In re Medicare Marketing Guidelines
- Case Date: 4/4/2006
- Project Name: Health Care Project
WLF filed comments on April 4, 2006, with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that operates the Medicare program, asking the agency to withdraw its ban on statements by insurance carriers in which a carrier compares its Medicare prescription drug plan to another company's plan. Under CMS's marketing guidelines for carriers offering prescription drug benefit plans, carriers cannot issue marketing materials that compare their plans to another company's plan by name, even if the comparison is truthful and non-misleading. WLF argued in its comments that this prohibition and other, similar ones contained in the guidelines go beyond CMS's regulations on plan marketing. WLF further argued that the prohibition violates the free speech rights of carriers and consumers under the First Amendment.