IN YOUR PRIME: Medicare enrollments ends this week; how to avoid scams

Medicare open enrollment runs through Dec. 7 and during that time, scams abound.(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

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Medicare open enrollment runs through Dec. 7 and during that time, scams abound.(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Medicare open enrollment runs through Dec. 7 and during that time, scams abound.

The Better Business Bureau has a couple of common scams that can occur.

Watch out for these Medicare scams

In one scenario, a scammer will claim to be a “health care benefits advocate.” They may claim they can enroll you in a better program than your existing one. The plan they offer allows you to retain the same services for cheaper. You just have to provide personal information, such as your Medicare ID number, to get started. But providing personal information will expose you to identity theft.

In another situation, the scammer will call in an attempt to frighten victims with health care plans. They’ll claim to if you didn’t re-enroll, your Medicare will be discontinued. They’ll offer a fix if you provide personal information.

Take steps to protect yourself

According to Medicare.gov, you can take steps to avoid these scams.

  • Make sure to protect your Social Security number and your Medicare ID. Don’t provide your Medicare number, card or your Social Security information to anyone except your doctor or people you are certain should have it.
  • Record all your doctor’s appointments and tests on a calendar.
  • Don’t accept offers or gifts in exchange for free Medicare.
  • Don’t allow anyone — excluding Medicare providers and your doctor — to review your medical records or offer recommendations.

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