Protect yourself from scams! Medicare and your health plan will never call you for this information, and Medicare guidelines forbid health plans to call you without your permission.
During Medicare Open Enrollment (October 15 - December 7), you can make changes to your Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage. This is also a busy time for identity thieves. Identity thief of senior citizens has more than doubled in recent years. If your healthcare needs change suddenly and you are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid, you can change your health plan or drug coverage whenever you need to. But, scammers might sign you up for a plan or try to get you to sign up for a plan that doesn't fit your needs. Before you make any changes, be sure they are right for you. If you need help selecting a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plan, call 1.800.MEDICARE (1.800.633.4227) 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week or visit medicare.gov.
Criminals may pose as Medicare or health insurers to get your personal information over the Internet. It is not always easy to distinguish an important email about your benefits from an online scam. Once scammers steal your personal or Medicare information, they can harm you financially and may disrupt your Medicare benefits. The following are steps you can take to be safe and avoid becoming a victim:
- Watch out for email addresses that do not end in .com, .gov, or .org or do not match the address on a company's website.
- Delete or ignore suspicious emails.
- Beware of emails with misspellings or grammatical errors.
- Scam emails may say there is a problem with your account or ask for updated information to continue your Medicare coverage. The email asks you to click a link to enter information.
- Do not click links or download attachments in suspicious emails.
- Do not provide personal or financial information in an email. Health insurers and Medicare NEVER ask for your username, password, Social Security number, Medicare number or banking information by email.
- Update your anti-virus software regularly, and set up filters for junk or spam email.
- Only make changes that are right for you.
- Understand the difference between your current plan and new coverage options.
- Do not change your coverage if someone calls or visits your home without permission.
- Review your plan statements and other mailings to make sure no on changed your plan without you knowing.
To discuss Medicare benefits, coverage or claims payment concerns, contact our Customer Service Department. To report suspected Medicare fraud, call 1.877.7SAFERX (1.877.772.3379).
To report suspected Medicaid fraud, contact your state Medicaid Agency or call the Office of Inspector General's National Fraud Hotline at 1.800.HHS.TIPS (1.800.447.8477). You can also call The Health Plan's FWA/Compliance Hotline - 1.877.296.7283.