More Marketing Regulation Could Be in Store for Medicare Plans, AIS’s Medicare Advantage News Reports
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) - March 18, 2010 - Washington, DC

Marketing of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans could be in store for substantially more regulation as a result of two recent developments, AIS’s Medicare Advantage News subscription newsletter reports. One of them involves a scathing report issued by the HHS Office of Inspector General this month titled “Beneficiaries Remain Vulnerable to Sales Agents’ Marketing of Medicare Advantage Plans.” The report recommends that CMS take several additional enforcement steps, including audits, regulations and issuance of guidance, and CMS agreed with some of the suggestions, the March 11 issue of Medicare Advantage News says.

The other development, the publication notes, is the release by CMS of the draft 2011 marketing guidelines, which contain changes that could be expensive and time-consuming for MA plan sponsors. Among other things, according to Medicare Advantage News, the guidelines would lengthen the time CMS has to review marketing materials before MA plans could use them, require translation of plan Web sites if 10% or more of an area’s population is of a particular ethnic background, and limit plans’ use of social media to content that has been approved by CMS.

The moves are an indication that MA marketing will continue to be “a hot button with regulators,” one attorney who works with health plans tells the publication. Industry executives themselves say they are getting a black eye because of the conduct of very few plan sponsors who are trying to “game the system,” the publication adds. To access the Mar. 11 issue of Medicare Advantage News in which this article appears, go to

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Since 1995, thousands of health plan executives and other health care managers have received reliable intelligence from Medicare Advantage News. Every two weeks, the 8-page newsletter is packed with business insights you won't find anywhere else … on who is doing what in managed Medicare, and how those strategies are impacting their bottom line. For more detailed publication information, visit

Contact: James Gutman Managing Editor, Medicare Advantage News Atlantic Information Services, Inc. 1100 17th Street, NW Suite 300 Washington, DC 20036 202-775-9008 ext. 3041

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