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NAHU Weighs In On Medicare Rules

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The National Association of Health Underwriters is supporting some aspects of the new Medicare plan marketing regulations and proposed regulations and raising questions about others.

NAHU, Arlington, Va., is reacting to a final Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan rule and an interim final rule that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is releasing this week.

NAHU likes the provision in the final rule that would require that all individuals selling private Medicare policies be both state-licensed and appointed producers, NAHU Chief Executive Janet Trautwein says.

NAHU would like to know whether a proposed ban on cold calling prospects might affect agents’ efforts to reach clients with whom the agent has an existing relationship, Trautwein says.

The final rule also includes a ban on cross-selling.

“NAHU has concerns that the lack of a clear definition of what is or is not a health insurance product could be confusing and problematic to agents,” Trautwein says. “The association also would have preferred CMS to have provided a safe harbor for agents and brokers who are working with existing clients, as well as for clients who ask for specific information about other non-health insurance products during the course of a sales meeting, so that seniors who request such information could receive it in a timely manner.”

The interim Medicare plan marketing final rule calls for standardized and exam-based training for private Medicare plan producers.

NAHU likes that provision but has some concerns about the proposed agent compensation provision definitions, Trautwein says.

NAHU is happy to see that CMS officials is letting health plans pay a somewhat higher level commission during the initial year in which a policy is written, Trautwein says.

That option reflects the extra effort needed to set up a policy, Trautwein says.


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