BOSTON (CBS) – According to the latest AARP Bulletin there are many scams that occur between October 15th and December 7th which is the Open Enrollment period, a time during which a Medicare member can change their health insurance coverage.
As mentioned yesterday, besides trying to get a Medicare number, scammers may call about an overdue medical bill, asking for bank account information so they can process the payment. And often times they may actually have check information. Best advice, hang up. You will get information about an overdue bill in the mail.
Elders are often fooled by Caller ID. Caller ID can be set up to display whatever name or phone number the scammers choose.
Next, beware of someone calling and promising free medical supplies such as Diabetes testing equipment. Of course they tell you it’s free but you will still need to pay for the shipping and handling. They ask for your credit card number, including the key numbers on the back of your card. They now have enough of your personal information to go on a shopping spree.
There have been reports of pop-up storefronts and traveling clinics which offer free health checkups that require you giving them your Medicare number and other personal information.
Also during open enrollment salespeople will often pressure you to buy supplemental insurance products they claim will save you thousands. First compare the Medigap policies and drug coverage at medicare.gov. When comparing part D you can list the drugs you are currently taking and compare different policies and costs.
Always beware that mistakes and fraud happens frequently. Carefully review your Medicare Summary Notice that comes in the mail quarterly. Here it will list such things as your colonoscopy or knee replacement.
If you did not have a colonoscopy or a knee replacement contact Medicare. It may be a simple mistake or someone is using your Medicare number to have medical procedures performed or a provider is filing fraudulent claims for procedures never performed. You can call 800-Medicare to report fraud or get online at mymedicare.gov.
More fraud occurs when someone wants to offer you a kickback for providing your Medicare number or asking you to file a fraudulent claim so they can claim the procedure was done. This is fraud and now you are no longer the victim but a willing participant. You could be facing criminal charges.
You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.
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