Watch for Fraud During Medicare Open Enrollment Period

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Grace Baldwin
(Bethany) Grace Baldwin has an Associate Degree in Journalism from Angelina College and is working on a double major of English and Journalism at Stephen F. Austin State University. She thoroughly enjoys reading, writing, and has an indelible passion for words.

It is that time of the year again. October 15 to December 7 is when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage for 2016. This period of time is often referred to as “Open Enrollment” or “Annual Election”.

The Medicare open enrollment period is a time when there is a higher risk of fraudulent activity. The activity could be a knock on your door, a phone call, someone offering you free services, or telling you that you need a new Medicare card, or that you can enroll in a new plan by just letting them take money out of your bank account. DON”T DO IT!!!

Medicare will never call you at home, except if you’ve already reported a problem. Medicare will never ask for your Social Security number, because they already have it! Also, Medicare will never ask you for your bank account information, unless you have called them, requesting your premiums be paid automatically.

If you suspect fraudulent activity please call the Texas Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-888-341-6187 or your local 211.  The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) of Deep East Texas can help you understand the changes you can make to your Medicare plans and how they would affect you.  It does not represent any insurance plan and its services are free.  To learn more about open enrollment or to get assistance enrolling, call 211 or 800-256-6848 and ask for a benefits counselor.

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