IN THIS ISSUE
1.  All trainings at a glance - UPDATED
2 .  New Individual & Family Quoting & Enrollment System
3.   SAVE THE DATE: Fall Product Training
4.   Meaninful Access & Nondiscrimination
5.  SEP Effective Date Changes
6.    SEP Commission Changes - staring September 1
7.  Training information
8.  More information located on our Resources Page
ALL TRAININGS AT A GLANCE
Current Trainings At-A-Glance - Please note updates.

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 NOW OPEN for current agents and will be offered throughout the year for newly appointed agents.  Re-certification must be done every year and will take place in conjunction with the Annual Agent Certification.
WHERE: Online @ Blue Learning Center - direct link:  https://wellmark.csod.com/


Please forward Certificate of Completion emails to: 
jamie@veinsurance.com and tonya@mtcnet.net

WHAT:  Must pass final assessment with a 90% - 3 attempts only.  Three failed attempts will result in the agent not being able to sell these products, and agent must wait for 6 months to re-take.

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:  

Please forward Marketplace Certificate of Completions and FFM User ID to: 
jamie@veinsurance.com and tonya@mtcnet.net

Medicare Training:
5. CMS/Medicare Certification for 2017
WHO:  Agents selling/marketing MedicareBlueRx drug plans in 2017
WHEN:  OPEN
-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 through Pinpoint Global 
WHAT:  There are 2 sections of training - MAKE SURE TO COMPLETE BOTH!
1. Medicare Basics - course fee of $89.95 (AHIP will be accepted in place of Medicare Basics - please follow instructions on how to upload AHIP certificate)
2. MedicareBlueRx Product Specific

Use the attached documents for help:

AUGUST 29:  IFP QUOTING & ENROLLMENT SYSTEM NOW LIVE!
Wellmark's new IFP (Individal & Family Plans) Quoting & Enrollment system is up and running for ACA business as of Monday August 29.    
As the new system goes live, you may experience intermittent outages.  Please try back later if you cannot get logged in.  
 
Other changes that will also go in effect immediately - August 29:
  1. Form Changes
  2. Processing change request for ACA business
  3. Faxing documents instead of emailing
  4. Call-center changes
  5. Billing Changes
  6. Participant guide to the new system
  7. Future Improvements
(1) Form Changes

Form Number
Form Name
Form Changes
All Forms
All Forms
The Meaningfull Access and Non-Discrimination (MAND) Notice and Taglines will be added to all forms
Individual and Family (IFP) Application
N-5432 (IA)
ACA Contract Change Forms
These forms will be retired and changes involving contract changes will now need to be handled over the phone
GF/GM pre- ACA Contract Change Form
-Revised layout
-Billing information questions revised
-Effective date languate in Section H revised
-Addition of Required Federal Accessibility and Nondiscrimination Notice
N-5707
Direct Pay Information Change Request Form (IA)
This form will be retired, as it will no longer be necessary
N-57190
ACA Tobacco Declartion Form (IA)
This form will be retired, as the process will now be handled over the phone


(2) Processing change request for ACA business

You will no longer submit change forms if you need to make any updates or changes to a plan.
Instead, you will need to dial 800-819-0893 and make changes over the phone. The current
change forms will be retired, as outlined in the above chart in the "Form Changes" section.

(3) Faxing documents instead of emailing
 
Documents will no longer be accepted via email. Instead, you will need to fax them to this
number: 844-820-0939.
 
(4) Call-center changes
 
When you or a member calls Wellmark for a billing, enrollment, or claims issue at 800-819-0893, the menu you hear will be different than the previously heard options, so please pay attention when listening to the prompts. Here is a quick guide for your reference:
  Option 1: For payments, balance, and payment history, press or say 1.
  Option 2: For claims, forms, or to order an ID card, 2.
  Option 3: For new coverage or policy renewals, 3.
  Option 4: For plan changes and all other questions, 4.
  Option 9: To repeat, 9.

(5) Billing changes
 
There will be several new features and updates to the billing process for members. These include:
 
New billing features. Including:
  • New billing statements.
  • Access to the Member Portal with better experience and functionality.
  • Several new letters and eNotes that will be sent from the system.
Automatic account withdrawal dates will change. For roughly 5,924 members, funds will
now be pulled on the fifth of the month instead of the first of the month. This change will
take place with the member's September payment, and the impacted members have
been sent letters to notify them of the change.
 
