IN THIS ISSUE
1. All trainings at a glance - UPDATED
2 . SEP Effective date changes
3.  New Individual & Family Quoting & Enrollment System 
4. SAVE THE DATE: Fall Product Training
5. SEP Commission changes - starting September 1
6. 2017 Proposed ACA & pre-ACA rates
7. Plan G is coming in 2017
8. More information located on our Resources Page
9. Training information
ALL TRAININGS AT A GLANCE
Below is all the upcoming trainings at a glance - Some trainings have been updated.

Wellmark Trainings:
1. Annual Agent Certification 
WHO: REQUIRED FOR ALL WELLMARK AGENTS
WHEN: Annually (2016 certification is now closed)
WHERE: Online training via Blue Learning Center   (wellmark.csod.com) - do not use www
WHAT: Must pass final assessment with a 90% passing grade - 3 attempts only
-failure to pass or attempt the assessment will result in loss of Wellmark appointment for 2 years.

2. Individual & Family Plan Quoting & Enrollment System Training
TRAINING CLOSED - Watch for webinars and helpful tips coming to Producer Connection page on Wellmark.com

3. Certification for Wellmark Synergy Health & Wellmark Value Health Plan
WHO: For agents that are going to sell these new Individual & Family plans for 2017
-A separate appointment and passing of certification will be required
WHEN: Certification will start in August and be offered through first quarter of 2017
WHERE: TBD

Federal Marketplace Training:
4. CMS/FFM Certification
WHO: Agents wishing to sell policies on the federal Marketplace -Required in order to sell policies on the federal Marketplace - will need to be certified annually.
WHEN: August 1, 2016, training for 2017 has opened
WHERE: Agents can certify direct with CMS through the Marketplace Learning Center (MLMS) or other certified vendors online (Wellmark does not offer these trainings)
Other approved venders:

More information on training/certifications:  

Attend a 2017 Broker FFM Registration & Training Webinar
Log in or/register at:   https://www.REGTAP.info/

Agents & Brokers New to the FFM:
August 4:  11:00 AM - 12:30 PM ET
Agents & Brokers Returning to the FFM:
August 3:  1:00 - 2:30 PM ET
August 10:  1:00 - 2:30 PM ET

Medicare Training:
5. CMS/Medicare Certification for 2017
WHO:  Agents selling/marketing MedicareBlueRx drug plans in 2017
WHEN:  TBD watch for details towards the fall
-Annual certification - required to take every year in order to sell/market MedicareBlueRx and to continue to receive commissions on current PDP business
WHERE:  Online
UPDATED:  INDIVIDUAL MARKET:  EFFECTIVE DATE CHANGES
SEP Effective Dates
A reminder that the SEP effective dates have now changes as of 8/1/16.  Please begin using the revised SEP Chart:     SEP CHART  (USE AFTER 8/1/16)

Note: These effective date rules apply for all SEP enrollment events except for birth, adoption/foster care, legal guardianship, and court ordered coverage. The guidelines for the effective dates of those events will remain the same (the date of the birth, adoption, guardianship, or court order). If the standard effective date would cause a gap in coverage, please call to discuss the possibility of an exception/earlier effective date (documentation will be required to receive it).

A comprehensive PDF outlining the different SEP events and rules that apply to can be found here, and should be used beginning July 1, 2016. It will also be placed on the SEP page that has been created on Producer Connection . The SEP guidelines charts that should be used between now and August 1, 2016 can also be found on that page.
 
For additional questions, please contact your Individual Account Rep:
Tonya Helmers - tonya@mtcnet.net
Jamie Kamerman - jamie@veinsurance.com

QUOTING SYSTEM FOR INDIVIDUAL & FAMILY PLANS 
 
QUE for Individual under 65 is no longer available as of AUGUST 1.   In order to quote you will need to use rate sheets.  Paper applications will need to be used during this transition period.

Paper Applications:  indmemmain@wellmark.com or FAX 515-376-3527
  
The new Individual Under 65 quoting/enrollment/billing will be available mid-August.  We have not yet received a firm date, but will notify you of this information as it becomes available.

QUE will remain in place for Small Group.

What is this?
This new system will replace QUE for Individual & Family Plans.  Small Group and Medicare products will not currently be using this system.

Can I do more than just quoting and submitting applications?
Yes, this system will contain your Individual & Family book of business.  You will be able to see your member's plan types, ID#s, dependent information, and billing/premium information.

I can see ACA & pre-ACA book of business?
When the system first launches you will only be able to view your ACA business.  Pre-ACA business is expected to be transitioned over in November.

SAVE THE DATE:  FALL TRAINING
 
SAVE THE DATE!  For the Wellmark Fall Product Training.  

Date:  Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Where:  The Ridge Golf Club - Sioux Center, IA
Time:  TBD - starting in the morning - 6 hours long
 
5 CEC's have been applied for.  Lunch will be provided.

This day of training is twice as long as normal fall training.  The information provided this year is more important than ever.  Please make absolutely every effort to be at this training!

A formal invite containing RSVP information will be sent at a later date.
SEP COMMISSION CHANGES (INDIVIDUAL MARKET)
 

Effective for September 2016, effective dates and after, commissions for new SEP policies will match the renewal commission rate. (pushed back from August 1).

SEPs are one of the cost drivers creating the need for larger rate increases. Members who enroll as an SEP and then cancel coverage after receiving care have an adverse effect on the entire Wellmark insured population.

