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Scott Goldberg. (Photo: CNO)

Life Health > Health Insurance > Medicare Planning

Bankers Life Unveils Medicare Supplement Plan Family

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What You Need to Know

  • The new GenHealthy family includes a high-deductible Plan G option.
  • The Plan G and Plan N options include Silver Sneakers gym membership benefits.
  • Bankers Life is now selling the plans in 26 states.

Bankers Life is showing its commitment to an embattled kind of health coverage that many affluent retiree clients demand.

The company — a Chicago-based arm of CNO Financial Group — has introduced a new, modern family of Medicare supplement insurance policies: the GenHealthy Medicare Supplement insurance policies. The new policies are now available in 26 states.

Like Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare supplement insurance policies give Medicare enrollees a way to fill in the many gaps in “Original Medicare” coverage.

Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, the policies provide easy access to any health care provider who treats Medicare patients, without requiring enrollees to go through the kinds of care preauthorization procedures that managed health care plans may require.

“These plans are great for consumers who value the freedom to choose their own providers and gain access to services,” Scott Goldberg, president of the consumer division at CNO, said in a comment about the new products.

What It Means

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services oversees the Medicare Advantage program, and it puts its marketing muscle behind promoting that program’s annual enrollment period and open enrollment period.

States oversee the “Med supp” issuers; Med supp has a one-time enrollment period arrangement tied to a consumer’s 65th birthday anniversary; and Med supp policies typically have a higher monthly premium.

Medicare Advantage program enrollment has increased about 8.5% from what it was a year ago, to 29 million, according to Mark Farrah Associates.

Between 2020 and 2021, the number of Med supp insureds fell slightly, to 13.9 million, from 14 million, another Mark Farrah report shows.

Bankers Life’s new product family launch is a sign that a substantial Med supp provider still likes the Med supp the market.

Bankers Life is the eighth biggest player Med supp market, with a 2% market share, according to Mark Farrah.

The Policies

Although states over Med supp policy issuers, federal law requires the issuers to base new policies on a collection of standardized “letter plans,” ranging from a bare-bones Plan A option to a more complicated Plan N option.

In the past, the richest Med supp letter plan available was Plan F.

Today, due to a change in federal law, the richest new letter plan available to consumers now turning 65 is Plan G.

About 72% of the people who had Med supp coverage in 2021 had Plan F or Plan G coverage.

The new Bankers Life Medd supp family includes policies based on the Plan F and Plan G models, and a high-deductible version of the Plan G model.

The family also includes a bare-bones Plan A option and a Plan N option, which offers lower premiums in exchange for the policyholder having to pay co-payments for some health care services.

The Plan G and Plan N policies include Silver Sneakers gym membership benefits.

Pictured: Scott Goldberg (Photo: CNO)