October 2018 Fraud Fact

Posted On: October 19th, 2018

Medicare Open Enrollment begins October 15th. This is when you can compare plans and decide whether to switch to a new Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan; you can switch to original Medicare from Medicare Advantage; or you can stay where you are.

If you are already enrolled in Medicare and a Medicare Part D plan, you don’t have to do anything. But it’s wise to check into the choices you have for next year. Plans change, and your needs may change from one year to the next. If this is the case, it’s especially important to look at your choices for 2019. You should have already gotten information in the mail about what changes your plan is making. Take the time to read it.

BEWARE. Medicare Open Enrollment can bring out the fraudsters. You may get inundated with sales pitches. Fraud schemes often depend on identity thieves getting ahold of people’s Medicare numbers. So guard your Medicare number. Don’t share your Medicare number with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email or in person.

Most Medicare Health Plan marketing materials that you receive in the mail are legitimate promotions to educate you on the options. However, don’t automatically return postcards requesting more information. And, make certain to report suspicious activity.

Be wary of salespeople who knock on your door or call you uninvited and try to sell you a product or service. Be suspicious of anyone who contacts you about Medicare plans unless you have given them permission. Don’t let anyone rush you to enroll by claiming you need to “act now for the best deal.”

Look for plan information on the Medicare.gov Plan Finder. You can compare the plans online. If you need help, you may call the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to find a trained counselor who can help you with a one-on-one appointment. That number is (800) 390-3330.

As always, report suspected Medicare fraud or abuse to the Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol at (888)515-6565.

This project was supported, in part by grant number  90MPPG0040, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.