The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has strict rules that dictate what you can say about plan sponsors in your Medicare marketing materials.
What Am I Allowed to Say About Plan Sponsors?
Brokers are allowed to say that carriers, or plan sponsors, are approved for participation in Medicare programs. Brokers can also say that a plan sponsor is contracted to administer Medicare benefits. On marketing materials, you can use the term “Medicare-approved” to describe plan benefits and services. For example:
- You could say this during an in-person meeting: “This carrier has been approved for participation in Medicare programs.”
- You could write this on a mailed referral letter: “This carrier’s plan is Medicare-approved.”
Be sure to stick to the phrases used above. CMS has outlined them specifically, and using other language to talk about plan sponsors will be considered unapproved (or noncompliant) language.
What Am I Prohibited From Saying About Plan Sponsors?
Brokers cannot say that a plan is recommended or endorsed by CMS, Medicare, or the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS). Receiving a Medicare contract is not the same as receiving a recommendation or endorsement. Not only would you be using prohibited language, you could be misleading your Medicare enrollees. For example, you cannot say this during an in-person meeting or on your marketing materials:
- “This carrier’s plan has been recommended by the Department of Health & Human Services.” This statement may improperly influence an enrollee to purchase a plan that does not truly fit their needs.
What Else Can Excelsior Teach Me?
Excelsior’s resource center can take you through broker-focused MMG topics such as putting disclaimers on Medicare marketing materials and direct marketing. The team’s regional sales directors can teach you how to double, or triple, your income through compliant cross-selling. To learn more about the Excelsior team and how we can help you, contact us.
Note: For the most current information, see the CMS Medicare Marketing Guidelines.