CMS – “don’t talk to customers about their options.”

If you wanted to know more about options for your health care coverage options, you might call an insurance company or search google. Even more likely, if you had an  agent, you would call them for their advice.

But, under new CMS rules the “agent CANNOT initiate a discussion of new plan options as that is deemed “unsolicited contact.”

Here’s the entire quote.

“Section 70.6 of the MMG outlines permissible and prohibited telephonic activities of both agents/brokers and Plans/Part D Sponsors. We are clarifying that “plan business” means the member’s current plan. Agents (brokers/plans) may not contact members, via the telephone, to discuss other plan options. This is considered an unsolicited contact.”

In the everyday world of working with customers and competing in the marketplace, it’s hard to explain to customers that the government protects them by telling an agent what  they can, and can not say.

The product distribution rules imposed like the one above do attempt to protect consumers from those unscrupulous individuals who prey upon the public. But, the unintended consequence can be confusion for consumers.

For instance, the rules for Obamacare include allowing unlicensed, non-agents to sell healthcare to individuals with little or no training about carrier products, how to value the benefits of one over another. Obamacare perceived the way to communicate with citizens was to create an entirely new group of individuals who can do much more harm because they know far less than the qualified agents.

When you are seeking coverage for healthcare be sure to find someone who is qualified, and is an agent for carriers. They only get paid when they take care of you and in that regard the agent service and distribution model works well.

If you need a referral to an agent please contact the office,


A short quote from a frustrated customer trying to get into the government website.

A short quote from a frustrated customer trying to get into the government website.

Here’s an email I received today about the Obama care site and my response,

“I’ve been working towards obtaining a new quote for coverages for my family through the Michigan Obamacare website, but haven’t gotten ANYWHERE in spite of spending over 3 hours on it over a series of a few weeks.  When I finally “chatted” with someone they told me the verification system was down, they have no idea when it will be available, that I’m unable to complete an on-line application and suggested I file a paper application.  When I finally found the link to the paper application, it wouldn’t print . . . on any of my printers . .  Don, do you have any suggestions?”

My reply, “Yes, I have a complete list of all policies in an excel file. It’s not an answer but a simple place to start. We can meet to discuss by phone, or in person. George or Andrea will help get the paperwork completed.”

No one expects the government site to be up for months, its hard to say for sure and with 1/1 coming soon we should just act on what we can help you with now, when and if it comes up, you can work with us on what’s online and get our services afterward if you have claim issues.”

Happy to help in anyway I can.

A Note about older posts

Old “Blogger posts” have been consolidated into this one posting location.

Over time I have posted blog pages, written articles, spoken on TV or been interviewed about employee benefits, healthcare, retirement and topics like that. I’ve not been consistent where these things have been located.

If you know of posts I should retrieve, please let me know.