My Meeting With An Industry Leader

This past week I was able to spend time with a Regional Vice President (RVP) from one of the leading companies in the Medicare Supplement industry, Aetna. It was refreshing to gain some insight from a very large company; that in a short time has become one of the favorites among agents across the country. That company is Aetna – who now offers affordable Medicare Supplement insurance through American Continental Insurance Company (ACI) and Continental Life Insurance Company of Brentwood, Tennessee (CLI).

After Aetna purchased ACI and CLI, they looked at states that could handle rate reductions based on their claims history. I have been in this business since 1981 and have never seen a company have a 21% rate reduction like ACI implemented in Illinois on February 1, 2012. Not only did they become one of the most competitive companies in several states, but they continue to pay full commissions to the agent for their "over age 80" business.

When I asked George Pelekanos, RVP for ACI/CLI, about this, he said, “we will continue to take care of our valued agents by paying full commissions to all ages 65 and above. We realize it costs the agent just as much to write over 80 year olds as it does to write the 79 and younger.” As an agent you have to love it when a company respects and puts value on the efforts you give to go out and bring in the business. Mr. Pelekanos' attitude is that we want to build a strong and long term relationship with our agents and make sure they know that ACI and CLI (both Aetna companies) appreciates their business. We want to earn your business and be your key Medicare Supplement company. In addition, we strive to make the overall experience very pleasant for agents, as they place their valued clients with ACI and CLI.

Many people within the industry felt this was not going to withstand the market, and wanted to see what happens upon renewal. Well, American Continental has responded with a realistic and modest 7.5% on plan F and no rate adjustment, ZERO!, on plans A, B, High Deductible F, G, and N as of April 1, 2013.

To me that is very impressive when you consider many carriers that we have had relationships with don't accomplish what ACI and CLI have. While ACI and CLI are trying to maintain and reduce rates, other companies are having double-digit rate increases every year. ACI has some other surprises for 2013 so stay posted. Their sales incentives trip (to an exciting destination) and competitive pricing will continue and we are in hopes that they will continue to show great leadership with our marketplace.

If you aren't yet contracted with ACI or CLI -- let's get that taken care of!

Jeff Sams

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