Open Enrollment: Medicare Supplement Warnings
It's open enrollment time for Medicare, and that means it's also time to purchase supplements to go along with the government provided health care.
Though supplements may be needed, there are also scams out there that need to be avoided, not to alarm seniors seeking Medicare supplement plans, but to warn them of some of the scams they may run into.
From October 15, 2012 until December 7, 2012 serves as open enrollment period for seniors on Medicare and for scammers, it's their time to cash in.
A lot the seniors are getting calls saying that is a diabetic supply company and they are saying that they get the consumers name from their doctor’s office," says Kelvin Collins, the President and C.E.O of the Macon Area Better Business Bureau. “"When you are looking at which supplement plan to go with, don't forget to speak with your doctor or your pharmacist. “ Collins adds that will never be the case the doctor’s office doesn't release classified information.
Some recent scams involve offering prizes to seniors over the phone, then asking for their Medicare numbers.
The amount of Americans receiving the subsidy is growing, creating a larger target market for scammers. In 2010 there were over forty million Americans using Medicare. In 2012 there are two things that are definitely growing the number of people using Medicare and the number of insurance agents selling Medicare supplements."
Janna Tully is an agent for the Heart of Georgia Insurance Agency and says she matches her clients up with the supplement plan that best suits them: "A Medicare supplement helps seniors tremendously. It fills the gaps." Tully says Medicare supplements offer seniors some financial relief. "Medicare only pays 80% for beneficiaries, therefor the Medicare supplement will fill the gap which is the 20 % not covered by Medicare and the part A and part B deductibles."
Heart of Georgia Insurance says they only see clients in their office and agree that scammers often take advantage of those in need of Medicare supplements.
According to Collins, brokers that appear at your door may not be the best option, “If someone comes to your door that's always a red flag. If you feel pressured to make a decision right then, this deal is only going to be available today, walk away."
Tully adds to that regard, "If someone comes to your home... you are not obligated to sign anything at that appointment.
For a back ground check on any broker visit the Better Business Bureau website to make sure that the agency meets all of the federal and state requirements.