We hope you’re always able to access your Medicare benefits without any concerns, and that you’ve never felt misled about any part of your plan. But those incidents do happen, via deceptive advertising or even by accident. The Medicare program administrators are paying attention, and have released new regulations to help protect Medicare beneficiaries from fraud (whether intentional or not).
You might know that you have the right to seek free information on the Medicare plans available to you, and that these consultations often happen over the phone. But how can you be certain that the information you receive is accurate, and that no one is attempting to to take advantage of you? Medicare now requires that all phone calls regarding Medicare benefits are to be recorded. And during the first minute of the phone call, licensed brokers are required to notify you of the recording and issue this disclaimer: “I/We do not offer every plan available in your area. Please contact medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all your options.” That disclaimer must be mentioned within the first minute of the phone call.
The same disclaimer must also be issued when you are discussing your Medicare plan options with a broker via email or online chat.
Additionally, television advertisements, print materials, and websites must display the disclaimer language prominently, where it is noticeable by anyone who views the material.
If you discuss your Medicare plans with anyone, in any format, who does not issue this disclaimer to you, you are likely not dealing with a qualified, licensed broker. They are breaking regulations and should not be trusted. The same goes for any print materials or advertisements that you view on TV or online.
For trusted, professional guidance with your Medicare plan(s), give us a call. We are here to help you explore your options at any time. And remember, from now until December 7, the Medicare Annual Election Period allows you to compare plans and switch plans if needed.