Industry News

CMS Call Recording Requirements

Episode Summary

In 2020, there were over 15,000 complaints lodged with Medicare related to misleading TV advertisements and phone solicitations pushing Medicare plans. That number jumped to nearly 40,000 complaints in 2021. To address this issue, CMS initiated a review of marketing regulations and standards.

After a public comment period, CMS released initial guidelines that did not include independent agents and brokers in call recording mandates. However, revised regulations were later issued that encompass agents in the definition of Third Party Marketing Organizations (TPMOs), who were already subject to call recording rules.

As a result, beginning October 1, 2022, before the start of the 2023 Annual Enrollment Period, agents must record all phone calls with Medicare beneficiaries discussing Medicare Advantage or Part D plan details and enrollment. This applies to both new prospects responding to advertisements as well as an agent's existing client base.

CMS believes including agents as TPMOs will better protect consumers from inappropriate marketing practices. Agents must also now provide a verbal, written, or electronic disclosure that a beneficiary's contact information will be shared with a licensed insurance agent for future follow-up when generating leads.

Industry trade groups like the National Association of Health Underwriters have pushed back on subjecting an agent's book of business to call recording requirements. However, CMS has not yet reversed its position on this issue. Conversations are still ongoing about potentially exempting established agent-client relationships.

In the meantime, agents should start evaluating options for call recording technology and services to ensure compliance by the time 2023 AEP begins. Carriers will likely provide further guidance through certification portals as well.

Following these rules shows a commitment to ethical marketing and enrollment practices. But agents should also leverage available resources to make this transition as seamless as possible. With more details still emerging, trade groups and compliance experts can help agents adopt changes most efficiently.


(0:00:03) - Brokerage Inc. President Mike Smith talks about new CMS call requirements
(0:00:42) - There were 39,617 complaints to Medicare in one year driven by TV commercials
(0:07:31) - CMS is finalizing changes to marketing and communication requirements for Medicare beneficiaries
(0:10:43) - The final rule requires call recording for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans
(0:13:33) - Nahu says CMS has made no changes to the final rule regarding TPMOs
(0:15:46) - Mike: We're working on getting more information from Nahu and CMS

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