New Rules Aim to Crack Down on Deceptive Medicare Advantage Marketing

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Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senate Special Committee on Aging Chair Bob Casey, D-Pa., hailed new consumer protections proposed yesterday by the Biden administration that would shield seniors seeking Medicare Advantage plans from deceptive marketing practices that have dramatically increased in recent years.

“These proposals are an important step towards protecting seniors in Medicare from scammers and unscrupulous insurance companies and brokers,” Wyden said. “I look forward to continuing my work with the Biden administration and my colleagues on the Finance Committee to ensure these consumer protections are put into effect and enforced so seniors can enroll in the Medicare plan of their choice without worrying about being misled.”

“With scams targeting seniors on the rise since the pandemic, we must have strong safeguards in place to protect older Americans who rely on Medicare,” Casey said. “That’s why Senator Wyden and I pushed the Biden Administration to crack down on deceptive Medicare Advantage marketing. These reforms are a strong step in the right direction to ensure older adults have the information they need to choose Medicare coverage. I will keep working to prevent bad actors from using deceptive marketing practices to enroll seniors in health care plans that may not meet their needs.”

Last month, Wyden and Casey led 11 Democratic members of the Finance Committee to call for the Biden administration to implement additional consumer protections in Medicare Advantage. Wyden released a report that confirmed reported increases in complaints of deceptive marketing practices, with complaints doubling between 2020 and 2021. Wyden’s report described tactics used by insurance companies, brokers, and third party marketers to push seniors to sign up for their plans, including deceptive mail advertisements, misleading claims about increasing Social Security benefits, aggressive in-person marketing tactics, and enrolling beneficiaries in a new plan without their consent.

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More information about the proposed rule can be found here.

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