Tips on avoiding Medicare Part D fraud

For Medicare beneficiaries, October 15 to December 7 provides them the opportunity to change their Medicare Part D plans and their Medicare Advantage Plans, but it also provides scam artists an opportunity to take advantage of the elderly.

Representing themselves as government officials, these thieves contact seniors by phone, email, or by coming to their doors, asking questions about their health insurance or offering them new cards to replace their current card.

Why do they want this personal information?  These scammers might be collecting Medicare numbers that will be used to commit Medicare fraud or Medical Identity Theft.

Medicare Part D Enrollment Scams to look out for:

  • • Medicare or a health plans calls and wants to send you a new health card for $299.
  • • You receive a call about a refund from last year’s premiums or your drug pram cost.
  • • An agent tries to sign you up for plan that you don’t need, isn’t right for you, or doesn’t even exist.
  • • Watch out for fake RX cards offering big discounts with little or no benefits.
  • • You receive a call offering big discounts on a new health insurance plan

Tips on how to Stop Fraud During Open Enrollment

  • • Medicare will never call or visit. Medicare will only send information via postal mail service.
  • • Guard your Medicare card and number like a credit card.
  • • Don’t give out your Medicare number except to your doctor or other providers.
  • • Don’t let someone push you into making a fast decision.
  • • If you receive a call, especially from a number you do not recognize or anyone requesting personal information hang up immediately.
  • • Know your health care options.  Get help from your family, the Medicare website or your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

**No health care plan is allowed to cold call**

If you have questions about any phone calls you have received about your Medicare, you can contact the Texas Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-888-341-6187 or 713-341-6184.  A nationwide program, the Senior Medicare Patrol works to educate seniors about Medicare fraud and abuse and is credited with saving taxpayers more than $100 million since 1997.