TrendSource Needs Your Help Protecting Senior Citizens from Unethical Medicare Insurance Sales Tactics

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TrendSource is looking for individuals in the 55+ age range to help monitor sales agent activities this fall.

Improve the healthcare community by becoming an MSI Services auditor for TrendSource

Become an MSI Services Auditor for TrendSource

In 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued severe fines to insurance companies for violating regulated marketing and sales guidelines. These regulations are in place to prevent deceptive and high-pressure marketing tactics during the annual enrollment period (AEP), which occurs from October to December. One of the tools that CMS uses to regulate insurers is surveillance programs where CMS personnel or third party contractors anonymously attend sales and marketing events. In the case of an infraction, CMS may issue a fine or for the worst offenders, they can revoke the ability of the insurer to sell Medicare & Medicaid services.

Insurers have adopted their own surveillance programs, and it is recommended by CMS that they use a third party. One of the major hurdles faced by insurers and third parties is finding enough people within the 55+ age requirement to conduct a surveillance observation. TrendSource is seeking auditors within this population for help in proactively monitoring insurers to reduce deceptive and high-pressure sales tactics this fall.

Each year companies like TrendSource pay hundreds of eligible individuals to meet with sales agents, learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans and report their experiences. This information is provided back to the insurance companies handling Medicare Advantage Plans so they can track sales agent performance and monitor compliance.

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What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Medicare Advantage plans are health plan options (like an HMO) that are approved by Medicare and are offered by private insurance companies. They provide Medicare Part A, Part B, and often Part D (prescription drug) coverage under one policy. Medicare Advantage (MA) plans may also be referred to as “Part C”.

Who is Eligible?
In general, if an individual is entitled to Medicare benefits under Part A, and is enrolled in Medicare Part B, they are eligible for Medicare Advantage plans. However, to be an auditor one must only meet the age requirement of 55+ as there is no obligation whatsoever to actually enroll in a health plan.

There are Many Ways to Learn About Medicare Advantage Plans
There are lots of plans out there and many ways to learn about available options to decide if one is right for you. Resources include:

  •     800 Call Centers
  •     Formal Marketing Events
  •     Informal Marketing Events
  •     In home or public space 1-on-1 appointments
  •     Educational Events

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Patrice Cannataro

Kristina Dent
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