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How to Avoid Medicare Scams

Potential increases with new Medicare drug plan


Stoic senior couple sitting on sofa in living room
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Medicare officials are warning Medicare recipients about Medicare scams to defraud seniors with phony claims about the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

For example, police in West Virginia and Illinois received reports of seniors being approached by people who, claiming to represent Medicare, ask seniors for personal financial information.

New Programs Designed to Prevent Medicare Scams and Abuse
Seniors are often the victims of scams, so Dr. Mark McClellan, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, advises seniors to look out for dishonest marketers claiming to sell Medicare prescription drug plans.

To help senior avoid becoming the victims of Medicare scams, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has established contracts with eight organizations called Medicare Rx Integrity Contractors, or MEDICS. These groups conduct investigations on allegations of Medicare scams or abuse.

How to Avoid Being the Victim of a Medicare Scam
Medicare advises seniors to be wary of individuals who approach them with offers of good deals on Medicare prescription drug coverage. According to Medicare officials:

  • Be wary of door-to-door salespeople. No one is authorized to come to your door uninvited, with the purpose of selling you Medicare prescription drug coverage.
  • Do not reveal personal health or financial information. Legitimate companies who sell Medicare prescription drug policies are not authorized to request personal information during marketing activities.
  • Always protect your Medicare number. Like your credit cards and bank accounts, your Medicare number is personal and should not be given to strangers.
  • Before you reveal personal information or sign a contract, confirm that the company is legitimate. Medicare has a list of approved companies so it’s easy to confirm that the company and coverage you choose is legitimate before you sign up or reveal financial information. If a salesperson pressures you to sign up without giving you time to check, run the other way.

Questions? How to contact Medicare

  • For questions about Medicare coverage, call 800-MEDICARE, (NUMBER) or go online to URL.
  • If you suspect fraud, contact your local police or the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General at 800-HHS-TIPS.

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