The C.E.O.’s of nine major, private Medicare health plans are appearing this morning before Congress to discuss serious problems facing some of their clients. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he wants to question the executives before the Senate Finance Committee, saying they’ve created difficult and confusing situations for senior citizens.
Grassley says, "We’ve called these CEOs hoping to talk about problematic sales and marketing tactics that they’ve involved themselves in and have a negative impact upon Medicare Advantage Iowans." He also wants to rebuild commission structures so sales agents aren’t encouraged to put beneficiaries into a new product every year.
Grassley says training also need to be improved so agents are better versed in what they’re selling, and eliminate cross-selling of non-health products like life insurance and annuities. Grassley says he wants the companies to stop cold calls, where sales people call seniors out of the blue to get them to agree to allow an agent to come to their homes and pitch them on Medicare Advantage.
He says the companies also need to disclose to beneficiaries when an agent is switching to selling a more comprehensive product than the one in which the beneficiary first expressed an interest.