TTY, or teletypewriter, numbers allow those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech impairments to communicate. The Medicare Marketing Guidelines (Section 40.7) outline when these numbers must appear on Medicare marketing materials.
When Should TTY Numbers Appear on Marketing Materials?
Any time a carrier’s customer service number appears on your Medicare marketing materials, a TTY number must also be used. Additionally, both numbers must be in the same font size and style, unless the numbers appear in a television ad. In television ads, TTY numbers can appear differently (in font, size, or style) in order to avoid confusion with other phone numbers.
Although brokers rarely create their own Medicare marketing materials, one exception might be generic materials created to advertise a sales event in which agents are partnering with a carrier. In this instance, the marketing materials would include carrier information such as the phone number and TTY number, once expressed approval is received from the carrier partner.
Before you publish a TTY number, confirm the following with the carrier(s) you are contracted with:
- Ensure the TTY number used is either the carrier’s TTY number or a state relay service number.
- Ensure the number included is accessible from TTY equipment.
- Ensure the number is toll-free.
Exceptions to the Rule
There are two exceptions to the rules about when and how a TTY number must appear. These include:
- Outdoor advertising or banner/banner-like ads
- Radio ads or radio sponsorships
Note: For the most current information, see the CMS Medicare Marketing Guidelines.