August 23,2022

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Wyden Probes Deceptive Marketing Practices by Medicare Advantage Plans

Evidence of Misleading Marketing Aimed at Seniors Prompts Finance Chairman to Seek Additional Information

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today launched an inquiry into potentially deceptive marketing tactics practiced by Medicare Advantage plans that may take advantage of seniors looking for Medicare coverage. Wyden sent letters to 15 state insurance commissioners and state health insurance assistance programs requesting data about Medicare Advantage marketing complaints and other information.

"I have heard alarming reports that MA and Part D health plans and their contractors are engaging in aggressive sales practices that take advantage of vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities," Wyden wrote. "I write seeking information about potentially deceptive marketing practices being conducted by insurance organizations offering Medicare benefits under the Medicare Advantage (MA) program and the Part D prescription drug program."

The letter comes as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently reported that it has received more than twice the numbers of complaints from seniors regarding Medicare Advantage plans in 2021 than it did in 2020. The letters were sent to the following 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

The full letter can be found here.