January 23,2024

Wyden Questions Medicare Marketers' Business Tactics

Letters from Finance Chairman to Five Third-Party Marketing Organizations Seek Information on Data Collection and Enrollment Targeting Seniors Looking at Medicare Advantage Plans

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today continued the committee’s inquiry into marketing practices for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans from five third-party marketing organizations that participate in the MA enrollment period.

“Seniors are being bombarded by well-intentioned brokers and bad actors who use various ploys to sell Medicare plans such as providing misleading information about plan options, and misrepresenting themselves as from the Medicare program,” Wyden wrote. “Witnesses confirmed the widespread sale and transfer of seniors’ personal information between third-party marketing organizations (TPMOs) and lead generators. The largely unregulated sale of seniors’ information to lead generators and TPMOs has led to a race to the bottom as unscrupulous actors put their own financial interests ahead of seniors’ health needs.” 

The letters, sent to the company heads of eHealth, GoHealth, Agent Pipeline, SelectQuote, and TRANZACT, seek information on how the companies use insurance agents, lead generators and other data to target, market to, and direct seniors towards certain Medicare Advantage plans.

The inquiry follows on Wyden’s previous work to ensure seniors in Medicare are not being targeted by misleading marketing tactics. Last fall, the Finance Committee held a hearing to examine the upcoming Medicare Advantage enrollment period and developments in marketing rules. Earlier last year, Wyden pushed for stronger marketing rules from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which were successfully finalized.

The full letters can be found here.