2024 State of the Senior Market Address: In Review

Craig Ritter, CEO of Ritter Insurance Marketing, recently gave his annual address to hundreds of agents from across the country.

This year, we combined our State of the Senior Market Address and D-SNP Summit into one fresh opportunity — the Senior Market Symposium. With this being the first time we’ve held these two events in this capacity, we are beyond pleased with the turnout and overall experience!

Below, we’re covering the highlights of a year of exciting growth and success for Ritter in many ways as we recap the State of the Senior Market for 2024.


Reviewing Ritter’s 2023

Behind the scenes, Ritter experienced another great year of growth! We’ve reached 275 full-time employees nationwide. We have a presence and offices in 13 states, and we couldn’t be more thankful for our knowledgeable and dedicated staff!

By the Numbers

Medicare Advantage production for 2023 increased 14 percent, totaling 120,341 enrollments! With Medicare Supplements, Ritter saw a hefty 20 percent increase in premium production, totaling $43,644,572, throughout the full plan year. Finally, with Medicare Part D, we saw a decrease of 28 percent in enrollments from last year, for a total of 43,428 enrollments. We are still proud of our Part D production as factors out of our control, such as competitive prescription drug plans becoming non-commissionable for agents, took place. We look to the next plan year with excitement and anticipation!

Our 2024 AEP saw some huge achievements. Our total number of AEP-specific MA enrollments was up an impressive 31 percent from the 2023 AEP, ringing in at 61,959. Equally as exciting, our Part D enrollments were up 20 percent from the previous AEP, for a total of 27,440. Our grand total of enrollments for the 2024 AEP was 89,399. We couldn’t be prouder of this accomplishment, and it would not have been possible without our hardworking and devoted agents!

Our grand total of enrollments for the 2024 AEP was 89,399!

Additionally, we added four new Medicare contracts — CDPHP, Cigna Healthcare (for PDP), PacificSource, and Woodmenlife!

And seven new ACA/individual health insurance contracts — AmeriHealth Caritas Next, Antidote Health, EmblemHealth, Health First Health Plans, Jefferson Health Plans, Priority Health, and UnitedHealthcare Essential Plans!

Technology Advancements

This past year, we made many technology enhancements to make our tools and resources the best they possibly can be for our agents. We successfully added HRA links to Shop & Enroll enrollment pages for easier access and completion, completed a carrier integration and rewrite of our online contracting system to improve use, and improved electronic Scope of Appointment management by attaching eScopes to submissions, just to name a few!

Introducing Shop & Enroll

Our consumer-facing quoting and enrollment site, Medicareful, received a rebrand and name update in order to remain compliant with CMS. We made every effort to make the transition as seamless as possible for our agents and their clients. Shop & Enroll featured a selection of seven PDP carriers and 34 MA carriers in 2023. To give some perspective, in 2017, Shop & Enroll featured only two PDP carriers.

Additionally, Shop & Enroll’s total production growth has skyrocketed since 2018!

Total Production Done Through Shop & Enroll

Our Medicare sales and marketing tool has come a long way since its inception, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for Shop & Enroll!

Looking to the Future

For 2024, we plan to explore more HRA integration, give agents more control over their email preferences, enhance drug quoting capabilities, and so much more! Stay tuned for what’s to come.

Plan Year 2023 Medicare Enrollment Stats

In 2023, MA plans continued their rise in growth, and many states and carriers saw significant increase and success in this market!

Growth by Plan Type

Individual MA enrollments were up nine percent as of January 1, 2024! UnitedHealthcare once again emerged as the MA market leader, with more than seven million enrollees at of the beginning of February 2024. UnitedHealthcare was trailed by Humana, in second place, and CVS/Aetna, in third. Molina Healthcare saw notable growth in MA enrollments, with a 64 percent positive year-over-year change. Additionally, Devoted Health saw an impressive 63 percent year-over-year change!

Special needs plans (SNPs) had a 21.5 percent year-over-year growth, proving they are a rising MA product! As this number shows, it’s worthwhile to make sure your portfolio is equipped with SNP selling options.

Year-Over-Year Product Growth

Year-Over-Year Product Growth

Looking at PDPs, enrollment declined by about three percent. This could reflect the increased enrollment in MA plans that already come with Part D coverage and negate the need for a stand-alone plan. For the PDP market, Wellcare had the largest number of enrollments with 6,202,681, and the largest year-over-year percent increase at 39.6 percent! Several of the major parent companies, including CVS Health, UnitedHealthcare, and Humana, saw a decrease in enrollments over the year.

