Scammers are exploiting the open enrollment periods for Medicare and Affordable Care Act (ACA) Healthcare.gov coverage to trick individuals into revealing their personal information and parting with their hard-earned money. These enrollment periods run from November 1 to December 15, 2023, for ACA, and from October 15 to December 7, 2023, for Medicare, and you better stay informed of the most common scams taking place right now.
Constantly, The Better Business Bureau (BBB) receives reports about fraudulent calls that falsely claim to represent Medicare officials, and they deceive users into revealing their most sensitive data. In some instances, the target receives an automated message supposedly from Medicare and then gets transferred to a representative. This so-called representative poses as a Medicare employee, insisting that they are following up on a request for information—even though no such request was ever made.
When a Medicare Deal Sounds Too Good to Be True… You Better Doubt!
These scammers dangle promises in front of their victims, assuring them of enrolling in superior, more cost-effective healthcare plans while maintaining existing services or gaining additional benefits. However, there’s a catch: to progress with the application, they demand additional personal information such as your date of birth, Social Security number, or Medicare ID number. In another variation of the scheme, the caller may request updated account details to issue a new medical card.
During the open enrollment period, Medicare users must be particularly vigilant for telltale signs of defraud. If someone contacts you out of the blue, skepticism should be your default response. Legitimate help is readily available from Healthcare.gov and Medicare, and it comes at no cost. Navigators or Assisters, who offer their support, are strictly prohibited from initiating unsolicited calls. It is your responsibility to initiate contact with them, ergo, you’ll never get the first call from them.
Beware of Tempting Medicare Offers and Protect Your Sensitive Information
Keep your guard up against brokers who tempt you with free gifts or health screenings as part of their enticing packages. Equally crucial is safeguarding government-issued identifiers like your Medicare ID, Social Security number, and health plan details, as these are prized targets for identity thieves.
When you need to make changes to your healthcare plans, head directly to the official websites such as Medicare.gov, Healthcare.gov, or get in touch with your employer’s health insurance provider. Refrain from clicking on suspicious links sent via messages. In the event that you receive an unexpected email regarding workplace coverage, the wisest course of action is to contact your employer and verify its authenticity.
Medicare Open Enrollment to Start on October 15
Medicare’s yearly open enrollment period commences in this month, offering individuals aged 65 and above an opportunity to enroll in healthcare coverage for the year 2024. One of the most important aspects of open enrollment is comparing your current Medicare plan with other available options. Take the time (really, take enough time) to assess how well your existing plan meets your healthcare needs, including doctor visits, prescription drugs, and hospital coverage.
Carefully examine the premiums, deductibles, and copayments associated with your Medicare plan. Are these costs manageable within your budget? Consider how any changes may affect your monthly expenses and overall financial well-being.
Ensure that your preferred doctors, specialists, and healthcare facilities are in-network with your chosen Medicare plan. Keep in mind that off-network medical attention could be really pricey, and you might end paying double for services you already have in your have in your Medicare plan, if you want to see your preferred doctor outside it.
If you take prescription medications, review your plan’s formulary to confirm that your drugs are covered. Pay attention to any changes in drug tiers, as these can impact your out-of-pocket expenses.