October 26,2023

Wyden, Finance Democrats Urge Further Action from CMS to Protect Seniors from Deceptive Marketing Scams in Medicare Advantage

Letter to CMS Follows Finance Committee Hearing Detailing Impact of Slimy Marketing Practices on Seniors Attempting to Enroll in Medicare Advantage

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) led Senate Finance Committee Democrats this week in sending a letter pressing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to take additional steps to protect seniors from deceptive practices used by marketing middlemen in Medicare Advantage.

The marketing onslaught can create confusion among beneficiaries resulting in beneficiaries feeling overwhelmed and choosing not to make a decision, even if a change might be beneficial, or enrolling in a new plan only to find out that the marketing was misleading,” the Senators wrote. “We applaud the changes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made to enforce existing rules prohibiting deceptive marketing practices in the Medicare Advantage program, and provide clearer guidance to plans around marketing. We urge CMS to continue to maintain robust enforcement of these commonsense requirements.”

In November 2022, the Finance Committee published a report following its investigation into the rampant use of deceptive marketing schemes by shady marketing middlemen in the Medicare Advantage program who are targeting seniors across the country. Following the report, CMS issued a rule to curb deceptive marketing practices by insurance agents and brokers. Wyden chaired a Senate Finance Committee hearing earlier this month highlighting the need for CMS to take further steps to protect seniors and make sure they are getting the coverage they need.

In their letter to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Wyden and Finance Committee Democrats urged the agency to limit third party marketing organizations from selling seniors’ personal information, as well as increase transparency around marketing spending in the Medicare Advantage program and ensure a level playing field for plan participants within Medicare Advantage.

The text of the letter to CMS can be found here.