Can I Use Superlatives When Marketing for Medicare?


The Medicare Marketing Guidelines (MMG) has strict rules for what you can and cannot say about Medicare products and services. One such rule in the general marketing requirements (section 40.4) details the use of superlatives. In this article, we will define superlatives, break down the MMG’s language rule, and teach you how to compliantly use superlatives.

What Are Superlatives?

First, let’s describe what the word “superlatives” means. Superlatives are adjectives and adverbs used to express the highest or a very high degree of quality. For example, “the best” and “the highest ranked” are superlatives. A type of superlative, called a qualified superlative, also falls under this MMG rule. These are statements like “one of the best” and “among the highest ranking.”

What Is the MMG’s Rule on Superlatives?

The MMG prohibits the use of superlatives (and qualified superlatives). However, there are exceptions to this rule. If the superlatives are proven with supporting evidence or data, there is a way for a broker or agency to use a superlative. (See the next section to learn how.) Superlatives used in logos and taglines are also allowed.

When using a superlative, it is important not to take the supporting evidence or data out of context. If it is taken out of context, it may mislead clients. If you use a superlative out of context, it will be considered prohibited language.

What Should I Do if I Want to Use Superlatives?

There are a few steps you will have to take before publishing any marketing materials that use superlatives.

  1. First, you must find supporting evidence or data.
  2. After you’ve collected your sources (the locations of the evidence or data), you must provide them to the carriers you represent. The carriers will then submit your marketing materials—with your sources—to CMS as a part of its marketing review process.
  3. Wait to hear back from your carriers. They will most likely want to send you approval before you publish your marketing materials.

That’s it! Once you have approval from the carriers you are representing, you can use language like “the best” and “the highest ranked” in your marketing materials.

Want More Medicare Marketing Guidance?

How to correctly use superlatives in your current and future marketing materials isn’t all Excelsior can show you. One of our Regional Sales Directors could teach you how to double or triple your income with compliant cross-selling. Contact us today to learn how to double or triple your income.

SOURCES:
https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Health-Plans/ManagedCareMarketing/Downloads/2017MedicareMarketingGuidelines2.pdf
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/superlative
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