Maine Senate unanimously enacts Senator Chipman bill to improve transparency in health insurance ads

Posted: June 08, 2023 | Senator Chipman

AUGUSTA — On Thursday, the Maine Senate unanimously enacted a bill from Senator Ben Chipman, D-Portland. LD 1271, “An Act to Require a Disclaimer on Promotional Materials for Medicare, Medicaid and MaineCare Products by Private Entities,” would ensure more protections against misleading health insurance advertisements.

Senator Ben Chipman

“I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate for their unanimous support of this bill,” said Senator Chipman. “Health insurance is complicated as it is, and this is an important piece of legislation to ensure that we protect consumers from misleading promotional materials.”

LD 1271 would ensure that private companies include disclaimers on all their advertisements and solicitations to inform consumers that they are looking at an ad. Many private health insurance companies mail promotions to those eligible for Medicare Advantage that look similar to documents from public health insurance. This legislation would help mitigate spreading misleading advertisements by ensuring all promotional materials have disclaimers. As amended, the bill would allow the Office of the Attorney General to enforce this law.

When consumers receive mailers from private health insurance companies, the font and format of the mailers sometimes match official documents from public insurance companies, such as MaineCare. Disclaimers are not often included to make the reader aware that they are looking at a solicitation. In cases that there is a disclaimer, the font is typically small and hard to read. LD 1271 would ensure that private insurance companies are more transparent by requiring disclaimers to be in larger print and legible font when advertising through direct mail.

LD 1271 now goes to the Governor’s desk, where she has 10 days to either sign it, veto it or allow it to become law without her signature.