As you approach 65 and after, you are (typically) on your Medicare Journey. There are many out there who spend a lot of time seeing how they can scam Medicare beneficiaries and you must be mindful of these attacks. Random people calling and asking for your social security number or credit card information should be a red flag. Be careful not to expose yourself to fraud.
Different Types of Medicare Scams
Common Ones Can Include:
- One way they may try to get you is by telling you that your Medicare card expired, but you should know that once you get that card it will never expire, so if you get a phone call from someone telling you that your Medicare card is expired, please hang up the phone to avoid getting your information stolen.
- Another scam they may try is to call you pretending to be Medicare or Social Security to tell you that you overpaid or underpaid your Part B Premium. They’ll ask for your credit card number. Medicare will never do this.
- They could call you and try to persuade you to give them personal information by telling you about benefits that you may be missing out on. Medicare will never do this.
- They will ask you questions to verify your identity, while in reality, they are trying to rob your identity. Medicare will never do this.
Always hang up these calls, even though you may be scared that your coverage will lapse. Try not to panic, instead call Social Security or Medicare directly to handle the situation.
Another tip we can give you is to register your phone number on the national do not call list to limit the number of calls you may receive from these scammers.
You may receive some e-mails that look like they came from Medicare or Social Security but are fake. Always be careful when opening these e-mails. You should read them and call Medicare or Social Security directly instead of responding to them.
Be careful of opening any attachments they send you and don’t click on any links either. They will try to hack your e-mail and try to get into your computer. If you want to be safe, every time you get one of these e-mails, call us, Social Security or Medicare to verify that they were the ones who sent the e-mail.
Commercial Scams on TV:
You can be watching tv and suddenly you see a commercial about a Medicare plan that will provide all these benefits asking that you call the number on the screen. Do not call an unknown number. What you should do instead is call Social Security, Medicare, or your licensed insurance agent such as Medicare Insurance Specialty Group. Most of these implied real plans you see on tv are not even available in every zip code. If you want to change your plan, you should do some research first and never be afraid to ask questions.
>>Related: Medicare TV Ad Scams
How to Protect Yourself from Medicare Scams
These scammers may continue to call you, but there are a couple of things you can do to avoid falling for their scams.
Be Conscious of Where to Apply:
You will apply to Part A and Part B of Medicare directly through the Social Security administration. Your licensed agent can assist you with this, and you should always contact them directly to avoid giving out personal information to the wrong people.
How to Apply for Part D Plans or Medicare Advantage
Private insurance companies sell these plans. There will be a list of the plans on the Medicare website where you can apply. You also can apply directly through a licensed insurance agent that specializes in Medicare, such as Medicare Insurance Specialty Group.
These plans may require you to give personal information like your credit card information, Medicare number, and social security number, so you want to make sure you give this information to the right people.
Medicare Supplement Plans
To enroll in a Medicare supplement plan, you should call a licensed insurance agent such as Medicare Insurance Specialty Group, or you can call carriers directly. These plans require personal information as well. Be aware of who will call you and who won’t
Always be aware that Social Security or Medicare will rarely call you first. Social Security may call you regarding your recent Medicare application or if you called to try to reach a representative. Otherwise, you won’t get a call from Social Security or Medicare.
Also, be aware that scammers will call you first to get you to fall for their schemes and convince you to give out your personal information. They will try to persuade you by acting like you’re missing out on something good.
However, insurance carriers may call you directly if they have some concerns about your policy. If you’re suspicious of this call, you should hang up and call your personal agent or the number on the back of your insurance card.
Never Tell Anyone About Your Personal Information
Keep in mind always that your information, including your Medicare number, Social Security number, and bank and credit card info, is very personal. Never be afraid to ask a question when you do have to provide this information just to know who’s selling you the plan.
The Way to Report Medicare Fraud
If you think you’ve experienced fraud or that you’ve been scammed, you can report suspected Medicare fraud. Go online or call 1-800-MEDICARE, and if you’re a TTY user, you can call 1-877-486-2048. Be sure to have specific information ready, like your Medicare number, the service or item you’re questioning, the date, and more.
You will experience a lot of phone calls, whether you are new to Medicare, or are changing your policy. If not now, in the future, you will most likely experience a flood of these phone calls from people trying to scam you. Always be careful of people initiating contact with you first, and not the other way around. If you have any concerns or questions, call your insurance carrier or your agent to verify any information that you may have heard.
Have some concerns? Give Karen or Matt a call at 865-203-2040 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
*Medicare Insurance Specialty Group is Not Approved By, Endorsed By, or Affiliated With A Government Agency. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.