Protect Yourself From Medicare Scams
Most people earnestly want to help, but some will try to take advantage of you. Keep yourself safe with these reminders.
- If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
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.
- Get the right fit.
There are plenty of Medicare supplement plans—all approved by the federal government. If the insurance company you are considering doesn't offer the supplement that best suits you, find another company that does.
- Service is a big difference between companies.
Medicare supplement plans are identical from one company to another—federal law requires it. The difference, then, 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
- Minimal, if any paperwork for claims
- Will be there for you in the future
- Find out how the insurance agent is compensated.
Some companies compensate their agents to get a quick sale. Companies that care about your well-being pay their staff to do what's in your best interest instead of what will make them the fastest money. There's a big difference.
Watch for Illegal Insurance Practices
It's illegal for anyone to do the following:
- Pressure you into buying a Medicare supplement policy, or lie to or mislead you to switch from one company or policy to another.
- Sell you a second Medicare supplement policy when they know that 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.