4 Signs of a Medicare Scam
Medicare is a complicated program, and it takes some time to learn the ins and outs of it. Unfortunately, scammers and even some unethical insurance brokers often take advantage of the confusion. If you spot any of these four signs of a Medicare scam, do not engage with that person. Call a reputable insurance broker, or your plan’s customer support line, to double check any information that concerns you.
A “Medicare representative” calls or texts you. Anyone who calls themselves a “Medicare representative” is a fraud, because Medicare does not employ people with this job title who reach out to you. Those are customer service agents, and you will only reach one if you call Medicare. If you consult with a professional about a Medicare Advantage plan, that’s an insurance broker.
You’re scared of losing your benefits. Any broker or salesperson who utilizes fear-based tacts, such as telling you that you might “lose benefits,” is not being honest with you. If you forget to evaluate your plan and enroll during the Annual Election Period each year, you will simply be re-enrolled into your current plan. You also are not required to purchase a Part D plan in order to avoid losing other benefits (a common scam). Any time someone makes you feel fearful during a sales pitch, you should exercise skepticism.
A “refund” offer. If, for any reason, you overpay for a service, your plan administrator will contact you by mail. No one will call you to offer a rebate or refund. These offers are usually accompanied by requests for personal information such as your Medicare ID number, birth date, and so on, in order to gather data used in identity theft schemes.
Phony extra benefits. Unscrupulous insurance brokers do exist. At times, they contact Medicare beneficiaries to tempt them with “extra benefits,” but this is often a scam. Sometimes they even manage to gain access to Medicare ID numbers, and enroll unsuspecting beneficiaries into new plans without their being aware. Don’t give out your Medicare ID number to just anyone, and ask to see any broker’s license number before consulting with them.
We happen to be licensed brokers, and we follow all Medicare and other insurance industry regulations to the letter. Call us if you have questions about your plan, and we can help you access your benefits while staying safe.