WellCare Commission Payments Delayed

Commission Payments Delayed

An error was identified that prevented commission payments from processing. We have resolved the issue and are processing the payments.

  • Impacted commission statement: 12/18/2020
  • Payments will process on 12/30/2020.
  • Payments will be deposited by EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer).

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

WellCare is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation

NAHU: BENES Act Passes

Announcement from NAHU from 12/23/20: 

BENES Act Passes Congress


NAHU has advocated for passage of the BENES Act and we are pleased to let you know it was included in the final package passed by the Senate early Tuesday morning. We believe its provisions will help your clients who are transitioning to Medicare and those who may need an SEP:

  • The Coverage Gap Closure. The bill eliminates the up to seven-month-long wait for coverage that people can experience when they sign up for Medicare during the General Enrollment Period or in the later months of their Initial Enrollment Period. Beginning in 2023, Medicare coverage will begin the month after enrollment.
  • The “Exceptional Circumstances” SEP. It reduces barriers to care by expanding Medicare’s authority to grant a Special Enrollment Period for “exceptional circumstances.” A long-standing flexibility within Medicare Advantage and Part D, in 2023 this critical tool will be available to facilitate enrollments program-wide, enhancing beneficiary access and administrative consistency.
  • The Enrollment Alignment Study. To further maximize coverage continuity and ease transitions to Medicare, the bill directs HHS to identify ways to align Medicare’s annual enrollment periods. HHS is to present these findings in a report to Congress by January 1, 2023.

Aetna Upcoming Med Supp Rate Changes

Aetna:  Upcoming Medicare Supplement Rate Adjustments February 1, and/or March 1, 2021

Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Nevada, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin

View Rate Change Details 

Federal Rules Protect People from Bills for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Article from the KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) published on 12/18/20:

As the first doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine are delivered to health care workers and other early recipients, many Americans are eager to know not only when the vaccine will be available to them but also whether they will be able to get it at no cost.

The answer is that providers are not allowed to charge patients who get the vaccine, at least during the public health emergency, KFF experts write in a new issue brief. But it will be important to drive home that message to the public since some patients have been left with unexpected bills for COVID testing and treatment in spite of federal rules and programs, as well as voluntary efforts by insurers, designed to cover such costs.

Through Operation Warp Speed, the federal government has purchased hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines that are being distributed to providers at no cost. In turn, providers must agree to not charge for the vaccine itself. While providers can charge for the cost of administering the vaccine, private insurance and public programs will cover 100 percent of that cost during the public health emergency.

People who are uninsured also will not be charged for the vaccine. Providers who wish to be reimbursed for administering the vaccine must bill the federal government and cannot bill uninsured individuals. It will be important for the federal government to develop plans to strictly enforce these requirements to ensure that the public receives the vaccine for free as intended.

In the issue brief, KFF experts highlight the laws and regulations that are in place to ensure access to free COVID-19 vaccines for individuals regardless of their insurance status and explain how vaccine administration costs will be covered in private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and for the uninsured.

There will be many challenges convincing people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Fear over unexpected costs need not be one of them.


Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.

CORNERSTONE TECH TIP: Responsible Social Networking

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
Chances are you are a member of one or more of these social networks.
Chances are you have posted something about work (positive and/or negative).
Chances are you have friends/followers/connections that are co-workers or your supervisor.

You have the right to remain silent . . .
Anything you post may be used against you, so be careful.
Consider that what you post online to social networks is a body of evidence. If a manager sees negative things being posted about work, it may trigger a meeting.
Be mindful of what you post regarding your company. Do not post anything sensitive about your employer online.
– Attackers use social networking sites to gather information about you and your company and use it against you.

Interview over
Potential and current employers can research your posts and pictures and make a decision on whether or not you get the job, or get a promotion.
If you post pictures of you doing illegal things, or acting overly irresponsible, it could hurt you and your career.
Be mindful of posting strongly opinionated views. This could cause coworkers to feel uncomfortable around you if they do not feel the same way.
– Think carefully about what you are posting and who can see it. It could come back to bite you.

