“A major group representing Medicare Advantage plans is pushing back at Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., following the senator’s request to more than a dozen states for data on the ‘potentially deceptive’ marketing tactics of payers offering the lucrative and privately-run Medicare and Part D plans,” Rebecca Pifer writes over at HealthcareDive. “Marketing materials for MA plans are already subject to ‘careful regulation,’ must be approved by regulators and adhere to a 53-page set of federal guidelines, Better Medicare Alliance leader Mary Beth Donahue argued in a Tuesday statement on the inquiry. Wyden’s request comes amid reports of complaints from MA beneficiaries over practices like aggressive sales techniques and fraudulent and misleading advertisements, according to the senator’s letter. MA plans, which say they offer lower costs, extra benefits and better outcomes, are growing in popularity —- estimates place more than half of all Medicare beneficiaries in the privately-run plans by 2025. Industry-funded polling show the majority of MA beneficiaries are happy with their coverage and would recommend MA to family and friends. But the plans have come under rising scrutiny for fraud, false billing and misleading marketing tactics, sparking Wyden’s inquiry. Wyden last week sent letters to 15 states, including California, New York and Texas, requesting they provide information by mid-September on complaints from people enrolled in MA, so lawmakers can better understand any advertising or enrollment issues in the coverage when crafting legislation.” Rebecca Pifer, “Medicare Advantage lobby rebuts senator’s inquiry into ‘potentially deceptive’ marketing tactics,” Healthcare Dive.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded... More by Jeanne Pinder