The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on Oct. 18 titled “Medicare Advantage Annual Enrollment: Cracking Down on Deceptive Practices and Improving Senior Experiences.” The hearing examined seniors’ experiences with the Medicare Advantage program, including the need to protect beneficiaries from deceptive marketing practices. Some committee members expressed concerns for seniors’ privacy as well as the role of marketing “middlemen” charging broker fees and marketing costs. Additionally, several members highlighted the role of brokers in helping beneficiaries understand coverage and choose a plan. Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) along with Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) debuted bipartisan legislation during the hearing that would crack down on so-called ghost networks in Medicare Advantage plans, which are provider directories that list providers as in-network who are not able to accept patients. The Requiring Enhanced and Accurate Lists of (REAL) Health Providers Act would strengthen requirements for MA plans to maintain updated and accurate provider directories.
- Washington Highlights