Seven health plan sponsors have signed an agreement with the CMS to voluntarily suspend the marketing of their Medicare Advantage private fee-for-service health plans because of recent concerns over allegedly questionable and unscrupulous sales and marketing practices.
CMS officials said late Friday that they would lift the suspension once the plans demonstrate they have the systems and controls in place to meet the requirements set out in its 2008 call letter. The plans are: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee, Chattanooga; Coventry Health Care, Bethesda, Md.; Humana, Louisville, Ky.; Sterling Life Insurance Co., Bellingham, Wash.; UnitedHealth Group, Minnetonka, Minn.; Universal American Financial Corp., Rye Brook, N.Y.; and Wellcare Health Plans, Tampa, Fla.
Taken together, those plans represent 90% of the 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in private fee-for-service plans, Abby Block, director of CMS Center for Beneficiary Choices, said in a conference call with reporters.
During the moratorium, those plans will still be allowed to enroll new beneficiaries, she said. -- by Matthew DoBias