Medicare open enrollment has started and goes through December 7. With an uptick in people searching for Medicare plans comes an increase in scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting beneficiaries. It is important for Medicare beneficiaries to be mindful and keep a lookout for possible scams.
It is common for scammers to take advantage of open enrollment and target Medicare beneficiaries with fake offers like free gifts or limited-time offers. The following are scams to be aware of, especially during open enrollment:
- Fake emails that ask for your Medicare number in order to charge Medicare services that you have not received
- Refund rip-off when a scammer tells you that you are entitled to a refund for the previous year’s Medicare premiums. They will ask for your bank account number.
- An enrollment scam where someone claiming to be with Medicare asks for your Medicare number and credit card information so they can help you enroll in Medicare coverage
- Part D scam where someone calls saying you need to sign up for a prescription drug plan or you will lose your coverage
- An open enrollment scam where someone calls and requests your Medicare number so they can update your account and send you new information on open enrollment
What to do
If you feel like you could be experiencing an open enrollment scam, you should take the following steps:
- Hang up immediately. Medicare employees will never call you unless you request a call. Do not give them your personal information.
- If they ask for your Medicare or Social Security number, hang up. You should only give this information to your trusted doctors and pharmacists.
- Stay up to date on your Medicare Summary Notices (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB). Check your statements and report anything that you do not recognize to Medicare at 800-633-4227.
- Report the Medicare scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- If you are the victim of a scam, immediately call your bank and credit card company and tell them what happened. They can help you figure out what to do next.
The Medicare open enrollment period is an important time that makes Medicare beneficiaries more vulnerable. Stay vigilant and don’t fall victim to any open enrollment scams.
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