Medicare is a highly regulated because Medicare is a Government program. Did you know that you have rights and protections from fraud, abuse, and unlawful solicitations from agents and insurance companies?
Visit Medicare Marketing Guidelines for more detailed information.
Agents and insurance companies marketing Medicare plans are not allowed to:
· They cannot call you, for any reason, unless you are already an existing member of a plan.
· They cannot use bait-and-switch tactics, about other business, as a means of generating leads for Medicare plans.
· They cannot make an appointment to tell you about their plan unless you agree in writing or through a recorded phone discussion to the products being discussed.
· They cannot come to your home uninvited, to sell or endorse any Medicare related product or leave information such as a leaflet or flyer on your door.
· When calling a call center, they cannot require you to speak to a sales agent just to get basic information about a plan from an insurance company.
· When calling a call center to schedule a workshop RSVP, they cannot enroll you into a plan, in general, over the phone unless you call them and ask to be enrolled.
· An Agent or call center cannot ask you for a payment over the phone or web. There is no first payment.
· An Agent or call center cannot ask for your personal information (like your Social Security Number, bank account number, or credit card numbers) over the phone.
· An Agent cannot tell you that they are Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) policies.
· An Agent cannot offer you cash (or gifts worth more than $15) to join their plan or give you free meals during a sales meeting.
· An Agent cannot sell you a non-health related product, like an annuity or life insurance policy, during a Medicare sales meeting.
· An Agent cannot talk to you about their plan in areas where you get health care like an exam room, hospital patient room or pharmacy counter.
· They cannot market their plans or enroll you during an educational event like a health fair, informational only workshop, or seminar.
· They cannot approach you in parking lots, hallways, lobbies, or sidewalks for the sole purpose of solicitation.
Agents and providers can legally contact you only if you are an existing client.
1. If you are not, currently enrolled as a member with an insurance company or Agent, then you can only be contacted by mail with marketing materials.
2. It is a violation if an insurance company or Agent speaks to you about Medicare without your advance explicit written permission.
3. Agents cannot call you for any reason or follow up on any Medicare materials mailed to you unless you are an existing client.
In a workshop, educational meeting or seminar what right do I have?
1. During a workshop, seminar or educational meeting, a provider or Agent cannot solicit your name, phone number or address on a sign-in sheet unless it is clearly stated that you are giving written permission to be contacted.
2. During a workshop, seminar or educational meeting, a provider or Agent should not entice or mislead into signing an attendance sheet. By doing so you give the presenter permission to contact you by phone or by computer generated voice message.
Do I have rights on the Internet?
1. If after a Google search you land on a page on Medicare, be sure to read all the disclaimers and conditions before giving any personal information. Some sites use deceptive marketing tactics to gather your information and sell it!
2. If after visiting a web site you get a call from a person asking if you want to speak to an agent, do not say yes! The information you provided on the web site has been sold to an agent. They will immediately call you and ask several general questions and in doing so you will unknowingly give your permission for them to talk about Medicare.
3. They will also pressure you to set an appointment or may even try to sell you a policy over the phone.
4. Best advice is to just hang up after they tell you why there calling, then call me.