Protect Yourself From Medicare Scams

When shopping for insurance, avoid scams by asking the right questions.

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When you’re shopping for insurance, many people will help you. Some, however, will try to take advantage of you with practices that range from misleading to downright illegal.

Protect yourself with these reminders.

Look closely when shopping

Ask if it’s too good to be true.

Insurance coverage that costs little or nothing is worth just that. Even some seemingly reputable companies will entice you with a low rate upfront, but it may cost you considerably more in the future.

 

Find the right fit.

There are many Medicare Supplement plans—all approved by the federal government. If one insurance company or their offerings don’t suit you, find another company.

 

Expect great service.

Medicare Supplement plans are identical from one company to another—federal law requires it. The difference lies in the service you receive. Look for a company that:

  • Pays claims on time, accurately and without hassles
  • Gives sound advice from experienced Medicare professionals
  • Gives you access to the doctors you want to see
  • Requires minimal, if any, paperwork for claims
  • Will be there for you in the future

 

Question insurance agent compensation.

Some insurance companies compensate their agents to get a quick sale. Be sure the company pays its staff to do what's in your best interest instead of what will make money fast.

Watch for illegal insurance practices

It is illegal for insurance companies to do any of the following:

  • Pressure you into buying a Medicare Supplement policy.
  • Lie to you or mislead you to switch from one company or policy to another.
  • Sell you a second Medicare Supplement policy when they know you already have one, unless you have documented your intent to cancel your existing policy.
  • Sell you a Medicare Supplement policy if they know you have Medicaid, except in certain situations.
  • Sell you a Medicare Supplement policy if they know you're in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Claim that a Medicare Supplement policy is part of the Medicare program or any other federal program. A Medicare Supplement is private health insurance.
  • Claim that a Medicare Advantage Plan is a Medicare Supplement policy.
  • Sell you a Medicare Supplement policy that can't legally be sold in your state.
  • Misuse the names, letters or symbols of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Social Security Administration (SSA), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) or any of their various programs like Medicare. (For example, they can't suggest the Medicare Supplement policy has been approved or recommended by the federal government.)
  • Claim to be a Medicare representative if they work for a Medicare Supplement insurance company.

If you suspect illegal or suspicious activity, please report it to the National Association of Insurance Commissioner.