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Fraud alert: Scam health insurance and Medicare card offers

Fraud alert: Scam health insurance and Medicare card offers

(Scams) Permanent link

When the economy struggles, fraudulent health insurers work overtime. Bogus insurance companies collect premiums or simply gain access to your bank or credit card accounts and steal your money, with no actual insurance coverage provided.

The state Office of the Insurance Commissioner recently revamped the Fraud Section of its Web to better educate consumers about scams and make it easy to find contact information to report insurance fraud. The site includes a warning about health insurance scams. The information is particularly timely since several seniors in our state recently received calls from criminals claiming to work for the federal government.

KIRO TV aired a warning on Friday about these cons, who claim to be offering a new medical discount card for Medicaid and Medicare patients. If you get a call like this from someone asking for your personal information, hang up. Medicaid and Medicare will never call you to inform you about a plan change and they won’t ask for your personal information over the phone. Medicare’s annual open enrollment period begins Nov. 15, which could be why these cons are so active.

The Insurance Commissioner says to be wary of any unsolicited offers and watch out for companies that say they can provide superior benefits for a low cost and few qualifications. Check out insurance providers on the OIC site or call 1-800-562-6900 to verify that a company is legitimate before you provide any financial information or sign an agreement. You can also call that number to tell OIC about an insurance plan that seems too good to be true or e-mail their investigators at consumerprotection@oic.wa.gov.

Posted by AGO Blog Moderator at 11/10/2008 10:38:09 AM | 


These types of scams are no doubt designed to coincide with the Medicare annual enrollment period. There are strict marketing guidelines imposed on insurance companies and their agents related to marketing during the annual enrollment period. Most importantly, as it relates to this topic, is the fact that companies and agents cannot make unsolicited calls to Medicare beneficiaries as it relates to Medicare Advantage Plans.

Most Medicare beneficiaries are not aware of the marketing restrictions and some public service announcements would prove to be beneficial. Local media could be proactive and do a story on these guidelines rather than waiting to report on fraudulent activity.
Posted by: David Forbes ( Email ) at 12/24/2009 10:31 AM


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