Medicare Marketing Rules

Medicare Marketing Rules are set by CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and they are getting more liberal now that they are being set by Republicans.

medicare marketing rules

Medicare Advantage and Part D plans can now use email for marketing – something that was against the rules in the past.  So get ready for lots of emails if you’re turning 65 in the next 8 months.

 

Brokers, insurance agencies, and insurance companies were always allowed to send snail mail to people about their Medicare coverage options. Now email is allowed – but it must include an option (usually in small print at the bottom of the page) to unsubscribe or opt out of future emails from the sender.

Insurance agents/brokers are still not allowed to cold call people to try to sell them on Medicare Advantage or Part D plans.  But…. they can cold call people about Medicare supplements.

Several years ago, I wrote about how people turning 65 get inundated with mail and phone calls about the Medicare coverage options.

Medicare Marketing Rules and Educational Events

Insurance agents who participate in educational events can now hand out their business cards as well as business reply cards so they can set up further contacts with attendees.

In the past, educational events were strictly for education and not marketing and sales.  From reading the Medicare Marketing Rules it looks like the only change for educational events is that agents can hand out their business cards and business reply cards.  They can’t hand out sales/marketing materials (or applications).

More time to change plans beyond the Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7).

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) will run from January 1 – March 31 every year.  People already enrolled in Medicare Advantage will have another opportunity to change from one Medicare plan to another – or they can go back to “Original Medicare” and get a “stand-alone” Part D plan.

The Medicare Advantage OEP does not allow new enrollments into Medicare Advantage plans. The Medicare Advantage OEP only applies to people who are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. 

The Medicare Advntage OEP is not for people enrolled in “stand-alone” Part D plans – and that’s too bad.  Every year I get calls from people who discover – in January – that their drug plan changed in a negative way.  Unfortunately, they are stuck with that plan for the rest of the year.

I wrote about this change a couple of months ago:  Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment is Back.

But…. Medicare Marketing Rules say the Open Enrollment Period cannot be advertised.

Medicare Advantage plans are not allowed to send unsolicited materials advertising the ability to make a change during Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Advantage plans cannot host or promote events that promote the  OEP as an additional sales period.

 

 

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