Potential TCPA Changes for Health Insurance Renewals

If you’re a healthcare insurance company that texts your members, you could be looking at some more flexibility soon, especially when it comes to Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) guidelines imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).


What’s Being Requested

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have requested that the FCC be more flexible with TCPA when it comes to sending text messages and prerecorded calls to Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Basic Health Insurance (BHP), and Health Insurance Marketplace policyholders whose policies are eligible for renewal. This also extends to managed care entities and their parent companies providing coverage to Medicaid, CHIP, or BHP enrollees under contract, and allows them to deliver renewal messages.

These guidelines would apply to federal, state, and local government agencies and contractors who deliver renewal messages.


Why It’s Necessary

Both the HHS and CMS recognize the significant risk of individuals being left uninsured, especially due to lapsed policies. Since messages can get lost in an onslaught of “white noise” like spam, ads, and other distractions, it’s essential to make things easier for consumers. Healthcare law attorney Daniel Delnero from Squire Patton Boggs stated: “The request, if granted, would provide a practical, consumer-friendly solution to difficulties associated with contacting Medicaid, CHIP, and BHP policyholders during the renewal period. It would hopefully serve as a model for a similar solution for other federal programs and private health insurance.”

The whole world is coming out of a public health emergency, and on top of that, all CHIP and BHP enrollees are due for annual renewal. That means an estimated 80 million Americans will need to have their Medicaid eligibility redetermined, putting a lot of stress on healthcare insurance companies trying to handle the heavy workloads. Some experts calculate as many as 15.8 million people may lose their Medicaid coverage when the public health emergency ends (NBC). That’s an enormous amount of people in a time where it’s not just inconvenient to be without health insurance — it’s dangerous.


What Does This Mean For You?

If this request is approved, state and federal government contractors, local government agencies, and managed care entities would be able to send text messages and automated calls to individuals no longer eligible for their current programs. That way, they can explain to the people who lost coverage how to enroll in an alternative program, including coverage through the health insurance marketplace.

The FCC has fast-tracked the comment period; initial comments are due on May 17 and reply comments are due on May 24, 2022. This extremely tight window gives further credence to the belief that the FCC is likely to agree to the request on an expedited basis.

Drips has issued a formal comment in support of this petition, and we’re prepared to assist our health insurance partners in designing and implementing appropriate messaging strategies. We are well-versed in sending messages related to state and federal healthcare plans and in complying with constantly changing FCC opinions and exemptions that affect our clients. This is not only beneficial to the industry, but also ensures that consumers receive quality communications that are helpful and promote prompt action.

When it comes to communicating something so essential, selecting the right partner is vital. Drips has worked with healthcare insurance companies to help retain members and, in one instance, helped a health insurer experience a 290% increase in Medicare Part D policy retention in just one month.

Want to see what an AI-powered conversational outreach strategy can do for you?

Contact Drips



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