Medicare’s Open Enrollment period begins on October 15th
Medicare’s Open Enrollment period begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th of each year. This is the one time of the year when ALL people with Medicare can make changes to their health and prescription drug plans for the next calendar year. During this time, you can compare health plans and find the one that best fits your needs.
As open enrollment approaches, we see a significant increase in scams targeting Medicare beneficiaries. The following are types of common scams:
Phone calls from people that claim to be from Medicare or the Federal Government asking you to verify or update your Medicare number.
An agent using misleading or high-pressure sales tactics to get you to enroll in their plan.
Someone offering you cash or gifts in exchange for switching your plan.
Someone trying to charge you a fee for enrolling you in a plan.
Representatives that come to your door, uninvited, or call you if you are not already a member of that plan
Emails or solicitations in the mail from companies offering Medicare plans
To avoid becoming a victim of an open enrollment scam, hang up the phone if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from Medicare or Social Security. Beware of door-to-door salesperson.
Call your local SHIP (Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program) if you are unsure about a plan or need assistance in choosing a plan.
The following is a short list of ways that Medicare beneficiaries can protect themselves and reduce the chance that they may become a victim of Medicare fraud:
Protect your Medicare card. Only give your Medicare card to your healthcare provider, your physician or hospital.
Remember that Medicare and Social Security will never call you on the phone or contact you by email. Do not give your Medicare or Social Security number to someone on the phone or on the internet.
If you find something odd REPORT IT. Do not let embarrassment stop you from reporting Medicare fraud, scams or abuse.
If you are not sure what to do you can call Senior Medicare Patrol toll-free at 1-877-272-8720 or you can visit www.stopmedicarefraud.org.