Growth by State

Florida had the highest number of enrollments – 48,687. Texas and Pennsylvania followed with 42,333 and 41,115 enrollments respectively. For the second year in a row, Pennsylvania, our home, remained a top contender!

Top States for 2024

States Top Growth 2024

In the recording of the address, we dive deeper into carrier growth per state, so check that out if you want additional localized insight!

Medicare Regulation, Legislation, and Industry Trend Updates

The 2023 plan year led to some trends that could really change the way the Medicare industry operates.

Plan Year 2025 Part D Redesign

In 2025, annual out-of-pocket costs will be capped at $2,000 for people with Medicare Part D, which is a $6,000 decrease over 2024.

Additionally, in 2025, the sunset of the Coverage Gap Discount Program (CGDP) and establishment of the Manufacturer Discount Program (Discount Program) will occur. The coverage gap phase will be eliminated and defined standard Part D prescription drug coverage will consist of a three-phase benefit:

  1. Deductible — The enrollee pays 100 percent of their gross covered prescription drug costs (GCPDC) until the deductible of $590 for CY2025 is met.
  2. Initial coverage — The enrollee pays 25 percent coinsurance for covered Part D drugs.
  3. Catastrophic — The enrollee pays no cost-sharing for covered Part D drugs.

Here is a visual of what these changes will look like:

Changes to Medicare Part D for Brand-Name Drug Costs

Source: KFF

Also, as a way to help Part D beneficiaries better manage their finances, the start of the Medicare Prescription Payment Plan program will offer enrollees the option to pay out-of-pocket prescription drug costs in the form of capped monthly payments instead of all at once at the pharmacy.

It is our prediction that with the changes the 2025 Part D Redesign will bring, MAPD will become a more competitive product than Medicare Supplement and PDP, which may result in a continued gradual market shift. PDP premiums will likely increase significantly in 2025 and the market shift toward MAPD in future years may have a negative effect on the pricing of stand-alone PDPs due to lower government reimbursements.

Proposed Rule — Agent/Broker Compensation

Note: CMS released the 2025 Final Rule for MA & Part D after Ritter’s State of the Senior Market address. We are currently reviewing and assessing the rule.

CMS has proposed changes to agent/broker/TPMO contract terms to prohibit “any terms that could reasonably be expected to inhibit an agent or broker’s ability to objectively assess and recommend” which plans best meet a beneficiary’s healthcare needs. Examples of this include HRA payments, marketing allowances, leads, and administrative or override fees.

Additionally, CMS proposed to eliminate the regulatory framework which allows health plans to pay FMV admin fees per enrollment, proposing a fixed amount of $31 (one time/initial) to cover all administrative costs borne by the agent.

Strictly interpreted and if finalized as proposed, this would eliminate the current payment method for all agencies who receive an override: GA, MGA, SGA, FMO, etc. and agents/agencies who receive HRA, lead, marketing reimbursements.

Implications of this proposed rule involve support and services previously offered by field marketing organizations, such as training, support, certification tracking, and more to fall on the agent or health plan.

Larger health plans might offer these services but only for sales directly related to their plans. Agents who sell multiple plans would need to access services individually for each plan.

Proposed Rule – FCC Lead-Generation

This applies to comparison shopping websites, lead generators and other companies who obtain consent to call on behalf of third parties. TCPA has long required consent for marketing calls and texts containing a prerecorded voice or sent using an “automatic dialing system.” Currently, companies can obtain consent for multiple third parties.

Under the proposed new rule, as of January 2025, prior consent must authorize no more than one identified seller to communicate with the consumer (could have multiple opt-in, checkboxes). It is our opinion that these changes will significantly alter the lead-generator landscape.

Craig really has a knack for explaining Medicare concepts and regulation. For more on this topic and the others addressed above, we highly suggest you watch the recording of the State of the Senior Market address.

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The future of Medicare will certainly bring about some changes. We’re excited to see what’s to come as we expand our business even further, and we can’t wait to continue leading agents to success!

If you were unable to attend this year’s State of the Senior Market address, you can watch the recording here whenever you’d like! If you aren’t yet a Ritter agent, register with us today to start selling smarter than ever with an excellent partner by your side.

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