Nashville, TN – Medicare open enrollment period has started and Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Middle TN and Southern KY warning the public to be cautious this year.
Con artists in past years have targeted seniors during this time in hopes of confusing them and stealing their information or money.
With many changes and new technologies being introduced to daily life because of COVID-19 Coronavirus, it is more important than ever to stay updated on how the Medicare open enrollment period works.
“We have been getting calls for the past month about unrequested communication from so-called Medicare Advisors,” says Robyn Householder, President and CEO of BBB Middle TN and Southern KY.
“The goal with most Medicare scams during the open enrollment period is to gain personal information.” Householder stated.
Communication may even appear on caller ID as Medicare or Social Security Administration.
However, someone representing Medicare will only call and ask for personal information in the following situations:
- A Medicare health or drug plan can call you if you are already a member of the plan. The agent who helped you join can also call you.
- A customer service representative from 1.800.MEDICARE could call you if you call and leave a message or a representative said they would call you back.
- No health care plan is allowed to cold call.
- Medicare plan representatives are not allowed to call or come to your home without an invitation from you.
What Medicare representatives cannot do.
During open enrollment, agents and people representing Medicare plans cannot do the following:
- Ask for your personal information (like your Medicare, Social Security number, bank account, or credit card numbers) over the phone unless it’s needed to verify membership, determine enrollment eligibility, or process an enrollment request.
- Ask you for payment over the phone or online. The plan must send you a bill.
- Pressure you to choose a certain plan.
- Call you unless you are already a member of the plan. If you are a member, the agent who helped you join, can call you.
- Offer you cash (or gifts worth more than $15.00) to join their plan or give you free meals during a sales pitch for a Medicare health or drug plan.
For more information, visit www.medicare.gov/forms-help-resources/help-fight-medicare-fraud/rules-medicare-plans or BBB.org/HealthCareScam