If you are getting ready to review Medicare coverage this fall, you may notice that you will be asked if the call can be recorded, and you will hear a disclaimer at the beginning of the phone conversation.
The change is based on a new mandate that now requires all Medicare Advantage telephone calls to be recorded and to remain compliant, I must record phone calls with Medicare beneficiaries.
On October 1, 2022, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the call-recording regulations. Simply put, the call will be recorded if you speak with an insurance agent regarding the benefits and enrollment into Medicare Advantage and Part D plans for the 2023 benefit year.
What Type of Calls Are Required to be Recorded?
Again, calls related to Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans will be recorded. This includes introductory and subsequent calls. Subsequent calls are any calls to prospective members regarding educational information shared through post-enrollment. The rule applies to incoming and outgoing calls between agents and beneficiaries. The recorded calls must be saved for 10 years and be available if requested. This is to ensure there is proper documentation of your interaction with me should a potential complaint arise that CMS would investigate. Depending on the agent or agency, it will vary how calls are stored; however, every agent should safely store each call.
Why the New Mandate?
Some reason for the mandate is that beneficiaries have said agents have misled them. Medicare has received an increase in complaints where beneficiaries say they weren’t aware of the benefits of the Medicare Advantage plans they were enrolled in. Keep in mind it’s hard to say whether or not the beneficiaries were intentionally being misled or if there was some misunderstanding. Medicare Advantage Plans can often be very complicated to someone who has never dealt with Medicare. If you choose to work with me, I represent a variety of carriers. I will take the time and sit down with you to review plans and find the best coverage for your needs.
There is a Disclaimer, Too
When I answer the phone (after saying hello), I have to read a disclaimer before we go into any details.
Here is what you will hear:
“We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.”
The reason agents have to read the disclaimer is that I often serve seniors nationwide. Because of this, not every plan is available in every state or county. Initially, it might sound a little rude; however, I am committed to complying with CMS regulations.
Talk to an Experienced Medicare Advantage Agent
Many calls are already being recorded today; not just calls involving Medicare. Following these new rules and regulations is one way I put the needs of my clients first. The CMS mandate is to help alleviate confusion and ensure beneficiaries get accurate information that will benefit their healthcare needs.
Between automated phone calls, television commercials, and other forms of media, it is understandable that many beneficiaries can find navigating Medicare complicated. We live in a world with more phone calls and video-meeting calls, which means there is more room for misunderstanding. That is why following these new guidelines show that I take our meetings seriously and will work diligently to find the best solution for you. So, as we look upon Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Period, you can rest easy knowing that I am committed to finding coverage that works for your needs and respect your best interests.