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Helping seniors avoid Medicare scams

Adler Insurance offers advice on Medicare Insurance in PrescottAdler Insurance offers advice on Medicare Insurance in PrescottIt’s open enrollment time for Medicare eligible seniors and unfortunately it brings out the scammers trying to take your money and your identity. Although there doesn’t seem to be any way to completely get rid of the scammers, but knowing some of their schemes may help you avoid them. Adler Insurance, your local Medicare Insurance Broker serving Prescott, Cottonwood, and Sedona, brings you a short list of a few of the most common Medicare scams.

Issuing New Cards – Medicare does not issue new cards and will not ask for your personal information. If you get a phone call, email or a visit at your home and you are asked for your Medicare number (which is the same as your social security number), your date of birth or other personal information in order to “get your new card”, it’s a scam. What they really want is your identity.

Refunds – Someone contacts you and tells you that you are entitled to a refund on your Medicare premiums because there have been “changes” or “enhancements” to your coverage. They tell you that all they need is your Medicare number and your banking information in order to put your refund directly into your account. It’s a scam. The truth is, if you are entitled to a refund from Medicare, they will send a check directly to you.

Phone calls – Just because your caller ID says “Medicare” or another name you trust, if they ask you for personal information over the phone, it is probably a scam. Government agency normally communicate via traditional mail. If they tell you they’re from Medicare and need your information for any reason, tell them you will call them back. The actual phone number for Medicare is 800-633-4227.

Freebies – You get a phone call offering free medical supplies, and all they need is your Medicare number so they can bill Medicare directly and your credit card info for “a small shipping charge for your supplies” and the address where you want your supplies sent. Now they have all of your information! Anytime someone unsolicited asks for your personal information, it is usually a scam.

No matter the approach they take, these all spell fraud. Medicare fraud is a huge problem, costing taxpayers about $60 billion a year. Remember, the absolutely easiest way to avoid a Medicare scam is to never reveal your card number or other personal or health information to anyone you don’t know. If you need more information on Medicare options during Open Enrollment, or more info on how to stay safe,  just contact Jesse at Adler Insurance, the leading Medicare Insurance Broker in Prescott,  a call at 928-710-1455.

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