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CMS Lifts Aetna Medicare Marketing Sanctions

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Aetna Inc. now has permission from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to resume selling Medicare plans.

CMS suspended the ability of Aetna, Hartford (NYSE:AET), to sell new Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage in April 2010 because of concerns about Aetna’s switch to a closed Medicare Part D “formulary,” or covered drugs list, from an open formulary.

Aetna will resume marketing Medicare Advantage and drug plan products immediately, the company says. The company can enroll beneficiaries with effective dates beginning July 1.

Even while the ban on new sales was in place, Aetna has been continuing to provide Medicare Advantage and Medicare drug plan coverage for about 1 million people.