You might wonder why on Earth anyone would want to steal your Medicare number and other data. Are they planning to obtain medical services using your benefits?
That’s possible, but much less likely than other common scenarios. For one thing, all of your Medicare information can help a scam artist steal your identity, which they would then use to obtain credit cards or other resources in your name. Fraudulent companies might also bill your plan for products and services you don’t actually receive. And sometimes, actual insurance agents are to blame; unscrupulous ones do exist, and they might trick you into enrolling in a plan you didn’t want in order to gain the commission.
To protect yourself and your information, watch for these common signs of Medicare fraud.
Calls from representatives. Medicare does not employ representatives who call you to ask details about your plan, your Medicare number, or other information. If anyone calls you claiming to be a Medicare representative, hang up the phone. If you’re concerned about your plan, you can call your benefits administrator to check.
Fear-based tactics. Fear-based tactics are always a sign of either unscrupulous sales tactics or outright fraud. But just to clear up a common misconception: You won’t “lose” your benefits if you don’t make certain changes. You will be re-enrolled in your current plan year after year, unless you make a change during the Annual Election Period in the fall or Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment in January through March. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to force you into a change that benefits them.
Fishy rebates or refunds. If you do overpay for a service, your benefits administrator will send you a letter about it. Anyone offering you a rebate or refund over the phone is just trying to gain access to your information.
Tempting extra benefits. Insurance brokers who approach you with tempting “extra benefits” should be viewed with suspicion. This language is often used to trick you into switching your plan or enrolling in additional ones. Always ask to see a broker’s license number before doing business with them.
And of course, know that you can always call us with questions about Medicare. We pride ourselves on doing business ethically and helping our customers access the Medicare plan or plans that are right for them.