Use what you are given
Most of the social networking sites allow you to only show specific groups of people specific information.
Use this feature. Make as little as possible ‘public.’ Consider separating work relationships from personal ones online.

Be careful what you post online. It could come back to hurt you, or the company you work for. It is perfectly fine to make use of social networking, just make sure to be responsible about it.

Let’s stay safe out there!

AETNA Updates: COVID-19 Vaccine, Commission payments, SEP marketing & more

Aetna email update from 12/17/20:

COVID-19 News:

Update on distribution of COVID-19 vaccines

Since CMS is covering the vaccine costs, the COVID-19 vaccination will be covered at no added cost to current Aetna Medicare members. We expect that vaccine distribution will occur in phases, beginning with high-risk health workers, first responders and older adults living in long-term care facilities. It’s expected to take many months to vaccinate the entire U.S. population.

It’s our understanding at this time that the CDC and CMS will determine the eligibility for the vaccine. Aetna Medicare Advantage senior leadership remains in contact with CMS leadership on this matter. While no request from CMS has been made to help identify beneficiaries who qualify, we stand at the ready to help and support them with this effort however we can.

As we learn more, we’ll keep you informed. You can also visit our COVID-19 resource center at www.cvshealth.com/covid-19.

Aetna helps members access COVID-19-related care through new and extended waivers

Through January 31, 2021, we’ll also waive Medicare Advantage member cost-sharing for:

  • Inpatient admissions for treatment of COVID-19 or health complications associated with COVID-19
  • In-network telemedicine visits for specialist visits, which includes mental and behavioral health providers
  • All in-network primary care visits, whether done in-office and via telehealth, for any reason

We’ll also continue to waive member cost-sharing for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19 for Medicare members. Learn more.  

Member Retention:

Open Enrollment Period (OEP) starts January 1

During the Medicare Advantage OEP, beneficiaries who are enrolled in an MA/MAPD plan have a one-time opportunity to change plans. This election period is not available to those with Original Medicare or those enrolled in a standalone Prescription Drug Plan. Learn more.

OEP dos and don’ts: Review examples on how to assist your clients during OEP

During OEP, do: 

– At a beneficiary’s proactive request, send marketing materials, have one-on-one meetings, and provide information on the OEP

– Include general information on your website about enrollment periods, including OEP

During OEP, don’t: 

– Send unsolicited materials encouraging an enrollment change or referencing the OEP

– Specifically target beneficiaries because they enrolled in a plan during AEP

– Call or otherwise contact former enrollees who selected a new plan during AEP

– Engage in or promote activities that intend to target the OEP as an opportunity to make further sales


Commission payments start Jan. 4:

Commissions for 2021 plans will start generating the first week of January. You can expect the first payment to appear in your bank account starting the week of January 4.

Review the 2021 commission schedule

Click here to learn how we pay commissions


SEP marketing materials available on Studio

You can now customize, download, print and order CMS-compliant SEP materials on the Aetna Medicare Marketing Studio. After you login to the Studio, just click on SEP in the left-hand menu. You’ll find the following SEP materials available:

  • Call for appointment flyer
  • Meeting postcard
  • Full page ad


Your client enrolled in an MA/MAPD plan, now what?

Typically, about two weeks after a beneficiary’s Aetna MA/MAPD enrollment application is accepted, they’ll receive:

  • A welcome letter confirming their enrollment and an Aetna member ID card
  • A letter with guidance on how to find the following essential plan documents online and or request printed copies (click here for an example):
    • Evidence of Coverage, formulary (if applicable), a pharmacy directory and a provider directory


Aetna Broker Services Department holiday hours:

Just contact the Aetna Medicare Broker Services Department for help at

1-866-714-9301 or brokersupport@aetna.com. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 AM – 8 PM ET. Please note: Our office will close early on December 24 and December 31, and we’ll be closed on December 25 and January 1, as shown below.

  • December 24: 8 AM – 5 PM ET
  • December 25: Closed
  • December 31: 8 AM – 5 PM ET
  • January 1: Closed

Aetna’s ASCEND iPad User Notification & VBE Holiday Hours

Aetna has also posted this notification on the Ascend message board

Automatic download of the new Ascend app for iPad users only:

There is an Ascend platform wide adjustment due for release at midnight that will prompt iPad users to download the new Ascend app.

