Another Year, Another New Rule from CMS…
Yes, we feel your pain.
It seems like every year there’s a new set of compliance rules that agents must follow when selling Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. Some are a minor nuisance; others require scrambling to find and put new systems in place before the deadline (call recording, anybody?).
Remember why CMS does this: They are trying to protect Medicare beneficiaries against misleading and confusing sales and marketing tactics, and make sure these consumers get the right help to end up with the appropriate plan for their needs. This is the same goal that most independent agents have when selling Medicare plans.
While most independent agents focus on providing the best service possible, there are some bad actors. According to CMS, the number of consumer complaints rose from 15,497 in 2020 to 39,617 in 2021.
Medicare Marketing Changes in 2024: New TPMO Disclaimer
There are many resources you can turn to that dive into the changes for 2024. We won’t go over all of them here. But there is one specific rule that directly affects AgentMethods’ customers and the service we provide: the TPMO (Third Party Marketing Organization) Disclaimer.
To make sure it’s clear to customers what companies and plans an agent can offer them, CMS has provided an updated TPMO disclaimer that agents must use in communication and marketing materials such as email, online chat, advertisements, and websites. The new disclaimer is:
“We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently, we represent [insert number of organizations] organizations which offer [insert number of plans] plans in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1–800–MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all of your options.” (source: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-42/part-422/subpart-V#p-422.2267(e)(41))
But there’s one tiny problem with the new disclaimer…
The New Disclaimer Doesn’t Work on Websites
While this new disclaimer is helpful for direct mail campaigns and one-on-one communications, it creates a problem when communicating with anonymous website visitors who don’t know their local area. In that case, you aren’t able to provide a correct number for organizations you work with and plans you offer within their area.
We are seeing creative solutions, such as: