Important:  New CMS Review Time fo TV Commercials/Ads

NEW CMS REVIEW TIME FOR TV COMMERCIALS/ADS

IMPORTANT CHANGE: We have received notification via our carrier partner, Elevance Health/Anthem, that CMS has confirmed to them a change to the review process and timing for TV commercials/advertisments updated in HPMS on 9/16/22.

Verified by the Anthem Compliance Team (9/19/22), CMS stated: We have recently changed the review period for TV advertismenets to 20 days.  We are currently discussing communication strategies.

The new 20 Day Review will require an official review from CMS prior to use.  This differs from the previous submission type of 5 day File and Use, with no immediate review by CMS at time of filing.

As of Wednesday, 9/21, 10 days remain before AEP marketing can occur.  If you have TV commercials/advertisments you are planning to use and have not yet filed with CMS, please be aware of this change, as this can impact when your TV commercial / advertisement can be released.

 We will share additional details as they become available from CMS.

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Please take a moment to review the definitions of generic communication and marketing, a subset of communications, that requires material submission for review and approval by CMS. Access the most recent version of our Agent Medicare Compliance Guide here for additional information.

Generic Marketing and Communications

We generally refer to advertising pieces – print, radio, tv, website, etc., as marketing however, CMS uses the terms ‘marketing’ and ‘communication’ to make a distinction  between generic advertising.  

 

Communications are all activities and materials used to provide information that is targeted to current and prospective enrollees, including their caregivers and other decision makers.  

Generic mailers and advertising materials you create to promote your business and generate leads fall under the definition of “communication” materials (given they are free of carrier names and specific plan informaiton, and do not list benefits, premiums, copays, and cost sharing).

 

Marketing is a subset of communications and is determined based on both the content and intent of activity or materials.

Marketing includes activities and materials with the intent to draw a beneficiary’s attention to a specific plan or plans and to influence a beneficiary’s decision-making process when selecting a plan for enrollment or deciding to stay enrolled in a plan (retention-based marketing). Additionally, marketing has content with information about the plan’s benefits, cost sharing, measuring, or ranking standards.

Materials that meet the definition of marketing will require submission to CMS through HPMS filing.  The term ‘marketing’ takes on new meaning when we talk compliance. The CMS definition is used to distinguish materials that require review and approval vs. materials that fall under the ‘communication’ definition, which can be used without CMS review/approval.

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We’re here to help.  Call if you have questions (614-763-2255).  If you have marketing materials that require filing with CMS for approval or have marketing or communication materials you want reviewed for compliance, please send them via email to: [email protected]