, two senior senators — Iowa Republican Charles Grassley and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden— revealed a compromise legislation to reduce prescription drug costs for millions of Medicare recipients, while saving money for federal and state health care programs that service seniors and low-income people.  

The representatives say the bill would for the first time limit drug copays for people with Medicare’s “Part D” prescription plan, by capping patients’ out-of-pocket costs at $3,100 a year starting in 2022.

The bill would also require drugmakers to pay a price hike penalty to Medicare if the cost of their medications goes up faster than inflation. Drugs purchased through a pharmacy, as well as those administered in doctors’ offices, would be covered by the new inflation rebates. They’re hoping to soon have it ready for votes on the senate floor.

To read the article, click here.