The legislature is being asked to move against insurance agents that mislead clients into giving up their Medicare coverage.
The state insurance department says it gets complaints that some agents are misleading clients in selling Medicare Advantage policies that replace Medicare Part A and Part B coverage provided by the federal government. Two state Senators complain that the Medicare Advantage policies are HMOs with higher co-pays and sometimes with limited numbers of doctors and hospitals that can be used.
Farmington Senator Kevin Engler says clients often are not told they will be giving up Medicare coverage and its broad range of healthcare services to become part of an HMO that might limit their options.
The insurance department says some people don’t realize they’re enrolling in the Advantage program, thinking they’re just filling out a request for information.
Engler and Senator Wes Shoemeyer of Clarence say the state cannot regulate the policies, but it can regulate the way agents sell them. They want laws requiring more honesty in the sales pitches.
A Senate committee is considering whether to recommend the entire Senate pass the bill and send it to the House.