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Speakers Say Part D Plans Should Police Producers

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Insurers and other organizations that sponsor the new Medicare drug plans should make sure the brokers and agents selling the coverage are up to the job.

Speakers representing insurance industry groups and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid delivered that message here Monday at a Medicare and Medicaid conference sponsored by America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington.

“Plan sponsors have a lot of responsibility in terms of the training and education of brokers and agents,” Janet Trautwein, chief executive officer of the National Association of Health Underwriters, Arlington, Va., said at the conference, during a panel discussion on Medicare Part D prescription drug plan sales practices.

Sponsors must ensure that producers are certified to sell Part D plans, and that they stay in compliance with CMS rules and regulations, Trautwein said.

Trautwein argued, however, that fears that agents will try to increase their compensation by moving clients from plan to plan are exaggerated.

“Agents make money off a large bulk of clients by enrolling them in a plan