Billing addresses will change. Today Wellmark stores up to three different addresses for a
member:
  • Physical address - used for rating purposes.
  • Mailing address - used for mailing all member correspondence (i.e. claim letters,
  • EOBs, etc.).
  • Billing address - used for mailing member bills to a third party.
When members are moved to the new system, only two addresses can be stored -
physical and mailing. Beginning with the September bills (which were already sent out),
bills will be mailed to the mailing address instead of the billing address. This change
impacts roughly 600 members, who have all been notified.

(6) Participant guide to the new system
 
You can expect to see educational materials and a guide for the new system sent out this fall.
 
(7) Future Improvements
 
On Aug. 29, when the new system is available, if you email a quote to a member you won't be
able to return to that email to retrieve information. On Tuesday, Sept. 6, you'll be able to go
back and retrieve information. As we move forward, more features will also become available.
 
Please continue to watch Blue Briefings newsletters & Partners Health Insurance newsletters for future updates and improvements.  Contact your assigned Account Rep with any questions.
 
Jamie - jamie@veinsurance.com
SAVE THE DATE:  FALL TRAINING
 
Our Fall Wellmark training will be held Tuesday, September 20th at the Ridge Golf Club in Sioux Center!  Join us for this informative training and receive 5 hours of CE credit .  Lunch and snacks 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!

This is a great opportunity for agents to review the new product options and tools that will help you do business with Wellmark in the coming year. Highlights include the introduction of Blue Simplicity plans, Plan G Medicare Supplement offering and a review of the new individual and family quote and enrollment system.
 
The 2016 agenda:
  • Changing Health Insurance Landscape
  • Individual Product Transformation
  • Medicare & Small Group Updates
  • Redesign of Wellmark.com, co-branded marketing and more...

WHERE:  The Ridge Golf Club, 2595 Ridge Road, Sioux Center, IA
*Use the North parking lot and entrance
DATE:  Tuesday, September 20, 2016
TIME:  9:00 AM -  3:00 PM (Lunch will be provided)
 
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!

RSVP by September 13 @ noon.  RSVP by emailing jamie@veinsurance.com
MEANINGFUL ACCESS & NONDISCRIMINATION
IMPORTANT - REQUIRES ACTION
 
In May, new federal regulatory requirements regarding meaningful access and nondiscrimination (MA/ND) were passed that affect all our communication efforts with all business segments. Due to these federal requirements, Wellmark must take additional steps to be sure all external communications are delivered in a way that all individuals can understand the content regardless of disability or limited English proficiency.  
As a delegated entity of Wellmark, you are also responsible for ensuring compliance with these regulations.
 
What is MA/ND?
All external communications must be made accessible to all individuals regardless of disability or limited English proficiency.

There are two requirements when developing compliant communications for MA/ND:
1. All digital communications must be made accessible
2. All communications must include the MA/ND Notice and Taglines, entitled "Required Federal Accessibility and Nondiscrimination Notice."

Sample of the Standard Notice & Taglines

This notice is now available on the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit.  All external communications to individuals, applicants, employers, enrollees and the general public must be communications from the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit.
 
Please review the MA/ND Quick Reference Guide to get a better understanding of the requirements and common questions associated with these new requirements.  This also includes the fines for any non-compliance.  Please also review the Wellmark Blue Briefings News Release from August 25.

IMPORTANT: Check your computer desktop or folders for any digital only documents that were created before Aug. 26. DO NOT SEND THESE VIA EMAIL as these documents will not be compliant. Refer to the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit for the MA/ND compliant digital only materials.
 
Changes are being made to materials on the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit to ensure they are MA/ND compliant.  
 
Partners Health Insurance is updating our Resources Page to include all updated materials to be compliant .  
 
Please contact your assigned Account Rep for further questions.
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

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.
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:  

 


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 - 3:00 PM (approx. 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.  Required for agents wishing to sell these plans both OFF and/or ON the Marketplace  -A  separate  appointment and passing of certification will be required.
WHEN:  Certification NOW OPEN for current agents and will be offered throughout the year for newly appointed agents.  
**Recertifcation required every year in conjunction with the Annual Agent Certification.
WHERE: Online - Blue Learning Center


Please forward Certificate of Completion emails to: 
AND

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.

Please forward Certificates of Complete AND FFM User IDs to both:
jamie@veinsurance.com
AND
tonya@veinsurance.com
MEDICAREBLUERX  CERTIFICATION
Required training in order to sell and service MedicareBlueRx (PDP) products.

2017 Training is now Open!

Click Here to access training site.

Use the attached documents for help:


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.  
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
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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