Eldercare 911 10/15/11
Mom’s (84) gotten four phone calls selling Medicare drug plans costing very little yet promising twice the coverage of others. The agents offered to sign her up over the phone or come to the house to help her with the paper work. I told her it’s illegal and a scam; she’s cash strapped and wants to do it. Now what?
Mom’s (78) receiving calls from Medicare Drug Plan salespeople promising a huge discount for early sign-up. Is this a scam?
Both of the above are scams. In most cases, Open Enrollment for Medicare Drug Plans begins on Oct. 15th and ends Dec. 7, 2011. That means that crooks have from now – Dec. 7 to make a killing selling you non-existent benefits for non-existent plans. Protect yourself by learning the basics. Report anyone who doesn’t follow (CMS) The Center for Medicare Services guidelines for Medicare Advantage and Medicare D prescription drug plans sales.
CMS does NOT allow Medicare Drug plans or representatives to:
1. Ask for or accept payment over the telephone or in person. They must bill the beneficiary for the monthly premium.
2. Ask for your social security, bank account, credit card number, or other personal information over the telephone. Never provide that kind of information to a caller.
3. Sell door-to-door, ask for, or require a home visit to explain plan options/benefits.
4. Process an enrollment over the telephone unless you made the call to enroll in the plan.
5. Encourage you to enroll with offers of gifts, cash, or gift cards valued at more than $15 retail.
6. Call you if you’re listed on national/state “do not call” lists or if you request not to not be called again.
7. Enroll you in a plan without sending you a written confirmation that you have been enrolled.
If you are the victim of fraud, get help: Call the State of Florida Insurance
Regulation Consumer Complaint Department @ 800-342-2762, and the Center for
Medicare Services Fraud & Abuse Hotline @ 800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-
8477). Even though you were fraudulently enrolled in your current plan, you may
need these agencies to help you dis-enroll and enroll in another plan without
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