Medicare Open Enrollment Alert

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Medicare Open Enrollment ends December 7, 2016. If you are enrolled in Medicare, be sure to make changes in your Medicare health, supplemental, and prescription drug plans during that time. Con artists are busy, as well, taking advantage of the rush to meet the open enrollment deadline. Steve Weisman, USA Today, offers tips to avoid Medicare scams.

Medicare will eventually issue new cards to all current enrollees that will no longer have your Social Security Number printed on it, but they will not call you to ask you for your Medicare number (translation – Social Security Number). They already have it. If anyone calls you and asks for this number, hang up.

Medicare recipients do not need to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. This insurance marketplace is only for those who are not already covered by a health insurance provider.

Don’t purchase supplemental health insurance plans over the phone or via email or text. Speak to a trusted, licensed insurance representative in person to make sure you are getting the appropriate supplemental health coverage to meet your needs.

For more tips and details on these scams, check out How to Spot Medicare Open Enrollment Scams and the Senior Medicare Patrol.

For information on Medicare options and to research Medigap insurance programs, go to Medicare.gov.

For assistance with your open enrollment health insurance decisions, contact your local area on aging. In five northeast counties of Alabama, including DeKalb, Jackson, Limestone, Madison, and Marshall, go to TARCOG. In Cullman, Lawrence and Morgan counties, go to NARCOG. In Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Marion, and Winston counties, go to NACOLG.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.