Following a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing on Medicare Advantage (MA) Annual Enrollment, Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) led committee Democrats in sending a letter calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to take additional steps to protect seniors from deceptive practices used by marketing middlemen in the MA program. The Democratic senators praised the agency’s recent enforcement of existing rules to prohibit deceptive marketing practices in the MA program, while also providing clearer marketing guidance to plans. However, the letter notes that CMS did not address, in its recent final rule, the selling of seniors’ information multiple times to different marketing middlemen and brokers.
In their letter, the senators urged CMS to:
- Adopt a proposal that would limit third-party marketing organizations from selling seniors’ information to other third-party marketing organizations
- Leverage every opportunity to identify bad actors who are taking advantage of Medicare beneficiaries, including requiring MA plans to provide the broker’s identifier when a beneficiary submits an enrollment related complaint through the CMS complaint tracking system; and
- Require greater transparency around marketing spending in the MA program and to review the agent and broker compensation model to ensure a level playing field for plan participants in the MA program.
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Representatives Bilirakis and Cartwright Introduce the Medicare Audiology Access Improvement Act of 2023 (H.R. 6445)
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