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Avoiding ‘open enrollment’ scams

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Open enrollment is here. Whether you’re eligible for Medicare, selecting a plan through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or have private insurance, you have until December 7 (Medicare) or December 15 (ACA) to compare plans and make coverage changes. But as you’re keeping an eye out for the best options, also keep an eye out for scammers. Here are a few tips for avoiding scams this open enrollment season.

Eligible for Medicare?

  • Anyone that tries to sell you Medicare insurance while claiming to be an “official Medicare agent” is a scammer. There are no Medicare sales representatives.
  • The Medicare prescription drug plan (also known as Part D) is voluntary. Ignore anyone who calls saying you must join their prescription plan or you will lose your Medicare coverage.
  • Do not give any information over the phone to someone who tells you that you must provide information to keep your coverage.
  • If you need help with Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE or go to Medicare.gov.

Looking for coverage under the Affordable Care Act?

  • Only shop for coverage at HealthCare.gov. People who try to sign you up elsewhere may be scammers.
  • Need free assistance? There are people and groups in your community who can help you find coverage and enroll in a plan — and it’s free! To make sure they are legitimate, use the local help resource at HealthCare.gov

Buying private insurance?

Think you’ve spotted a scam? Report it to the FTC. If the scam is Medicare related, report it at Medicare.gov. And share these tips with your friends and family. It just might help them avoid a scam this open season.

Note: post updated to correct open season dates on November 27, 2017.

Tagged with: health insurance, scam
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Health & Fitness

Comments

Tanks

I hate the crooks that advertise on TV for extra items you can get with their medicare insurance, e.g. glasses, appliances, etc. And they make it sound like they are actually medicare, rather than the private and expensive supplemental insurance that they actually are.

Thank You. I Believe, I have already received a scam and have forwarded to the FTC.

You may want to recheck your facts before you post a blog with inaccurate information and calling legitimate people (qualified, licensed health insurance agents) scammers. You stated: "Only shop for coverage at HealthCare.gov. People who try to sign you up elsewhere may be scammers." If you go to healthcare.gov, you will see that licensed health insurance agents ARE able to sell insurance offered through the Marketplace. These are qualified individuals who understand health insurance products and who can help consumers who need help understanding health plans. Here is a link from Healthcare.gov for further information: https:// www. healthcare. gov/ glossary/ agent/

If you need free help to find coverage and enroll in a plan, use the local help resource at HealthCare.gov.

Even still, it is best to be leery and check their credentials. There's no way to be 100% safe unless you do checks yourself.

That's why the article says to shop online at healthcare.gov because there you will be able to purchase a plan OR find a legitimate licensed agent.

Tapppydog - Those advertisements aren't for supplemental insurance plans. Those advertisements that promise you the moon (plus all the things that regular Medicare does not cover are watered down Medicare Advantage plans. With a Medicare Advantage plan you have to pay deductibles and can only do to see certain doctors and clinics. Vert restrictive!!!

I THINK YOU NEED TO CHECK YOUR FACTS ON THIS. I HAVE A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN AND I USE ANY DOCTOR I WANT AND DON'T HAVE DEDUCTIBLES.

Open enrollment for private insurance can be at any time of the year. It is not restricted to the same time frame.

There are many good people in this world, then there are the scum/low-lives.

Very true! Gotta keep an eye on those Democrats!

Also, even with legit plans make sure your doctor accepts the plan. Request a list of participating drs and specialists.

then call them to make sure. The plan should be listed in the annual medicare and you 2018 book sent out by the centers for medicare and medicaid services. It is the official U.S. Government hand book

Thank you for the advice I will be vigilant

Thanks for such valuable information. Alvin Singh

If you want your actual Medicare plans to be the same as last year, do you need to do anything?

Beware of emails telling you to enroll in “Trumpcarr-AHCA.” This was not passed by Congress andcdoesnt exist. It’s a scam! Report to the FTC.

I'll be eligible for Medicare next year and I'm already getting crap in the postal mail that looks like it came from the government (I know it didn't) and reads like a scam, saying if I don't sign up for whatever they're offering I'll lose my ability to get Medicare. OHRLY?? Who should I give this crap to?

I am not sure, but, you could just go to the government website or call line (phone). Just be very careful. If you are employed the information can be obtained through your place of employment.

Medicare enrollment ends December 7. Please fix in title.

Wow good information to know! :D :3 :) :^)

Trump Medicare enrolment email. It it a scam?

 I don't know what your email says.

Open enrollment for Medicare ended on December 7, 2017. December 15, 2017 was the deadline for choosing a plan or making changes to your coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Me and my husband continue to receive calls on our cell phones (we have been on your Do Not Call List), and the msg is a robo call and relates to insurance coverage and to call a certain number. I hang up right away and usually don't answer these calls because they always begin with the prefix of my phone number and the same with my husband. I can block return calls on my I-phone but I get more calls and the same prefix but they change the last four numbers continuously! This is harassment in the worst case! My husband does not have an I-phone and cannot block them, but they keep changing number anyway. When I have tried to call the incoming number back, msg says call cannot be completed! What can we do to stop these calls?

I keep getting routed calls that go to various peoples phone numbers normal people and businesses from a recorded line stating welcome to open enrollment press 1 to speak to a certified i surance agaent and 2 to be removed from the don not call list i have been called 25 times this week.i am not exzaurating I am on the national do not call list for both my personal cell amd business number which i have fwd to my cell. I am beside myself as to what to do. Does anyone have any advise real advise. I have contacted the FCC and gave pressed 2 in every call and of coarse blocked each number but I cannot stop this. Please help!!!

This FTC article about blocking unwanted calls has some ideas you can try.

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