State insurance regulators are concerned about implementation of prescription drug plans that are part of Medicare legislation.
Enrollment in PDPs as a result of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 started in mid-November 2005.
Regulators at the recent winter meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners raised several issues with federal regulators.
Both in correspondence with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Baltimore, and in dialogue during the meeting, issues including waivers of state licensure and cross-selling were discussed.
In a letter to CMS dated Nov. 22, 2005, Jorge Gomez, Wisconsin insurance commissioner and NAIC senior issues task force chair, said several states have expressed concern over CMS waivers to entities that were not licensed as insurers in any state. Those waivers were granted, he wrote, without first checking with a state to see whether an application had been filed.
Gomez also raised the issue of cross-selling.
Bonnie Burns, a funded consumer representative with the NAIC and a training and policy specialist with California Health Advocates, Scotts Valley, Calif., said in California there are 47 PDP plans from which consumers must choose. California has no authority over these plans, she added.