The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Michigan Medicare and Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) are warning older people in Michigan to protect themselves from scams and demanding sales tactics during the 2022 annual Medicare open enrollment period, Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.
The departments provided these important tips:
- Never give your Medicare number or other personal information to callers or visitors saying they are from Medicare. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will never call or send someone to your home to ask for personal information or check your Medicare number. Agents cannot state that they are from Medicare, are approved, endorsed, or authorized by Medicare, call on behalf of Medicare, or say that Medicare or any state or federal agency asked them to call or see you.
- You can get information on Medicare plans without providing an ID number. The only time you must use your Medicare ID number is when you enroll in a plan.
- Do not rely on caller ID. Scammers can use technology to make it look like they are calling from a legitimate business or government agency.
- Ignore anyone who contacts you saying you must join their prescription drug plan or you will lose your Medicare coverage. You may have to pay a penalty if you delay enrolling in the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, but that coverage is voluntary.
- Don’t trust mailers that appear to be government communications. These may be advertisements for private companies that may have a disclaimer buried in small print.
- Remember that Medicare agents selling Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plans are not allowed to do certain things, including:
- Make unsolicited calls, send unsolicited text messages or leave voicemail messages.
- Approach you or market to you without you giving permission first. They cannot go door to door, leave materials on your doorstep or approach you in a public place, like a park or supermarket.
If you have questions or concerns about your Medicare coverage, contact Medicare directly at Medicare.gov or by calling (800)-633-4227. If you or a loved one have experienced this type of scam contact DIFS at Michigan.gov/DIFSComplaints or by calling (877)-999-6442.