UNITED HEALTHCARE: Pays Brokers For Medicare Enrollees
United HealthCare of Alabama will pay insurance brokers $60 for each Medicare beneficiary they enroll in United's Medicare Complete HMO. The Birmingham News reports that Medicare Complete "was one reason" United lost $5.2 million two years ago, and that officials feel it's time to boost enrollment to make the plan more stable. "The more we have, the better off we are," medical director Dr. Paul Roller said. "We've reached the point where we can be solid and not be as fearful," he said. Medicare Complete, which offers "more than just standard medical insurance," initially lost money as new members -- tending to be older and sicker -- "instantly took advantage of the preventive services the coverage" offered. As more enrollees are added, said Roller, the plan's membership pool will hopefully become more diverse "and, in turn, less expensive." Because brokers are "in touch" with customers, Roller said his company thought they would be ideal to recruit Medicare beneficiaries. "We're clear when we set it up that the brokers just funnel leads to us," Roller said (Tutor, 11/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.