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Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D.

Life Health > Health Insurance > Medicare Planning

Senators Attack Retail Medicare Agent Call Recording Requirement

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Two Senate Republicans are trying to shield traditional agents and brokers from new federal Medicare plan producer call recording requirements.

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., has introduced S. 5149, a bill that would exclude retail producers from the new consumer call recording requirement. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently imposed the requirements on “third-party marketing organizations” that help Medicare plan issuers find prospects for Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D prescription drug policies.

CMS developed the new requirements because of complaints from consumers, lawmakers and traditional retail agents and brokers about big, national marketing organizations using potentially misleading television ads and lead-generation campaigns to boost Medicare plan sales.

CMS has applied the new rules to the traditional retail agents and brokers along with the big, national, call-center-based marketing organizations.

Rounds’ bill would exclude “independent agents and brokers” from the requirements starting Jan. 1, 2023. The bill would define independent agents and brokers as insurance producers who meet the Medicare Advantage agent requirements described in section 1851(h)(7)(A) of the Social Security Act — a part of the law that serves as the statutory framework for the Medicare Advantage program.

Rounds lists Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, as a co-sponsor. The Senate Finance Committee has jurisdiction over the bill.

The bill appears to have little chance of advancing as a stand-alone bill, but James Capretta, a health policy specialist at the American Enterprise Institute, suggested Thursday, during an online web event organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center, lawmakers could introduce a 2,000-page or 2,500-page “must pass” bill around Dec. 23, and that many different health policy measures could be part of that year-end package.

Pictured: Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D. (Photo: Rounds)


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