Adapting to the Latest CMS Regulations

A Breakdown of 2024 MA and Part D
Final Rule Changes for Agents

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently released the final rule for Contract Year 2024, outlining key changes that will impact sales processes.
It is important to understand these changes, as failure to comply with the new regulations can lead to significant consequences for your business. Changes will take effect on September 30, 2023.

By Austin Felch

Here is what you need to know
Medicare Marketing Rules for Contract Year 2024
Prohibits marketing unless the names of MA organizations or Part D sponsors being advertised are clearly displayed

This new rule stipulates that Medicare Advantage (MA) organizations and Part D sponsors are no longer allowed to promote any products, plans, benefits, or costs unless they clearly disclose their name or marketing name(s) in the promotional material.
This requirement ensures that beneficiaries are fully aware of the organization they are dealing
with and who they are contacting. (Rules, Page 386)

• Prohibits the marketing of “savings” not realized
MA organizations and Part D sponsors cannot tell potential enrollees how much they could save by comparing their costs to those of people who don’t have insurance or who have not paid their medical bills. They also cannot use costs that Medicare beneficiaries haven’t actually had to pay. (Page 388)

• Clarify door-to-door solicitation
Visiting a Medicare beneficiary at their home is considered unsolicited door -to- door contact unless the beneficiary had agreed to an appointment and the date and time were set in advance.
(Page 391)

• Requirement for an annual optout for plan business
Each MA organization and Part D sponsor is required to provide opt-out information to all its enrollees, regardless of plan intention to contact, at least annually in writing, instead of just one time. This ensures beneficiaries are reminded that they may decide at any time to opt out of being contacted by their MA organization/Part D sponsor about plan business. (Page 392)

• Prohibits distribution of Scope of Appointment (SOA) or scheduling future sales meeting at education events
The new rule reinstates the prohibition on accepting SOA cards or the collection of beneficiary contact information at educational events. (Page 394)

• Prohibits sales events to directly follow educational events
Marketing events are prohibited from taking place within 12 hours of an educational event, in the same location. This will give beneficiaries sufficient time to consider the impartial and factual
information provided at the educational event. (Page 399)

• Requires 48 hours between the Scope of Appointment (SOA) and a meeting with beneficiary
The 48-hour rule for the Scope of Appointment (SOA) has been reinstated, with a few exceptions. For instance, if a beneficiary is nearing the end of a valid enrollment period, such as the Annual Enrollment Period, Open Enrollment Period, Special Enrollment Period, or Initial Coverage Election Period, they may be exempt from this rule. Additionally, walk-in meetings that are
initiated by the beneficiary and are not scheduled in advance are also exceptions to this rule. (Page 406)

• Limits SOAs and Business Reply Cards (BRCs) to a 12-month timeframe
The Scope of Appointment (SOA) and business reply cards (BRCs) now have a clear written time limit of 12 months, starting from the beneficiary’s signature date or their request for additional
information. If the original SOA or permission to contact (PTC) has expired, a new one will be required. (Page 410)

• Effect on current coverage to be added to the pre-enrollment checklist (PECL) and review of PECL
As part of the enrollment process, agents must clearly communicate the impact of a client’s enrollment decision on their existing coverage. (Page 414)

Updated TPMO Disclaimer

When promoting Medicare Advantage or Part D insurance plans, you will need to add the updated TPMO disclaimer on all your marketing materials like websites, brochures, or phone calls.
This disclaimer should be specific to the service area of the person you’re talking to or advertising to. You should also make sure to include it within the first minute of
any audio presentation or call. (Page 419)

Updated Disclaimer:

“We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area which are plans offered by
[number of MA organizations]. Please contact,
1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all of your options.”

Requires MA organizations and Part D sponsors to have a monitoring and oversight plan and report agent non-compliance to CMS
At a minimum, the oversight plan should include checking complaints made by people within the organization and complaints made to 1-800-MEDICARE.
It should also include listening to recordings of past sales, marketing, and enrollment calls, as well as monitoring live ones. The program should also secretly attend in-person education and sales events and evaluate web-based ones without revealing identity. (Page 425)

Limits TPMO call recording to sales, marketing, and enrollment
Call recordings are now limited to those solely related to sales, marketing, and enrollment, as opposed to recording all calls. (Page 431)

• Require web-based technology meetings to be recorded
Call recording to include Zoom, Facetime, Skype, or other technology based platforms. This applies only to the audio portion of the call. (Page 434)

• Prohibits the use of the Medicare Name, Logo or Watermark by TPMOs
Prohibits the use of the Medicare name, CMS logo, products or information issued by the Federal Government, including the Medicare card, in a misleading manner. CMS acknowledges
that reasons may exist to use the Medicare card image, which they will permit with authorization. (Page 372)

It is important to note that the above is not an exhaustive list of all the changes in the final rule for Contract Year 2024. As an independent agent, it is important to read and understand
the full details to ensure that your sales processes are in compliance.

AUSTIN FELCH,VP of Operations, joined AGA in 2019 with years of Medicare industry experience and running a national compliance program.
He’s focused on working with agents and agencies to develop compliant Medicare market.