September 23, 2008
ATLANTA (GA) – The Department of Human Resources Division of Aging Services (DAS) GeorgiaCares program is informing Medicare beneficiaries of the new guidelines imposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The new rules are designed to protect Medicare beneficiaries from being pressured to change their health care coverage plans by insurance companies and agents marketing their own prescription drug option plans and Medicare Advantage health plans options. The new federal guidelines go into effect October 1, 2008 and insurer must adhere to the regulations when they start marketing their plans October 1 for the upcoming 2009 open enrollment period which runs from November 15 through December 31, 2008.
“We are pleased to help inform Medicare beneficiaries of the new federal requirements on marketing so they won’t have to deal with unsolicited contacts and people trying to pressure them into changing their prescription drug options,” said Maria Greene, director of DAS. “Our trained GeorgiaCares counselors can help them understand the new guidelines so they can report anyone not adhering to the rules.” Under the new requirements, CMS is prohibiting telemarketing and other unsolicited sales contacts. They are also prohibiting financial incentives for agents and brokers to move beneficiaries from plan to plan yearly.
GeorgiaCares trained counselors offer free information, counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries on Medicare, Medicaid and Medigap matters, including Medicare Advantage health plan options, long-term care insurance, claims, resolution to billing problems, information and referral on public benefit programs aimed at those with limited incomes and assets, and other health care insurance information.
For more information on the new guidelines, you can call GeorgiaCares at 1-800-669-8387, or visit http://www.cms.hhs.gov/HealthPlansGenInfo/.
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