The app will automatically download as soon as the iPad device is turned on tomorrow.  The download of the new app is necessary for the RATE feature to work.

This will not affect Windows users, only impacts iPad users!


Holiday Hours of Operation for VBE and AHD:

VBE Call Center

Christmas Eve – Closed

Christmas Day – Closed

New Year’s Day – Closed


Ascend Help Desk (AHD)

Christmas Eve – Open, 8 AM – 11 PM EST

Christmas Day – Closed

New Year’s Day – Closed

MMO News: COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage and Availability

Special Broker Update Release from MMO – 12/14/20
Important Information About COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage and Availability

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is an important step toward preventing the spread of the virus. While there is still a lot of uncertainty around the vaccine distribution plans, we want to keep you informed regarding Medical Mutual’s plans related to coverage for the vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccine availability for all members

The federal government is coordinating the distribution plans for the COVID-19 vaccine with state health agencies. Initially, there will be a limited supply of the vaccine and it will be distributed to the populations at the highest risk, including healthcare workers, first responders such as police and paramedics, individuals residing in group settings (such as nursing homes), and people with underlying health conditions that put them at risk for serious complications from COVID-19.

Each state will communicate its distribution plans to the population. Groups and members located in Ohio can visit Coronavirus.Ohio.gov and click the COVID-19 Vaccination Program tab for more information. Members who live outside Ohio, or groups with a large number of employees located outside Ohio, should refer to the state health agency’s COVID-19 website for details.

Once the COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available, members will be able to receive the vaccine from healthcare providers and pharmacies. There may also be community vaccination sites set up throughout the state. Members should use the national vaccine finder website at VaccineFinder.org to find a convenient location to receive the vaccine. Please note: It may take several weeks for the information on the national vaccine finder to be updated as the vaccine makes its way across the country.


Coverage of the COVID-19 vaccine

For the remainder of 2020 and all of 2021, Original Medicare will cover the costs of all necessary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the cost to have someone administer the vaccine, for Medicare Advantage, EGWP and Medicare Supplement members. No member cost sharing will be applied. After the public health emergency ends, the COVID-19 vaccine will be included as a preventive benefit under the members’ health plans beginning with the 2022 plan year.

Medicare Advantage and EGWP members can receive the vaccine from providers outside of the Medical Mutual Medicare network with no member cost sharing during the public health emergency declared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Medicare Supplement members can receive the vaccine from any provider or location that accepts Medicare.

If you have questions about Medical Mutual’s response to COVID-19, please contact your Cornerstone Senior Marketing Representative.

Congratulations, You Made It!



Congratulations! You have made it through probably the most challenging annual enrollment period in some time. We value each and every one of our partnerships with our agents and hope you can enjoy a much deserved breather in the following weeks.


But wait…


Cornerstone offers our services year around and this is a prefect opportunity to meet (or by phone!) one-on-one with your Cornerstone sales representative to plan out the rest of the 2021 to sell throughout the whole year!

Connect with your sales rep here


We have the resources and tools to grow that book of business even more! Take a look at all of our tools in our Cornerstone Agent Toolkit.

Click here for AGENT TOOLKIT


The Open Enrollment Period (OEP) will begin Jan. 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021 for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries. This is an opportunity for a beneficiary enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan (with or without drug coverage) to make plan changes.


For anything else, give us a call and see how we can help!



Understanding COVID SEP 2020

There may be some confusion as to whether a COVID SEP exists or ever ended. 


To clarify, in late spring, CMS announced a time limited SEP for COVID affected beneficiaries which ended June 30, 2020.  Another disaster/emergency SEP has NOT been put into place.  However, what is always available is the case-by-case SEP for Other Exceptional Circumstances.  To confirm, while some in the industry may have assumed that there is another disaster/emergency SEP in place, this is not the case.


For additional information regarding the case-by-case SEP, which has to be referred to Medicare to handle, you can find details here.


Still have questions?  We’re here to help.

Contact your Cornerstone Senior Marketing Rep for assistance



or email