Regional MAOs Keep Watch on ‘Bad Actors’ in Marketing Space

While the COVID-19 pandemic complicated many smaller Medicare Advantage organizations’ efforts to connect with members during the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) last fall, reports of aggressive and misleading marketing practices also resulted in the unintentional disenrollment of individuals from their plans, which not only hurts from a revenue perspective but can negatively impact their star ratings. According to several sources who spoke with AIS Health, a division of MMIT, these tactics were more egregious than usual during the 2021 AEP and the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) that ran from January through March, when members who selected an MA plan in the fall may make a one-time coverage switch.

“We’ve always seen some very aggressive marketing practices, especially from some of the large, national players. But over the last two years, and especially in the last six months, it’s gone from aggressive marketing tactics to what many plans would qualify as teetering on the side of deceptive marketing practices. And it’s not just one large player,” says a source who works with health plans and asked not to be identified for this article.

© 2021 MMIT

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues, including drug benefits and specialty pharmacy, for more than a decade. She served as editor of Drug Benefit News (the predecessor to Radar on Drug Benefits) from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016, and now manages Radar on Medicare Advantage. Lauren graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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