Insurers accused of offering 'lavish vacations' to brokers for selling Medigap plans

Lawmakers are urging increased oversight of incentives offered to brokers selling Medigap plans, The New York Times reported March 1. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, published a report detailing "luxurious vacations and cash bonuses" insurers offered to brokers selling their Medigap plans. 

At least 32 companies offered vacations or other rewards for Medigap plan sales, according to the report. The companies included Aetna, Anthem Health Plans (Elevance), Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealthcare and other insurers. 

Around 14 million people have Medigap policies, the Times reported. 

Some perks uncovered in the report were small: $25 or $100 per enrollee. Some companies offered all-expenses-paid getaways to San Diego; Vancouver, British Columbia; and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, for top sellers. 

These incentives are not illegal under current CMS rules. Ms. Warren sent a letter to CMS and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Feb. 28 urging the commission to ban giveaways to brokers, and for CMS to enforce the standards. 

"An insurance agent who focuses on selling enough of one company's Medigap products to earn their next lavish vacation is an agent who is not focused entirely on finding the best plan for an individual senior," Ms. Warren wrote. 

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