List Warns Seniors About Aggressive Medicare Advantage Sales Tactics
Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:42 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Oct. 1 marks the start of the marketing campaign for 2009 Medicare Advantage plans along with stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDP). It also marks the implementation of final regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to protect seniors from questionable marketing tactics used to sell these popular plans.
In an effort to ensure the integrity of Medicare Advantage practices, BlueCross is providing seniors with a warning list of some common questionable and deceptive sales tactics.
“As seniors try to determine the best Medicare plan to meet their health care needs, the last thing they should have to worry about are deceptive sales practices,” said Sharon Dicorato, manager of individual products for BlueCross. “Medicare Advantage and PDP plans are great options for many seniors and they shouldn’t be scared away by the actions of an unscrupulous few.”
According to BlueCross, there are five sales tactics that seniors should recognize and avoid when purchasing a Medicare Advantage or stand-alone prescription drug plan:
Insurance agents who ask for your Social Security or credit card numbers
Agents who “cold call” you whether on the phone or door-to-door
Anyone asking you to pay up front for a Medicare Advantage or PDP plan
Agents who try to sell you a non-health care related product while marketing a Medicare Advantage or PDP plan
Anyone offering you a meal while attempting to sell you a Medicare Advantage or PDP plan
Information on marketing restrictions for Medicare Advantage products and PDP plans can be found on the CMS Web site at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/HealthPlansGenInfo/. Seniors may also contact Tennessee’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) toll free at 1-877-801-0044 with their Medicare questions.