Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Senator KOHL To Examine Sales & Marketing Practices Of Medicare Advantage Plans

PRESS ADVISORY May 14, 2007 Contact: Ashley Glacel Phone: (202) 224-5364

Hearing to Culminate Months of Investigations on National and State Levels

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, May 16, Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Herb Kohl (D-WI) will hold a hearing to scrutinize the sales and marketing practices of Medicare Advantage plans, which are private plan options offered to Medicare beneficiaries as an alternative to traditional Medicare. The hearing will address widespread complaints involving the manner by which these plans are being aggressively, and at times deceptively, promoted around the country.

WHAT: Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing – Medicare Advantage Marketing &
Sales: Who Has The Advantage?

WHEN: Wednesday, May 16 at 10:30 am

WHERE: 106 Dirksen Senate Office Building

WHO: Panel One:Abby L. Block, Director, Center for Beneficiary Choices, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Baltimore, Maryland.

Panel Two:Commissioner Sean Dilweg, Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance,
Madison, Wisconsin. Commissioner Kim Holland, Oklahoma Insurance Department, Oklahoma City,Oklahoma. Special Agent Sherry Mowell, Georgia Office of the Commissioner of Insurance,
Atlanta, Georgia. Albert Sochor, Vice President and Director of Marketing, Old Surety Life Insurance,Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Panel Three:Heidi Margulis, Senior Vice President, Humana Inc., Louisville, Kentucky. Peter J. Clarkson, Senior Vice President, Distributions Operations, UnitedHealth Group, Minnetonka, Minnesota. Gary Bailey, Vice President, Medicare Operational Performance, WellCare, Tampa, Florida. Karen Ignagni, President and CEO, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington,D.C.

During the first panel, the Committee will examine the federal-state oversight partnership as it concerns Medicare Advantage sales and marketing. Based on current law, a sizable enforcement gap exists between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the states, which has exacerbated the problems uncovered by the Committee. On the second panel, state insurance commissioners and investigators will outline the problems associated with Medicare Advantage plans and tell us what some states, as well as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, are doing to address them. Lastly, representatives from some of the companies that provide Medicare Advantage plans will offer testimony.

The hearing will be webcast from the committee webpage: www.aging.senate.gov

Recent national press coverage of Medicare Advantage sales and practices:

New York Times, “Methods Used by Insurers Are Questioned
Wall Street Journal, “Growing Pains of Private Medicare Plans

Ashley GlacelPress SecretarySpecial Committee on AgingSenator Herb Kohl, ChairPh: (202) 224-5364 Cell: (202) 340-3299 www.aging.senate.gov

No comments: