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Medicare Advantage Marketing Slammed

MANAGED CARE April 2008. © MediMedia USA
News and Commentary

Medicare Advantage Marketing Slammed

MANAGED CARE April 2008. ©MediMedia USA

The board of directors of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) wants additional federal regulation and oversight when it comes to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plan marketing activities. The board wants to curb door-to-door marketing, cross-selling, cold calls, and any inducements or hard sells that a beneficiary may experience as he or she decides which Medicare Advantage or Part D plan to choose. It’s a strong message from the trade group: more government regulation to enhance consumer protections for every beneficiary who is considering Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug plans.

People need to have “complete confidence that they will be given the information they need to make the Medicare coverage decision that is best for them,” says Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of AHIP.

The AHIP board also recommends that states be provided additional tools to monitor sales activities. Specifically, AHIP supports the appointment of agents and brokers marketing Medicare Advantage and Part D plans consistent with state law so state insurance regulators know which company an agent or broker is marketing for and can act quickly to address any inquiries or abuses.