Beware of scams targeting Medicare open enrollment

Scammers see Medicare as an easy target as this time of year people are bombarded with all kinds of ads.
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 1:13 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - If you are on Medicare, it’s time to shop for your 2023 coverage. “It matters a ton,” said Ari Parker, author and co-founder of Chapter, a Medicare advisory company. “What people may not appreciate is that there are hundreds of health insurance companies, especially right here in Arizona, offering thousands of Medicare plans. So it’s not just a one-size-fits-all solution.”

Parker encourages seniors to review their providers, prescriptions, and healthcare priorities. “Your priorities for next year might be different than the priorities that you had for this last year, so now is the time to shop and to make sure that your plan will work as expected,” he said.

While you’re shopping, you have to be on the lookout for scammers. “Medicare annual enrollment is an easy target because right now people are being bombarded by Medicare advertisements. They’re getting mailers. They’re seeing television ads,” Parker said.

Scammers could be after your personal information like your social security number, your banking information, and even your Medicare beneficiary ID number that’s on your Medicare card. “What they’ll then do is send you equipment that you never asked for, and that you may or may not need,” Parker added. “They’re billing Uncle Sam for that gear that they’re sending you using your Medicare number.”

To protect yourself from Medicare scams, the Federal Trade Commission says consumers should avoid giving personal information to callers who claim they’re from Medicare. Don’t trust Caller ID because phone calls can be spoofed to make them look like legitimate calls and avoid clicking on links and opening attachments from emails and text messages. Medicare Open Enrollment runs through December 7, 2022.