Government Cracks Down On Lead Cards And Advertisements Used To Sell Senior Products
Policies devoted to the senior market are valuable products to many agents and brokers. These include Medicare supplement insurance, nursing home coverage and small face amount life insurance policies (often used for final expenses).
To market these products, insurance agents and companies often use “lead cards” or other advertisements that explain what Medicare and Social Security provide and that invite recipients to request more information. The returned cards can be door openers for agents to meet with a potential insured to explain how a particular product can supplement Medicare or Social Security benefits.
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The federal government, however, is taking a dim view of this practice.
Section 1140 of the Social Security Act prohibits the “use, in connection with any items constituting an advertisement, solicitationor other communication” of the words “Social Security” or “Medicare” “in a manner which reasonably could be interpreted or construed as conveying the false impression that such item is approved, endorsed or authorized by the Social Security Administration…or the Department of Health and Human Services…or that such person has some connection with, or authorization from [these entities].”
What insurance marketers need to know is that such solicitations violate the Act even if they contain disclaimers.