Date:June 28, 2007
To:All Insurance Intermediaries and Insurance Companies Marketing Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans
From:Sean Dilweg, Commissioner of Insurance
Subject:SeniorCare Prescription Drug Assistance Program Extended Through December 31, 2009

The OCI issued a bulletin on May 1, 2007, announcing the expected termination of the SeniorCare program effective December 31, 2007. However, subsequent federal legislation allowed Wisconsin to elect to continue the SeniorCare program. On May 29, 2007, Governor Jim Doyle notified Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt that Wisconsin will continue SeniorCare through the permitted end date of December 31, 2009.

I want to remind you that existing insurance laws apply to marketing and sales activities for SeniorCare and Medicare Part D. As you know, the OCI investigates all complaints involving intermediary contacts with Medicare beneficiaries, including complaints from beneficiaries covered by SeniorCare, and pursues enforcement action when deemed appropriate.

Wisconsin statutes and regulations prohibit certain types of marketing and sales activities, such as misrepresentation, high-pressure sales tactics and unsuitable sales. Wisconsin has home solicitation and competence and trustworthiness rules that govern intermediary behavior and marketing activity. In addition, Medicare has issued marketing guidelines that intermediaries and companies must follow regarding solicitation of Medicare beneficiaries.

The OCI will continue working with aging groups, Medicare beneficiaries and the federal Medicare program regarding any complaints involving marketing activities of Wisconsin insurance intermediaries. Enforcement action by the OCI can result in forfeitures (fines) and limitations on the intermediary's license and can lead to termination by insurance companies and damage to the intermediary's professional reputation.

If you have questions regarding this bulletin, please send your questions in writing to ocicomplaints@wisconsin.gov.

Thank you for your cooperation.