Medicare Scams Are on the Rise, According to Health Alliance Plan

Michigan nonprofit health plan Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is cautioning consumers about a recent Medicare scam. 

Unsuspecting consumers are being engaged in conversations about their Medicare coverage with a Medicare “representative” and, during the call, are asked for their Medicare ID number. 

This can result in unauthorized changes or even a complete change in the consumer’s Medicare Advantage plan.

HAP recommends that consumers hang up on anyone requesting their Medicare ID number and immediately call the customer service number on the back of their insurance card. 

At HAP, our customer care team ensures that each member’s coverage is continued and that nothing irregular has occurred with their account.

HAP has several easy tips for protecting your Medicare account:

Never give your Medicare number or other personal information to an unknown caller.

Be suspicious of anyone who calls and claims to be able to help you sign up for coverage but needs to confirm your Medicare number, or asks for your Medicare number to provide you enrollment information.

If a caller says they’re from Medicare and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information, hang up. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services will never call to ask for personal information or check Medicare numbers.

Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers use technology to hide their real numbers and instead display numbers that look legitimate – some even us the word Government on the caller ID.

Anyone who tries to sell you Medicare insurance while claiming to be an “official Medicare agent” is a scammer. Medicare does not use representatives. If someone comes to your door claiming to be from Medicare, remember Medicare does not send representatives to your home.

Ignore anyone who calls saying you must join their prescription drug plan or you will lose your Medicare coverage. The Medicare prescription drug plan (also known as Part D) is completely voluntary.

Be alert for mailers that appear to be government communications but are advertisements for private companies. These mailers will sometimes have a disclaimer, but it is buried in small print.  Read carefully.

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