Let’s Talk Compliance: Events Overview

Episode Summary

Ivonne and Diana had an extensive discussion on Medicare marketing event compliance best practices and rules that agents need to be aware of. There are two main types of Medicare events – educational and sales. Educational events can only provide general Medicare information to attendees. Specific plan details like benefits, premiums, and provider networks cannot be discussed. These events purely aim to educate people about Medicare and enrollment options at a high level.

Sales events on the other hand allow agents to dive into specifics around plans they are appointed to market. This includes discussing plan benefits, costs, formularies, provider networks, star ratings, and more. Sales events enable attendees to get details to compare plans. It’s critical that the type of event is clearly disclosed through marketing materials, invites, and reminders so attendees understand what they are signing up for. RSVPs can be required for sales events, but not for educational ones.

Some basic ground rules apply to both educational and sales events.

  • Arrive early to set up.
  • Only use pre-approved marketing materials provided by carriers.
  • Provide light refreshments or a meal depending on the length of the event.
  • Collect permission to contact forms if desired.
  • Always include your TTY number next to any phone numbers promoted.
  • Do not use high-pressure sales tactics or force attendees to fill out forms. The same guidelines apply to virtual events.

After an educational event finishes, there is a 12-hour waiting period before any sales activity can occur at the same location. This includes leaving behind business cards or flyers. For sales events, enrollments must wait 48 hours after collecting permission to contact forms. No on-the-spot enrollments are allowed.

While at a marketing event, agents are allowed to promote all carriers they are appointed with, but cannot compare or recommend plans for carriers they are not appointed with. Proper disclaimers should be included on materials depending on the content. Cash or cash-equivalent giveaways are prohibited, but gift cards under $15 are generally deemed acceptable.

Secret shoppers do attend both educational and sales events to monitor for compliance issues. It’s critical for agents to follow all applicable rules to avoid violations and penalties. CMS also has guidelines around the use of the Medicare logo and approved phrases that you must adhere to on marketing materials.

The full discussion covers many additional nuances around Medicare marketing event compliance that agents should be aware of. Following the latest rules and best practices will help agents host compliant, ethical, and successful events without worrying about violations and penalties down the road. It’s crucial for Medicare agents to stay up-to-date on guidelines as they are frequently updated.


(0:00:04) - Broker Link podcast features the compliance team talking to you about sales events
(0:00:32) - Compliance. Welcome to the Broker Link podcast on insurance compliance
(0:01:12) - We need to talk about compliance, and we need to go in-depth about it
(0:02:59) - You have educational and you have sales events. And it's very important to know the difference
(0:05:12) - Make sure your material is specific about what type of event you're hosting
(0:09:44) - CMS does require that the TTY number be on your events
(0:11:57) - Before you do any kind of event, always check with your carriers
(0:16:19) - Be on time for your presentation. There are secret shoppers that may be attending your event
(0:20:50) - Some older consumers may have someone that may have to bring them
(0:22:27) - After an educational event, how long do they have to wait to have a sales event
(0:24:19) - On educational events, you may not go over plan specifics
(0:26:38) - Can you use brokerage bucks to get items or get gift cards for your attendees
(0:33:23) - Some best practices that we want to share with you today are transparency and on-time
(0:36:13) - Using the word Medicare or Medicare Advantage requires approval from CMS
(0:39:20) - Can you market more than one carrier at a virtual event
(0:40:51) - Some people are asking how they can submit their materials to CMS
(0:44:16) - What if we want Medicare in our business name? How do we request CMS approval
(0:47:58) - We encourage you to attend our next training so you can start getting familiar with information

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