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Medicare scam: Good time to educate clients

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It seems every month another state is rocked with a Medicare scam. With these predatory forces out there, it’s a great time to contact clients and educate them that these bad apples are out there and what they can do to avoid getting caught by their false promises.

The latest state to issue a warning is North Dakota. Contributing writer Chelsey Emmelhainz, brought the information to my attention recently.

According to Chelsey’s researching of the subject, seniors have been receiving phone calls from people claiming they’re from Medicare. The scammers tell the beneficiaries that they owe a penalty for not having Part D prescription drug coverage and that they need to pay the fine immediately. An article in the Jamestown Sun, stated that the scam is preying on “the penalty that is imposed on people who are eligible for Part D coverage but don’t elect it and have no other creditable drug coverage.” Creditable coverage might include Veteran’s Administration or most employer group health plans.

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Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm added to the announcement saying, “Medicare beneficiaries should never give financial or personal information to anyone who calls and says they are with Medicare.” Hamm went on to remind seniors, “It is against Medicare’s rules to call beneficiaries and ask for that information.”

As part of the statement released by the Hamm’s office, Medicare beneficiaries should remember:

  • Medicare cannot call and ask for financial or personal information over the phone.
  • Medicare numbers should be kept in a safe, secure place.
  • Medicare will not notify beneficiaries of payments by phone. The beneficiary must be notified of the past due premiums via mail.

Again, this appears to be a great opportunity for you to educate your clients on this topic.