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GAO calls HHS's restrictions of MA plan communications 'unusual'

The Hill, October 14, 2010

During debate over healthcare reform in August and September 2009, health insurance company Humana sent letters to 930,000 beneficiaries enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans warning that the Democrats' law could hurt seniors' benefits. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services directed Humana to stop the mailings Sept. 18 and extended the order to all other Medicare Advantage groups three days later.

The agency is tasked with reviewing marketing material, such as information on benefits and coverage, that MA plans send to beneficiaries. But in this case, its actions raised accusations of political interference.

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