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Important Medicare Communications and Marketing Guideline Updates for Plan Year 2023 - BlueCross BlueShield South Carolina - UPDATE

October 26, 2022

On September 9, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated their Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines (MCMG). Starting this year, CMS has included agents and brokers in their definition of a TPMO (third-party marketing organization) and set forth new rules for TPMOs.

42 CFR Part 422 Subpart V (MCMG) was updated to state that when making a sales call, communicating through email, chat or other electronic communication, you must read or write the highlighted statement below. In addition, you must place this statement on your website and on any marketing materials. Review the official CMS rule below.

Third-party marketing organization disclaimer. This is standardized content. The disclaimer consists of the statement: "We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.” The MA organization must ensure that the disclaimer is as follows:

(i) Used by any TPMO, as defined under § 422.2260,that sells plans on behalf of more than one MA organization unless the TPMO sells all commercially available MA plans in a given service area.

(ii) Verbally conveyed within the first minute of a sales call.

(iii) Electronically conveyed when communicating with a beneficiary through email, online chat, or other electronic means of communication.

(iv) Prominently displayed on TPMO websites.

(v) Included in any marketing materials, including print materials and television advertisements, developed, used or distributed by the TPMO.

UPDATE - October 26, 2022

This past summer during the build-up to AEP there was a lot of confusion and questions concerning the new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements around telephone recordings and TPMO disclaimers. Many  interpreted the recording of calls not to apply to Zoom Calls, Teams Calls, Video Conferencing, etc. However, on October 19, CMS issued FAQs which contradicts this interpretation. Please review these FAQs, as they answer most of the questions everyone had leading up to AEP.

Please reach out to Lindsey Bible, Manager, Medicare Advantage Marketing Compliance at Lindsey.Bible@bcbssc.comwithany questions.

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