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  • Geebo 8:00 am on November 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , open enrollment,   

    New Medicare card scam is back 

    By Greg Collier

    Currently, we are in the middle of Medicare’s open enrollment period. This is the time of year when Medicare recipients can either stay with their current coverage or seek out a new plan. As we have previously mentioned, open enrollment is also open season for Medicare scammers. This is the time of year when many scammers use Medicare’s open enrollment as an opportunity to try to steal their victims’ Medicare information. The stolen information can then be used to file fraudulent Medicare claims.

    One of the ways scammers get this information is to pose as Medicare and call people to tell them they’re getting a new Medicare card. The scammers will then ask the victim to ‘verify’ their Medicare number and other information so they can issue a new card. A woman in Tennessee was approached by scammers over the phone and was told she was getting a new Medicare card that had a chip in it like a debit or credit card. The woman even asked if the caller was from Medicare or a third party, and the scammer claimed to be from Medicare. The woman knew this was a scam and gave the caller some phony information before hanging up on them.

    The main thing to keep in mind with Medicare scams is that unless you have an ongoing issue with your Medicare coverage and have spoken to an actual Medicare rep, Medicare will never call you. Any major communications that Medicare has with its recipients is done through the postal mail, that includes when new cards are to be issued. If someone calls you claiming to be from Medicare, hang up, even if the caller ID says they’re calling from Medicare. As we’ve known for some time, any phone number can be spoofed.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , open enrollment,   

    Medicare open enrollment brings out scammers 

    Medicare open enrollment brings out scammers

    By Greg Collier

    This Friday, October 15th 2021, starts the period known as Open Enrollment for all Medicare recipients. Until December 7th, Medicare recipients will be able to decide if they want to stay with their current Medicare coverage or switch to a new insurer. With so many options to choose from and so many changes made each year, it can be difficult for seniors to keep up with all the necessary policies and paperwork each year. Unfortunately, Open Enrollment is also open season for Medicare scammers and fraudsters. Not only are there scams to go along with Open Enrollment, but some bad business practices as well.

    While not technically a scam, some less than reputable insurance brokers will try to pressure seniors into switching to their company’s Medicare Advantage plan. While Advantage plans can be beneficial to some, they can also be limiting to others. It all depends on the patient’s personal needs, but some insurance agents are just looking for the sale. If you’re thinking about switching from Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, please take the time to research the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. Don’t let some salesman pressure you into a decision that you may regret having for the following year.

    As far as scams go, identity theft is often the biggest threat seniors face during Open Enrollment. Scammers will call their victims posing as being from the government with an official-sounding title like ‘health care benefits advocate’, or something along those lines. The victim will be promised that they’ll be signed up for the same or better coverage at a lower price. The phony agent will ask for all the victim’s personal information, including their Medicare number. Medicare fraudsters will then use the stolen number to charge Medicare with fraudulent procedures or items which could affect the victim’s benefits down the line. These scammers will also use high-pressure tactics to get the victim’s information, like telling the victim their benefits could expire if they don’t give their information right now. The calls can even appear as they’re coming from Medicare’s official phone number.

    If you’re already enrolled in Medicare, your Medicare plan will only call you if you’re already a member of that plan. If you feel uncomfortable taking the call, you can always call your insurance company’s customer service number on the back of your insurance card.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , open enrollment,   

    Medicare fraudsters target seniors during Open Enrollment 

    Medicare fraudsters target seniors during Open Enrollment

    The Open Enrollment period for Medicare subscribers just opened. This is the time of year where Medicare recipients select their health insurance plans for the next benefit year. This process can be extremely stressful and confusing even for insurance industry veterans. With so many options to choose from and so many changes made each year, it can be difficult for seniors to keep up with all the necessary policies and paperwork each year. So it should come as no surprise that fraudsters will be plentiful during the Open Enrollment period.

    Once again the Better Business Bureau is warning Medicare recipients of the various scams that go around this time of year. One of these scams takes the form of receiving a phone call offering you a free back or knee brace, except you’ll have to give up a lot of personal information to receive the item. Another common scam is someone calling you and asking for your Medicare number then telling you that there is a problem with your benefits or some form of fraud has been committed with your coverage. Either way, the scammers will try to tell you that you’re in danger of losing your benefits. The calls can even appear as they’re coming from Medicare’s official phone number.

    Your Medicare plan will only call you if you’re already a member of that plan. If you feel uncomfortable taking the call, you can always call your insurance company’s customer service number back. As a general rule of thumb, you should never give your Medicare or Social Security number to anyone over the phone. Medicare and your insurance company already have your information and don’t need you to repeat it.

     
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