Launches Survey of Medicare Advantage Marketing Practices | King and Spalding

On August 23, 2022, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced he was launching an investigation into potentially deceptive marketing tactics by organizations offering Medicare Advantage benefits and drug programs. by order of Part D. Senator Wyden’s investigation follows information from CMS in its final rule earlier this year that marketing complaints more than doubled from 2020 to 2021 and that many of these complaints were linked to third-party marketing organizations (TPMOs). Senator Wyden sent letters to 15 state insurance commissioners and state health insurance assistance programs requesting Medicare Advantage marketing complaint data and other information.

Senator Wyden’s inquiries include the number of Medicare Advantage and Part D marketing complaints from 2019 to 2022 and how many of those complaints were related to TPMOs. Senator Wyden also asked for examples of potentially false or misleading marketing and advertising materials. Specifically, it requested information on trends in unsolicited contact with recipients via telemarketers, text messages, online outreach and targeted online advertising.

A copy of Senator Wyden’s letter to the Commissioner of the Oregon Department of Insurance is available here. A copy of the CMS Final Rule discussing the increase in Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) marketing complaints and imposing new requirements on TPMOs is available here.

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