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CMS Marketing Guide Revisions for Medicare Advantage and Part D

—January 14, 2011

On January 6th, 2011, The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) proposed modifications to its marketing policies for Medicare Advantage (MA) and prescription drug plans (PDPs), including clarifying restrictions on locations allowed for sales events and on allowable contacts by independent agents.

The draft offers details on where sales agents may and may not market to beneficiaries.

“Plan sponsors may only conduct sales activities in common areas of health care settings, such as hospital or nursing home cafeterias, community or recreational rooms, and conference rooms. They are prohibited from conducting sales presentations, distributing and accepting enrollment applications, and soliciting beneficiaries in areas where patients receive health care services," the draft said.

The draft also explains restrictions on contacts with beneficiaries by independent agents and brokers.

“They may contact members that they enrolled in a plan to discuss plan issues and market other plan options, but cannot conduct unsolicited phone calls to other beneficiaries or plan members,” the draft said.

The draft also added language about educational events, saying plan sponsors could be present, but they may not “steer, or attempt to steer, potential enrollees toward a plan or a limited number of plans.”

For the full text of these proposed changes and any other additions, download the latest draft of the Medicare Marketing Guidelines. All proposed changes are in red.

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