Medicare Open Enrollment Scams
Open enrollment happens every year from October 15 through December 7. This is the time for Medicare enrollees to review their current coverage and the costs for next year and decide if they want to make changes. This will determine their coverage and premiums, as well as out of pocket costs, for all of 2022. So naturally, most Medicare enrollees are going to want to look at their options and shop for the best deal for them.
What to watch out for:
- Medicare imposters calling or even going door to door offering free gifts or “limited time offers” in exchange for your Medicare number. Medicare will NEVER call or go door to door this way. If the government agency that runs Medicare needs to contact you, they will only send a letter through the mail.
- Other imposters will call and claim you are due a “refund” of premiums that you supposedly overpaid the previous year. They will ask for your Medicare number and bank information to forward this supposed refund. Of course, getting that information allows them to raid your bank account as well as make fraudulent charges with your Medicare card.
- Beware of pushy sales people, even if they are from legitimate insurance companies. We have already heard some reports of high-pressure tactics from insurance sales people. You have until December 7 to make any changes, so take your time and make sure you are getting the coverage that is right for you.
Know your options:
If you need help reviewing your options, ONLY request help from an unbiased source – not someone trying to sell you something.
- Go to Medicare.gov online to review your options online, or
- Contact the Alabama Department of Seniors Services and ask to speak to a counselor from the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (also called SHIP). To reach a SHIP counselor, call 1-800-AGELINE and ask to be connected.
For more information on staying safe from fraud and scams, go to aarp.org/fraudwatch. It’s a free service to people of all ages from AARP.