Medicare plans volunteer to self-regulate

Hoping to fend off potential sanctions and additional regulations, health plans have unveiled a program designed to eliminate questionable Medicare enrollment marketing practices. The plans are responding to charges that independent sales reps, employed only during peak enrollment periods and often loosely trained, were not following the rules set forth by federal authorities. Seniors have complained that these reps show up without invitation and lie about plan details to force an enrollment. Right now, states don't have authority over these plans, but several state insurance commissioners want to see the rules change. To avoid such regulation, health plan industry execs have proposed a new list of self-regulation steps, including an agreement to give independent reps much tougher training and follow up on them far more closely.

To get more detail on the plans:
- read this United Press International piece
- read the health plans' release describing their plans

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