BISMARCK, N.D. – In collaboration with regulators across the country, Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread has co-signed a letter asking Congress to allow states to govern the marketing practices of Medicare Advantage plans.
The passage of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 resulted in limited state authority in overseeing the advertising and marketing practices of Medicare Advantage plans and does not allow states to penalize those who deceive consumers. The letter is asking Congress to shift authority back to the states.
“Since the implementation of the MMA and the loss of state oversight, State Departments of Insurance, as well as State Health Insurance Programs (SHIPs), consumer advocacy organizations, and the media, have reported patterns of overly aggressive, deceptive and abusive marketing and sales practices in the Medicare private plan marketplace,” the letter states.
The letter was signed by the Executive Committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which includes insurance regulators from Missouri, Idaho, Connecticut and North Dakota. Commissioner Godfread serves as the secretary-treasurer of the NAIC Executive Committee.
“The Insurance Department has received calls from North Dakotans who have fallen victim to these confusing practices and are being enrolled into plans that are not completely truthful on what is being sold. This is, unfortunately, an issue seen around the country,” said Commissioner Godfread. “We’re asking Congress to redirect oversight authority on these marketing practices from the federal government to individual states to better protect consumers.”
If oversight is redirected to the states, the Department will implement policies that will stop deceitful marketing before it reaches consumers in North Dakota. The identical letters are addressed to leaders in both chambers of Congress.
The North Dakota Insurance Department offers free, unbiased Medicare assistance to North Dakota residents. More details are available here or by calling 888-575-6611.