Putting Our Medicare Supplement Insurance Expertise to Work
May 11, 2015| By Stacy Varney |
I recently attended the only industry conference available that is focused on Medicare Supplement insurance, or Medigap as it’s commonly called in the industry. The meeting - the Medicare Supplement Insurance Summit - was held in Orlando this year (the meeting organizers switch it up every other year between west coast and east coast locations). Gen Re was a sponsor of the event, and we found it to be a valuable opportunity to connect with over 400 attendees from very diverse backgrounds.
What's really great about this conference is that it brings together insurance company attendees from all disciplines, agents, third-party administrators, marketing companies, actuarial consultants, technology companies, distribution organizations and others to discuss the challenges and opportunities for this significant growth industry. The only segment not represented at the conference was the customer – consumers age 65 and over who are targets for this product.
Along with my Gen Re colleagues from across the marketing, pricing, underwriting, valuation and research disciplines, I spent two days immersed in presentations on a variety of important Medigap topics. Our team also had four speaking slots on the program this year, which allowed us to deliver a variety of insights on underwriting, pricing, consumer research and the senior market exchanges.
Fortunately, Marcy Updike, our Research Center Director for Life/Health North America, was able to join me in bringing our research perspective to the meeting and highlighting the preliminary results from new consumer research that we conducted. Marcy showed how consumers make their health insurance purchasing decisions, the role of an agent, how consumers decide which plan to purchase and which company to select, and more. (For a summary of these findings, look for my upcoming article in our Life/Health insurance newsletter The Bulletin.)
Marcy and I, however, weren’t the only Gen Re associates to share our valuable research at the conference. Our Head of Underwriting R&D John Najarian moderated a session with underwriting leaders from two insurance companies and shared some results from our recent Underwriting Consistency Survey. Jena Breece and Rob Himmelstein, both pricing actuaries at Gen Re, were joined by an actuarial consultant in delivering an overview of rate trends, and they shared some findings from our recent Medicare Supplement Market Survey and Experience Study. On the topic of senior exchanges, Steve Woods from the marketing and account management team shared findings from our recent Insurance Exchange research. In all, we delivered results from five different research projects that we've conducted in the past 12 months – most of which are unique to the market as they are offering insights not found elsewhere in the industry.
At Gen Re we're fortunate to have a talented team of research professionals who are dedicated to researching an array of topics important to increasing our clients' and the industry's overall understanding of the Medicare Supplement insurance business. We're also fortunate to have an industry conference that supports such a broad audience and that is focused on addressing the challenges and opportunities of this industry, all of which help consumers have better choices when it comes to their Medigap needs. We’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in learning more about the event or discussing our research.