Maine Law Restricts Agents’ Cross-Selling of Insurance Products

April 20, 2007

Prompted by complaints from Maine consumers, the Legislature has enacted a law to prohibit insurance agents who schedule appointments to discuss Medicare from trying to interest people in other policies.

Gov. John Baldacci signed a bill Tuesday to outlaw that sales tactic. The new law, which takes effect Oct. 1, will also prohibit door-to-door solicitation of Medicare products.

Rep. Sharon Treat, who sponsored the bill, said the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is confusing enough for consumers, without having to hear pitches on other products.

“This law will protect our most vulnerable citizens from confusing and potentially coercive sales tactics which could lead to the unintentional purchase of unnecessary or inappropriate insurance and financial services products,” the Farmingdale Democrat said.

The bill was submitted at the request of the Maine Bureau of Insurance, which has received complaints from seniors and their families about how the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is being marketed.

Acting Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa said the new law “is very specific regarding the circumstances under which Medicare and non-Medicare products may be sold.” It allows the Bureau of Insurance to take legal action against violators.

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