In our September update, we wrote about a video conference TSCL participated in that discussed the Medicare Advantage (MA) ads that inundate TV and mailboxes every fall during open enrollment season.
We learned that there were over 650,000 of the ads last fall.
In addition, we reported that “There is a lot of confusion about the ads because, among other things, there are more than 40 MA plans.
“It was no surprise to learn that there are deceptive things in the ads, including calling the number they give a “Medicare hotline” or a “Medicare number,” when those numbers are actually private numbers that reach insurance agents or brokers.
“For the first time this year, CMS [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] is reviewing all of the ads that will be shown on TV or social media. The companies that sponsor the ads are forbidden to picture an actual Medicare card or refer to their phone number as a ‘Medicare number.”’
A Senate committee is investigating those ads to determine how private insurers advertise them to seniors.
This comes about as CMS has noted an increase in complaints about confusing and potentially misleading ads as MA enrollments have surged.