Medicare ‘Open Enrollment’ scams

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The 2015 Medicare open enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7. It’s the time when Medicare recipients can comparison shop and make changes to their plans. It’s also a time when scammers take advantage of older consumers with ruses like these: 

  • Someone calls and says you must join their prescription plan or you’ll lose your Medicare coverage. Don’t believe it. The Medicare prescription drug plan (also known as Medicare Part D) is voluntary and does not affect your Medicare coverage.
  • Someone calls or emails claiming they need your Medicare number to update your account, get you a new card, or send you Medicare benefit information. It’s a scam. If you need help with Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to medicare.gov.
  • Someone claiming to be a Medicare plan representative says they need “to confirm” your billing information by phone or online. Stop. It’s a scam. Plan representatives are not allowed to ask you for payment over the phone or online.
  • Dishonest companies may offer you free medical exams or supplies. Be wary. It may be a trick to get and misuse your personal information.

Whenever someone asks for your bank account number or your Medicare number, stop. Only give personal or financial information when you have verified who you’re talking to. Call 1-800-MEDICARE to make sure you’re talking to a legitimate representative.

If you believe you or some you know is a victim of Medicare fraud, report it to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Call 1-800-447-8477 or visit stopmedicarefraud.gov.

If you gave out personal information, call your banks, credit card providers, health insurance company, and credit reporting companies immediately. The FTC’s website has more information on health care scams and medical identity theft.

Need help deciding on a plan? For free personalized counseling services, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program at shiptacenter.org or call 1-877-839-2675.

Comments

Now lets look in to the High Cost of HEALTH Insurance

I need help with my medicare

For help with Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to medicare.gov.

Hi. Which aspect of your midicare are you having issues with?

Must read

Thank YOU for this valuable information. How are you disseminating to the abusers to seize and desist their practices braking the LAW, or else, what is the punishment to them????

Thanks for the info.

Foreign men and women call me everyday saying they are from Mdicare medical supplys trying to sell me Topical foot cream---for diabetics.I called Medicare fraud line about it about 2 weeks ago but the same people still call---I just hang up but they do ask for me by name.I never ordered foot cream in my life.They also said I could have diabetic supplies delivered to my door.I get mine at Walgreens----never order.Thank you Claudia.

I want to thank the FTC for helping me with our telemarketing problem at my landline phone, the calls have stopped almost completely. The only one that keeps trying to call is united water. Our water is paid through our rent. So united water shouldn't be calling us. When they do call the address they say is ours is unable to be understood because the automated piece or crap they use sucks and talks too fast. So if u can help with that thanks a lot.

I Hate those Mdicare people

Ive had people call about diabetic supply's and back braces. I asked who was paying for it and they hung up. I like having fun with them and wasting their time.

This happened to me! I am so glad I did not give my Medicare Number to the caller. They said I could get a free back brace. Then proceeded to ask too many questions wanting to know who my doctors were. Said they needed their names to get approval. I told them I did not need them to get me a back brace cause my doctor was going to do that and it was covered under my insurance. I made 3 errors! Gave them the names of my personal care doctors, my PT, and the names of my Orthopedic doctors. The attitude she had when I questioned why she needed that information was what revealed the scam. Totally nasty and unprofessional when I started to question her back. I reported the number recorded on my phone from her call to Medicare and they reported it to the FBI immediately. Medicare said they were proud I caught on before I released my Medicate number. Upon going to Google with their phone number I realized that the call was from Tuscon, Arizona, and not in Mt Pleasant, SC.

Wellcare called my 95 yr old mother who is deaf, although she hung up, we now have a letter thanking her for enrolling. Now what do we do?

If your mother doesn't want to be enrolled, you can contact the company's customer service department and explain that.

If you think a company has acted improperly, you can tell your state Attorney General’s office or report it to the Inspector General at Medicare (Call: 800-447-8477 or go to Report Fraud to report online.)

If your mother wants help choosing a Medicare plan, you can contact the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) in your state. Counselors who work at the SHIPs answer questions about Medicare benefits and coverage. Go to this page to look up the SHIP in your state.

Is wellcare a real insurance company

You can contact your state's insurance commission to ask if a company is licensed to do business in your state.

How can I stop the eight or more companies calling me per day about my turning 65 and trying to sell me insurance. I have a call blocker and these companies are getting around it. I have had about 60 calls in the last few weeks!

I also have been BOMBARDED with phone calls regarding Medicare. Funny thing, a lot of them hang up before I can answer and share some choice words with them. Can they be stopped? Who is providing them with our CELL numbers?

Also getting these calls like Midge and Eileen - and it's not even the right number! They are calling my cell phone instead of my wife's. Please tell me how to stop this and WHERE are they getting the number?

I suspect it may be my employer selling the information (wife is on the same company plan).

A message was left on home phone including full name of my mother. They stated that they are calling from Medicare and need to confirm some information to please call them back at 1-844-283-6662. They said they could be reached 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Obviously a scam. Be aware.

Actually, this one might be legitimate. My mother received a phone message that sounded just like the message you described in your post. It said it was regarding her "Medicare approved plan from Humana" and it said that they wanted to make sure that their "records are completely up to date". And, the message asked her to call them back 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 1-844-283-6662, just like you described in your post at the same number you mentioned. As a precaution, we called Humana back using a phone number that was listed on Humana's website for Medicare customer service (1-800-457-4708). Although the customer service representative that took our call didn't explicitly confirm that the call back number in the message was legitimate, she did say that their records indicated that there were some calls that went out from Humana to request an update to my mother's information. So, it seems like the message might have been legitimate after all.

An automated voice called saying "please wait for the next operator". Then someone with a foreign accent kept calling me by my first name and sometimes "dear". I knew it was a scam right away, but wanted to keep her on for a while because I thought it would be easier to trace the call. She went on about Medicare covering a new drug that it never covered before. The drug was for arthritis AND lower back pain. Really!!! She asked if I had those things. I answered slowly, "No...........". Then she asked "Well don't you have any kind of pain, you know like knee pain?" I answered "Noooooo". I think she realized I was trying to keep her on the phone and she said quickly, "Thank you, (my first name)" and hung up quickly. Now my civic duty is to publish this call so everyone else will watch out for one like this. I know there is someone else with my first name who had this phone number before me so the call could have been intended for her. Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to mention this phone call here. By the way, my ex-husband used to be a cop and every time someone he didn't know called us he would ask for a phone number to call this person back. I wouldn't call them back, but it's good information to report to the FBI.

Hi. I got a letter in the mail about Open Enrollment, but I'm in my 30s! I was given a link to follow at  pre65info.       /[name & a number]. Following the first half of the link takes me to a blank page, so I don't believe it's legitimate. Is anything else known about this?

If anyone calls you, especially unsolicited, there is no reason to talk to them. If you actually have questions about your Medicare you should call Medicare directly and then you know who you are speaking with.

They want to meet me at Duncan Donuts , I am to bring all my prescriptions access card and Health care cards,, I called the health care provider , all they said was to ask for their id.. Is this real or fraud

To call the health plan, use the phone number on your health insurance card.

The real health insurance company has an office. The health insurance company has your insurance records in a file. You do not need to show the real insurance people your records.

I just recd a voicemail from the 1-844-283-6662 referenced in the comment from MLL dated 1/7/17 and I called the number on the back of my Humana card to find out if they did in fact just call me and they confirmed it was NOT them. So, if you get a phone message from this 844 number, do NOT call them back. If you want to confirm anything with Humana, call the number on your ID card.

I am getting calls daily from area code 202 . The person calling says that he or she is a Medicare advisor. I just hung up. Is this a SCAM?

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