Regarding Rep. Pete Starks support of capping agent commissions for Medicare Advantage plans:
Although Stark probably had good intentions to enact rules to cap agent commissions, larger companies have already been heavily involved in CMS regulation of Medicare Advantage plans. Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth all agreed with Stark and influenced CMS regulation to not only cap agent commissions, but removed first-year commissions altogether.
Agents and the larger world of folks on Medicare will find that they have smaller numbers of independent agents to help them, and smaller numbers of companies. The larger companies have banded together to just about close down independent agents with amazingly tight regulation on the independent agents activity. But they are still able to market in Wal-Mart stores, and have large mail campaigns, television and radio advertising. It is now illegal for an agent to call and set up appointments or sell two plans at once.
This is an example of large companies influencing government and government shutting down the independent businessperson. Are we really to believe government is helping the people, or do we think government officials are getting persuaded by lobbyists?
Mary GowenGibson, Pa.
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