State warns Medicare beneficiaries of phone scam
The Louisiana Department of Insurance Senior Health Insurance Information Program urges Medicare beneficiaries to ignore unsolicited calls offering to help them switch to a different Medicare plan during the ongoing Medicare Open Enrollment.
Scammers try to generate commissions by booking Medicare beneficiaries into a new plan. Insurance agents are not allowed to make cold calls to solicit business, so agents sometimes engage outside marketers to call Medicare beneficiaries and promise to put them into “a better” plan.
In fact, the call has nothing to do with placing someone in a more appropriate plan and may often result in the Medicare beneficiary ending up in a worse plan.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance SHIIP program wants Medicare beneficiaries to know that they should never get a call about Medicare from someone with whom they don’t already have a relationship. Medicare Open Enrollment runs through Dec. 7.
Medicare beneficiaries can protect themselves by doing the following:
- Do not engage with unsolicited callers who want to talk with you about Medicare.
- Do not give unsolicited callers your name, your Medicare identification number or your Social Security number. Scammers could use this information to make changes to your plan without your knowledge.
- If you do get an unsolicited call about Medicare, ask the caller for their name and license number, then call Medicare or call our SHIIP program to report what you experienced.
- If you discover that your plan has been switched without your knowledge, call the Louisiana Department of Insurance SHIIP program so that we can ask Medicare to change it back.
- If you have questions about Medicare, call a trusted partner like SHIIP or the Senior Medicare Patrol.
If you have questions or are concerned you or a loved one may have been a victim of a scam, you can contact SHIIP at 1-800-259-5300 or the Senior Medicare Patrol at 877-272-8720, or go to www.stopmedicarefraud.org.