CMS Issues Guidance Updating the Definition of what Constitutes “Marketing”
Effective July 10, 2023, CMS has significantly broadened the content portion of the definition of ‘marketing’ to include materials that mention any type of plan benefits. This includes content that mentions any type of benefit covered by Medicare Advantage plans and is intended to draw a beneficiary’s attention to a plan or plans, or influence a beneficiary’s decision to stay enrolled in a plan (retention-based marketing).
As an example, content that relays to beneficiaries that they can receive benefits such as dental, vision, cost-savings, and/or hearing services is now considered sufficient information about plan benefits, benefit structure, and/or cost sharing to meet the content standard in the new definition of marketing.
Beginning July 10th, any material or activity that is distributed via any means (e.g., mailing, television, social media, etc.) that mentions any benefit whatsoever will be considered marketing and must be submitted for carrier review and approval and filing with CMS.
To avoid filing requirements, we recommend that agents and agencies remove all reference to benefits from materials and websites ahead of the July 10th deadline.
CMS Updates the Scope of “Television” Materials
CMS has updated the scope of what is considered ‘television’ materials to include online videos.
Effective immediately, online videos advertising Medicare Advantage or StandAlone Prescription Drug Plans must go through carrier review and approval, as well as a prospective 45-day CMS review.
As a reminder, Marketing Medicare Supplement plans do not require CMS review and approval.
Marketing pieces that previously didn’t require CMS review and approval may no longer be allowed without carrier review and CMS approval.