How To Spot (And Avoid) A Medicare Scam

Posted by Richard on December 13, 2023

Seniors who are considering changes to their original Medicare enrollment, Medicare Advantage plans, or Part D prescription drug plans should take note: Medicare scammers are as determined as ever to steal money and personal information.

Watch out for these common scams:
* Fraudulent marketing. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are limits on how companies and agents selling Medicare plans can contact you and what they can say. For example:
– You should never get a phone call from a company you don’t have a relationship with.
– A company must not represent itself as Medicare, Social Security, or Medicaid.
– An agent can’t come to your home to discuss Medicare Advantage plans without an invitation.
– They can’t mislead you about coverage for prescriptions or services. Always review your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to be sure your coverage matches what was promised.
– They can’t promise that you can keep your Medigap plan (supplemental plan) when you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan.

* Unsolicited calls. If you receive an unexpected call from someone someone who claims to be from Medicare, hang up immediately and never share any information with them, according to Forbes. Tech-savvy scammers can even spoof phone numbers to appear as if they’re calling from a Medicare office. According to CMS, Medicare will never call a consumer.

* Uninvited visitors. A legitimate insurance broker will not come to your home without an appointment, call you without permission, or try to collect money from you on the spot or over the phone, according to the Mississippi Department of Insurance.

* Medicare card replacement scams. Callers who claim to be from Medicare, the Social Security Administration, or your state’s insurance commission may inform you that you need a new Medicare card for security purposes or ask for your Medicare ID number to “activate” your card. Hang up immediately and do not give them any information.