Mountain View Medical Supply

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Seniors: Protect Yourself from Health Care Scams

Fraudsters are capitalizing on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and open enrollment of Medicare.  With the major shifts in healthcare happening, criminals are targeting seniors.

The fact is, if you have Medicare, you do not need to buy health insurance through the exchanges created by the ACA.  Actually, it is illegal for someone to sell an exchange health insurance plan to a known Medicare recipient.

In many instances, the con artists are trying to get seniors to give out sensitive information such as bank account numbers, Social Security numbers or Medicare numbers, all while signing them up for plans they do not need.  Many seniors have already had their identities stolen or been swindled out of their life savings. 

Here are a few steps seniors can take to avoid falling victim to fraudsters:

Be Suspicious of all Solicitations
If anyone contacts you uninvited at your door, over the phone, or by
e-mail seeking to verify your personal information, or sell you a health plan, just say NO.  Never share personal information with anyone who contacts you uninvited. 

Medicare Will Never Call You at Home
If you receive a call from someone who says they’re from Medicare or Social Security, hang up.  Medicare and Social Security employees will never call you at home, unless you contacted them first about a problem.

Use Official Websites Only
Seniors using the fall Medicare open enrollment period to shop for prescription drug or Medicare Advantage plans should verify they ONLY use the website and 1-800-MEDICARE phone number.  For example Medicare websites ending in “.org” or “.com” are NOT the official Medicare website. 

Ask Questions
If you feel uncomfortable or unsure about any unsolicited situation, stop, take a step back from the situation, and make a phone call to a trusted family member or friend and ask their opinion of the situation.  

Report Suspected Fraud
Report any suspected fraud to the local police or your state’s attorney general.  To report identity theft related crimes contact the Federal Trade Commission at or call 1-877-438-4338. 
Also, the Senate Special Committee on Aging is available to help if you have questions about reporting fraud or need assistance, at 855-303-9470.  Or you can visit the resources website for Special Committee on Aging at for more information. 

Adapted from

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