COUNCIL ON AGING OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE
It’s open enrollment for Medicare’s more than 60 million participants, and scammers are hard at work.
The Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee is warning consumers to keep an eye out for scams. Scammers use this time as an opportunity to take advantage of older adults.
Here are some common Medicare scams and how to avoid them:
- You receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from Medicare and saying you need to provide your Medicare number or credit card information in order to sign up for a plan. HANG UP! Medicare NEVER calls beneficiaries to sign up.
- Medicare recently started rolling out new cards with a unique alphanumeric ID to replace social security numbers on the card. Some scammers are calling clients and asking for payment in order to receive the new card. STOP! The new Medicare cards are FREE.
- Other tricksters are calling asking for consumers to update their information with the new Medicare number. DO NOT give out your new Medicare ID. Even though it is no longer your social security number, it still needs to be protected.
- You get a phone call from a representative claiming to be from Medicare, asking you to confirm or update billing information. HANG UP! Medicare will not call you and they will not ask for payment over the phone or through email.
- If anyone tries to tell you that signing up for a Part D Prescription Drug plan is mandatory, that is another scam.
If someone asks you for your personal information, for money or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal details, hang up and call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Medicare open enrollment for 2019 ends on December 7th. The best place for information is online at Medicare.gov, calling Medicare at 1-800-Medicare or SHIP (TN State Health Insurance Assistance Program) at 1-877-801-0044. SHIP offers free and unbiased Medicare information and counseling.