Florida Insurance Commissioner Praises U.S. Rep. Castor for Sponsoring Amendment to Bring State Control back to Medicare Marketing

Aug 3, 2009

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty sent a letter to U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-FL, praising her for her sponsorship of an amendment that would restore state oversight to Medicare Advantage plan marketing practices.

Medicare Advantage plans include Medicare health maintenance organizations for seniors. States oversee the licensing and solvency of these plans, but the federal government oversees the marketing of them. Many Florida seniors have reported marketing abuses, such as being enrolled in a plan without their knowledge, thus limiting the choice of health care providers.

“After the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 preempted state authority, the marketplace experienced abusive marketing practices that targeted some of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens, our seniors,” said Commissioner McCarty. “I am grateful that this amendment would restore marketing oversight authority to the states and ensure that we here in Florida have the tools we need to protect our citizens.”

The proposed amendment was  introduced and passed in the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s markup of the House Health Reform Bill and incorporates the text of H.R. 3089, the Accountability and Transparency in Medicare Marketing Act of 2009. H.R. 3089 requests the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to draft standardized marketing guidelines for these plans, which would replace the current federal marketing guidelines.

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