Many of the largest carriers across the United States have already announced plans to suspend or, in many cases, eliminate commissions for SEP policies. Wellmark evaluated this trend and has made the decision to take a balanced position. Wellmark believes in the value of an agent and they will pay a commission for SEP policies. Wellmark also needs to balance our overall market position relative to agent commissions. Wellmark believes it is appropriate to reduce the commission amount for SEP policies.

Wellmark will continue to evaluate commissions for agents to ensure they are market competitive.
2017 PROPOSED INDIVIDUAL RATES (ACA & pre-ACA PLANS)
Released by Wellmark on May 12, Wellmark filed the base premium change for the 2017 ACA Individual and Family Plans with the Iowa Insurance Division.

Wellmark also released on June 9, their Grandfathered & Grandmothered (Pre-ACA) 2017 Proposed rates.

Although the amounts vary by plan type, members may see an average base rate increase ranging around $18 to $21 per month. Increases, if approved, will be effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Pre-ACA Indivdual 2017 Proposed Rate Increases

Plan Type
2017 Proposed Rate Increase
Grandfathered/Grandmothered Plans 5.7 - 6.1%
Grandmothered HMO Plans 42.6%




2017 Proposed Iowa IFP (Individual and Family Plan) ACA
Base Premium Change Average

Plan Type
2017 Proposed Rate Increase
PPO Plans
42.6%
HMO Plans
37.8%


Wellmark has created helpful tools - you can find these items in the 2017 Individual Rate Information center located on your  Producer Connection.  See page snapshot below.



It's important to remember in your conversations with clients that these proposed changes do not take place until the beginning of 2017, so no immediate decisions need to be made by clients until open enrollment. Open enrollment begins Nov. 1, 2016, and runs through Jan. 31, 2017.
MEDICARE MARKET: PLAN G IS COMING 1/1/17
Wellmark will offer Medicare supplement Plan G to members in 2017. Currently, Wellmark offers five Medicare supplement plan options: Plans A, D, F, High Deductible Plan F and N.
MORE INFORMATION NOW ON OUR RESOURCES PAGE
We have added more helpful information to our Resources page!
 Along with applications and forms, we now have our monthly newsletters and special alerts published.  Also included is a monthly events calendar.  The calendar will include items such as training dates, certification dates, and enrollment period dates.

Check it out using the following link:  

 


RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU GAIN AN ADVANTAGE
Agent Resources
You can access Wellmark BCBS of Iowa forms on our website.   Click Here
http://partnershealthinsurance.com/resources-2/
Coop Advertising
Did you know you could be eligible for 50% reimbursement on eligible Wellmark BCBS advertising?  Login in to your Wellmark.com Producer Connection page - locate the Sales Tookit - N ew ads are now available! Contact Tonya to find out more information about this program.
tonya@mtcnet.net           712-722-3333
TRAINING
Wellmark Annual Agent Certification
WHEN: 2017 - TBD
 This is an annual training specific to Wellmark BCBS and must be completed each year in order to continue to sell Wellmark BCBS group and individual products.  This is a separate requirement from the Medicare PDP certification.  
WHERE: Online - Blue Learning Center

WELLMARK FALL TRAINING
FALL 2016 - September 20 - Tuesday
Agenda Items to Include: TBD
5 CECs of classroom training available.
WHERE:  The Ridge Golf Club,
Sioux Center, IA
TIME: 9:00 AM - ? (approximately 6 hours)

RSVP Now to:
Jamie Kamerman - jamie@veinsurance.com
Tonya Helmers - tonya@mtcnet.net

Certification for Wellmark Synergy & Value Health Plans
WHO:   For agents that are going to sell these new Individual & Family plans for 2017  -A  separate  appointment and passing of certification will be required.
WHEN:  Certification will start in August and be offered through first quarter of 2017
WHERE: TBD

FFM/Marketplace Certification

WHO: Agents wishing to sell policies on the federal Marketplace
WHEN: 2017 Plan Year training is now available
WHERE:  Agents can certify direct with CMS or other certified vendors online
*Marketplace Learning Center
*AHIP
*NAHU
 (Wellmark does not offer these trainings).

More information on training/certifications:  Resources for Agents & Brokers in the Health Insurance Marketplace
 
-Required in order to sell policies on the federal Marketplace - will need to be certified annually.


MedicareBlueRx (PDP) Certification
This is an annual training that needs to be completed each year in order to service and sell MedicareBlueRx products.  
Access 2016 Training Guide  here
2017 Training Coming in September!

WELLMARK NEW AGENT TRAINING

Newly appointed agents with Wellmark BCBS are required to go to New Agent Classroom Training within 180 days of appointment date.  Prior to registering, agents will be required to complete a pre-curriculum online module and assessment on Medicare & ACA.  Once appointed, Wellmark Sales Training will send out an email with the pre-curriculum instructions.  Once the pre-curriculum is complete, you as the new agent will be prompted to Register for training in the Blue Learning Center located under your Wellmark.com agent login.  
Contacts:

Ben Van Engelenhoven

122 Central Ave SW
Orange City, IA 51041
800-856-6001
712-737-6000

 

Kelly Snieder
906 S Main Ave
Sioux Center, IA 51250
800-722-2578
712-722-3333  

 

Our Advantages:

Partners Heath Insurance is an AUTHORIZED WELLMARK GENERAL AGENCY located in Western Iowa. We invite you to review our website, consider our advantages, and give us a call today!





Our Locations:

906 S Main Ave
Sioux Center, IA 51250

122 Central Ave SW 
Orange City, IA 51041



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