BE EMPOWERED — RETIRE WITH CONFIDENCE
Be aware of fraud scams. If you’re already on Medicare, keep in mind that Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 through December 7, is a prime time for scammers. Open Enrollment is the only time during the year when you can change your prescription drug plan (Part D), or switch from a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) to Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement plan.
To avoid being scammed or having your identity stolen, remember:
- Never give your Medicare number to anyone over the phone or through email. Phone calls and emails from scammers pretending to be from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are common. They even have ways to make it appear as if their call is coming from Medicare on your caller ID. Their goal is to convince you to give them your Medicare number. In reality, Medicare will never call or email and ask for your number.
- If you decide to go with a Medicare Supplement plan, make sure you have a trusted insurance professional who can help you find the best option for you. Unfortunately, some scammers take advantage of the fact that Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period overlaps with open enrollment for the state-based health insurance marketplaces that are part of the Affordable Care Act. They try to convince Medicare recipients to enroll in purported supplemental plans through these exchanges.
The fact is, if you’re already covered by Medicare, it is illegal for someone to try to sell you coverage through the health insurance marketplaces.
Source: “How to spot, avoid Medicare open-enrollment scams,” by Steve Weisman, usatoday.com, November 5, 2016