Illegal and Dishonest Tactics

During his years counseling Medicare beneficiaries, Mr. Riccardi saw that while the majority don’t break the rules, some salespeople use dishonest, misleading or illegal sales tactics. Below is a list of things insurance agents cannot do.

Cold Calling

Agents cannot go door-to-door or call you at home, unless you’ve given them prior permission to do so.

Official Medicare Sales Representatives

Be wary of any salesperson who says that he/she is a Medicare representative. Medicare does not send “representatives” to solicit your business. Private insurance companies sell Medigap and Medicare Advantage and are not official representatives or endorsed by Medicare.

Marketing in Care or Educational Settings

Medicare products cannot be marketed in places where health care is delivered (such as a doctor’s office, clinic, or pharmacy counter) or at an educational event. Although insurance agents can participate in an event, they cannot directly enroll you in a plan at that event.

Free Lunches

Federal regulations prohibit offers of free meals for listening to a sales presentation or for signing up in a particular plan. Gifts can’t have a value of more than $15.


Federal regulations prohibit selling additional insurance products during sales or marketing presentations.For example, if a senior requests information on Medigap, an insurance agent can’t recommend a Medicare Advantage plan instead.