News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 28, 2012

Senior Medicare Program warns of scams


The Tribune-Star

---- — Seniors 65 years old and older have until Dec. 7 to make unrestricted changes to their Medicare program during Medicare Open Enrollment.

The Indiana nonprofit Senior Medicare Program knows all too well that scam artists prey heavily on seniors during open enrollment. The program’s purpose is to educate older adults receiving Medicare and Medicaid benefits to prevent, detect and report health care fraud. SMP offers these tips to stop Medicare fraud:

• Medicare does not call you unless you have called it about a specific issue.

• Medicare does not endorse any specific Medicare Advantage plan, product or service.

• Medicare Advantage plans may not solicit Medicare beneficiaries door-to-door or send them unsolicited email.

• Medicare Advantage plans cannot offer cash payments as an incentive to enroll.

• Medicare Advantage Plans cannot enroll people by phone unless the person initiates the call.

Beneficiaries in Indiana who believe they are victims of fraud or identity theft should contact Senior Medicare Program at 800-986-3505 or 317-205-9201, ext. 207.

Resources for

beneficiaries

People with Medicare, their families and other trusted representatives can review and compare current plan coverage with new plan offerings, using many proven resources.

• Visit www.medicare.

gov for more information. The popular Medicare Plan Finder tool has been enhanced for an efficient review of plan choices.

• Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for assistance to find out more about coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

• Take advantage of one-on-one counseling assistance from the Indiana’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program call 1-800-452-4800.