Monday, November 21, 2022 – Owosso, MI – Memorial Healthcare would like to remind the community that during the open enrollment period for Medicare (October 15 – December 7), there is an increase in scammers trying to defraud victims.
Memorial Healthcare recently had a patient contact us after they confirmed their Medicare insurance card numbers and primary care physician information on a phone call, they assumed was Medicare. After sharing the information, the patient received several calls to confirm an appointment with their primary care physician. The phone number being used was a Memorial Healthcare phone number, however, the patient did not have an appointment scheduled. It was after several calls, and questioning by the patient’s family member, that the caller abruptly disconnected the call.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), if someone asks for your Medicare identification number, sirens should go off. This is the same with your social security number and checking account information. Generally speaking, no one is allowed to reach out to you – unsolicited – about Medicare coverage, whether via telephone or email. Of course, this excludes agents you are already working with or who signed you up for your current plan.
Here are some tips from the FTC to avoid falling for a scam:
- Don’t trust the name displayed on your phone. Be aware that scammers can fake a caller ID.
- Hang up if anyone calls and asks for your Medicare, Social Security or bank or credit card information. Legitimate Medicare employees have your Medicare number on file.
- Don’t be rushed into making a decision. You have until December 7 to enroll, and Medicare doesn’t offer extra benefits for signing up early.
- Ignore threats to take away your benefits. If you qualify, your benefits can’t be taken away for not signing up for a plan.
- Don’t talk to anyone who suggests their plan is preferred by Medicare. The program does not endorse a specific plan.
To report someone pretending to be affiliated with Medicare and other Medicare scams, call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) to tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.