Dickerson Weekly Update July 30 – Anthem Offering Extremely Competitive Q4 HMO Rates and Opportunities for Brokers to Earn More

Sell more with Anthem this Q4: commission program, competitive rates, and Specialty Dual PPO Pilot program

Q4 is fast approaching, and Anthem wants to help brokers sell more by offering 6% commissions, extremely competitive rates, an extension of their Dual PPO Pilot program, and a specialty bonus program. Brokers can expect to earn more with Anthem while offering more affordable plans to clients. 

Broker Commission Program

Anthem wants to remind brokers of their commission program available to all agents, not just ACE agents. This commission program will run from July 1, 2020 through January 15, 2021. 

Here’s how it works: 

  • A 6% commission for new small group medical cases with 10+ enrolled 
    • A Small Group consists of 1–100 eligible employees
    • 6% flat up to $1M annualized premium, then .8% above $1M
    • The 6% schedule applies only as long as the group stays enrolled in an Anthem Small Group plan
  • New Small Business Group employees are those who have the same enrollment effective date as the employer group’s original Anthem effective date. For example, if an employer group’s original effective date is January 15, 2021, then the members must also have an effective date of January 15, 2021.
  • This enhanced commission opportunity is in addition to any other award brokers receive under Anthem Blue Cross bonus programs
  • Commission percentage is based on the number of enrolled employees with Anthem medical plans
  • Appointed agents must be in good standing with a current, signed Anthem agent contract and valid license on file 

Business sold through a General Agent partner is eligible for this bonus! For full details on how this commission program works, check out this flyer.

Large HMO rate reductions this Q4

We previously shared that Anthem released Q4 2020 rates, but want to remind you just how competitive their rates are for HMO plans.

Anthem’s PPO rates have been competitive for some time now, and now you also have the option to sell Anthem HMO plans, competitively. 

There is a quarterly rate change average of -6.7% for Anthem HMO plans, and a -2.3% annual rate change average for Anthem HMO plans.

Specialty Dual PPO Pilot Program

Anthem announced that they plan to extend the dual network PPO pilot program they rolled out for brokers in Regions 1 and 9 back in October 2019. Originally slated to run for effective dates of 10/1/19 to 1/15/20, the program will now run through 12/15/20 effective dates.

Here are the eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a Small Group (1-100 lives)
  • New Small Group effective date 10/1/19 to 3/15/20
  • Employer’s principal business address in either region 1 or 9

Specialty Bonus Program

Anthem also wants to remind brokers of their specialty broker bonus program for groups of 2-500 with effective dates of July 1, 2020 through January 1, 2021. In order to receive this bonus, the groups must be active at the end of the bonus period, at which point Anthem will pay out the bonus. Cases on which Anthem is paying commission are eligible for the bonus. Additionally, this bonus will not apply to groups that embed dental and/or vision with medical. 

Here’s how the program will work:

When groups add: Per enrolled employee:
Dental $6
Vision $2
Life $1
Long-term Disability $1
Short-term Disability $1
Accident $1
Critical Illness $1
Hospital Indemnity $1

Like with the commission program, business sold through a General Agent partner is eligible for this bonus!

For full details on the specialty bonus program, check out this flyer.

Please reach out to your Dickerson Account Executive for additional information.

Kaiser shares tips on returning to work

Some cities are rolling back COVID-19 restrictions, which means some businesses are reopening. Employers are faced with questions on how they can create safe office environments with COVID-19 still in the picture. The reality is that work spaces will need to create an environment where employees and clients can be healthy and safe from COVID-19.

And there’s more than just cleanliness and hygiene to consider. Employers need to think about adjusting workplace layout, legal obligations, policy updates, and more. This is why Kaiser created this playbook on how to safely reopen and return to work.

Click here to see Kaiser’s playbook.

Oscar extends underwriting promotions and unveils app in Spanish

Underwriting promotion

Oscar wants to make it easier for brokers to sell Oscar, which is why they’ve extended their relaxed small group underwriting rules through 12/15/20 effective dates.

Here are the details:

  1. Relaxed participation rules
    • As long as the number of employees in all locations is under 100, only the employees within Oscar’s service area (Los Angeles and Orange Counties: rating regions 15, 16, 18) will be counted towards participation.
  2. Relaxed split carrier participation rules 
    • As long as 60% of the eligible employees enroll in a plan offered by the employer, Oscar will only require three eligible employees to enroll with Oscar.
    • Oscar can be written alongside any other carrier, and any plan type – HMO, PPO, or EPO.
    • Groups with CaliforniaChoice and Covered California for Small Business are not eligible for this promotion.
  3. No DE 9C required
    • 5+ enrolled employees
    • Must provide prior carrier’s bill, and 80% of employees on prior bill must be
    • listed in present enrollment
    • Groups with more than 5 eligible employees with less than 5 enrollees due to valid waivers are still eligible for this promotion
  4. IFP coverage is a valid waiver
    • An individual does not need to be receiving a subsidy (APTC) to be considered a valid waiver.

Click here for all details on this underwriting promotion.

New Phone App, in Spanish

The Oscar app is available in Spanish! For the app to show in Spanish, users need to have the most recent version of the app installed and have their phone language set to Spanish.

With the app, members can:

  • View digital member ID card
  • Message their Care Team with questions
  • Request a call or secure message consultation with a doctor
  • Make a payment anytime

For more information, please contact your Dickerson Account Executive.

Ease announces new carrier connection with Unum

Ease is happy to announce that they’ve connected with Unum to make benefits enrollment easier for businesses and employees. With the Unum connection, enrollments are submitted directly to Unum. The Unum connection is a part of EaseConnect+, which means the Ease Implementation Team will handle the setup of the connection.

Here’s what to expect:

  • This connection is available for both new and existing group business
  • Supports Unum’s Group Long Term Disability, Group Short Term Disability, Group Term Life & AD&D, Group Dental, and Group Vision
  • Adds, changes, and terminations will be automatically sent to Unum Group on a weekly basis
  • As part of EaseConnect+, Ease manages the setup of the connection at no additional cost
  • This connection is included in broker’s Ease subscription, and is applicable to all group sizes

For more information, please contact your Dickerson Account Executive.

In the News

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine testing in monkeys shows promise

Researchers reported that monkeys given the Moderna coronavirus vaccine and then deliberately infected were able to fight off the virus and quickly clear it from their lungs. Unvaccinated animals in the control group were not able to quickly fend off the virus. Although this isn’t a guarantee that the vaccine will perform the same way in people, the results are promising. When vaccines fail in monkeys, this is generally a bad sign that it will work with humans.

Clinics around the country also began a Phase 3 trial of the Moderna vaccine candidate with the aim of enrolling 30,000 people to test its safety and effectiveness.

Click here to read the full story.

Governor Newsom withholds funds from cities defying health orders

Using new powers, Governor Gavin Newsom decided to withhold money from two cities in California’s Central Valley that are allowing businesses to stay open during the pandemic, and thus defying his health orders. Newsom blocked nearly $65,000 from Atwater in Merced County and more than $35,000 from Coalinga in Fresno County. These are the first installments of $2.5 billion in federal funds that cities and counties across the state risk losing if they don’t follow coronavirus safeguards.

Atwater Mayor Paul Creighton stated that, “We chose our path and we are prepared for it.”

Click here for the full story.