Seamless Conversion Suspended

A policy known as seamless conversion, a practice that allows select insurers to auto-enroll newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries in an issuer’s commercial or Medicaid managed care product into one of the same company’s Medicare Advantage (MA) plans was suspended by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Applauding the moratorium, Medicare Rights issued the following statement: “We believe policies should be advanced that encourage people new to Medicare to make an active and informed choice about the coverage option(s) that are right for them, selecting among Traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans (including integrated Medicare-Medicaid options), supplemental Medigap policies, and stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans. In general, we do not believe that opt-out mechanisms, as allowed through seamless conversion, facilitate this type of active decision-making.” Medicare Rights also urges the adoption of more robust consumer protections as part of this practice, including requiring write-in confirmation by the beneficiary enhancing outreach and notification, allowing a Special Enrollment Period for those auto-enrolled. A letter to CMS leadership from Medicare Rights and allied organizations outlined these protections. It is felt that newly eligible people for Medicare need to be fully informed of their choice among their Medicare Advantage and supplemental Medigap options and that choice is most importantly made when initially eligible for Medicare. From



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