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Access Press - Minnesota's Disability Community Newspaper

This time of year brings numerous Medicare open enrollment scams

by // November 10th, 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Medicare Open Enrollment! Of course, this isn’t true. We all know the pain and confusion that is Medicare and so do the scammers out there that are trying to separate Medicare recipients from their money.

Many Medicare scams rely on the trusting nature of the individual being pursued. They say “knowledge is power” and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to Medicare scams. The more you know, the less likely you are to put yourself at risk of having your personal information stolen from right under your nose by a scammer. Below is a list of just a few of the latest scams to be aware of.

You might be the target of a Medicare scam if a stranger…

… contacts you saying they work for Medicare and informs you that they need your personal information in order to supply you with a new Medicare card.

… notifies you that you are entitled to a refund from last year’s premiums on your drug plan cost.

… calls you offering free medical supplies or a health checkup.

… contacts you promising you a monetary reward or gift in exchange for your Medicare number.

… contacts you telling you they need you to confirm your Medicare card number in order to send you your refund check.

Medicare scams are real and can happen to the best of us. The most important thing you can remember is to never give out your Medicare card number to anyone you are unfamiliar with and always trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is. It is always a good idea to have someone you trust to give you a second opinion anytime you are feeling uneasy about a decision that will affect your Medicare.

If you don’t have a trusted individual to help you navigate the maze of Medicare, the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433 is a statewide resource for you during 2018 Fall Medicare Open Enrollment (October 15– December 7). Experts are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and are offering seminars around Minnesota to highlight what’s new for 2018.

In Hennepin and Wright Counties, Senior Community Services has 14 in person counseling sites. Our highly trained volunteers offer unbiased guidance in navigating your Medicare choices. For more information, go here.

If the cost of a Medicare supplement is too high for you, the Senior Partners Care program may be the answer. Senior Community Services has partnered with most major metropolitan area hospitals and hundreds of clinics and providers statewide. These healthcare providers have agreed to consider a waiver of Medicare deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments. To learn more about the Senior Partners Care program, please call 952-767-0665 or visit the website.

Deb Taylor is the CEO of Senior Community Services and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that helps older adults and caregivers navigate aging to maintain independence and quality of life. Learn more at www.seniorcommunity.org

 

 

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