Senate Committee Seeks Ways to Hold MAOs Accountable for ‘Slimy’ Marketing

“Wheel of deceit.” “Sleazy, private sector scoundrels.” The transfer of personal information “from one moneygrubbing hand to another.” These are just a few of the verbal gems dropped by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) when, during a recent hearing on Capitol Hill, he described the billion-dollar third-party Medicare marketing machine that has been under increased scrutiny by Congress, consumer advocates and researchers.

But beyond Wyden’s descriptive remarks, the Senate Finance Committee chair and other lawmakers queried stakeholders about real solutions to rein in misleading marketing practices and improve seniors’ shopping experiences. Suggestions that came up on multiple occasions included prohibiting the transfer of beneficiary information from one lead generator to another, putting additional limits on the fees brokers earn for enrolling MA members, penalizing MA insurers for the actions of third-party marketers, and increasing transparency around the full cost associated with enrolling in an MA plan.

© 2024 MMIT
Lauren Flynn Kelly

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues since the early 2000s and specializes in in-depth reporting on Medicare Advantage, managed Medicaid and Medicare Part D. She also possesses a deep understanding of the complex world of pharmacy benefit management, having written AIS Health’s Radar on Drug Benefits from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016. In addition to her role as managing editor of Radar on Medicare Advantage, she oversees AIS Health’s publications and manages the health editorial staff. She graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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