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HomeMedicineMarketing Can Mislead Older Adults During Medicare Open Enrollment

Marketing Can Mislead Older Adults During Medicare Open Enrollment

Senior Medicare Patrol Resource Center

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — During Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which takes place October 15 through December 7 each year, Medicare beneficiaries can choose Medicare plans that are best for them. Beneficiaries enrolled in Original Medicare can compare and change prescription drug plans (Part D) and Medigap plans.

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) wants everyone on Medicare to know that during OEP, plans and third-party marketing organizations are marketing their products through television ads, social media ads, radio ads, and mailings. “To get your attention, ads may mislead you into thinking one plan is better for you than another. It’s important to understand what agents aren’t allowed to do so you’ll be prepared if someone tries to contact you this OEP.” – Nicole Liebau, Senior Medicare Patrol Resource Center Director.

If you meet with an agent, know that they cannot do the following. If this happens to you, report it to the SMP or SHIP.

Agents cannot:

  • Set their own time limits for you to sign up. You have until December 7 to enroll, the plan does not take effect until January 1, and there are not any extra benefits for signing up early.
  • Threaten to take away your benefits if you do not sign up for their plan.
  • Offer gifts only if you agree to sign up for their plan.
  • Claim a plan or their agency is endorsed by Medicare. They also cannot claim to be from or sent by Medicare, Social Security, or Medicaid.
  • Discuss Medicare products, or other insurance products, like life insurance, you did not ask to talk about in your Scope of Appointment form.
  • Call you if you have no prior relationship.
  • Leave flyers, door hangers, etc., on your car or at your house from a company you did not have an appointment with.
  • Mislead you about coverage of prescriptions or services.
  • Claim you can keep your Medigap plan (supplemental insurance) because you can’t have a Medigap and Medicare Advantage (MA) plan at the same time.

Comparing plans and knowing what is best for you can be overwhelming. You can get free, unbiased help comparing Medicare plans from the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs). You can locate your local SHIP by visiting www.shiphelp.org or by calling toll-free 877-839-2675.

The SMPs empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse. They are located in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico, Guam, The U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. To report Medicare fraud, errors, or abuse, visit www.smpresource.org or call 1-877-808-2468.

Contact: Nicole Liebau
Email: [email protected]

SOURCE SMP Resource Center

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/marketing-can-mislead-older-adults-during-medicare-open-enrollment-301967593.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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