‘The news,’ Medicare provide fraud topics

Ted Hubert

One way to alert yourself to possible frauds is to follow the news. Current events drive many con artists to act on what is familiar in the news papers, radio, and television.

Watch for charities asking for earthquake relief for the citizens of Turkey because of the earthquake, or some attempt to defraud citizens based of the military coming home for the holidays.

The Iraqi war is over, so watch for some calls regarding this event.

Now is the time for enrollment for Medicare Plan Part D and Medicare Advantage plan. The new dates for t his year started October 15 and will close December 7.

Now is the time to access your individual needs as well as your loved ones to adjust and review your health-care expenses.

Do you want to shop for a drug plan? An annual review is strongly suggested because plans change from year to year and so do the premiums and your health.

The list of covered drugs differ from year to year. To insure that you are getting the most for your money, contact

Another quick and easy way to get good and safe advice is to call 211. The operator is a real live person and one that will gladly connect you with the service you want.

AARP is another safe source in finding facts to guide you to make wise decisions regarding your health plans. Call 1-800- 208-7766, toll-free.

These specialists are trained to get you the best plan. They can enroll you into a program, but they are not allowed to contact you for the service. If you receive a call soliciting a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan, hang up the phone. This would violate the strict guidelines established for your protection.

Insurance agents and brokers are not permitted to identify themselves as representatives of Medicare, nor can they say that they are endorsed by Medicare.

Even gifts are limited to values of $15.00 or less.

The “ Medicare and You” handbook is mailed to all Medicare users each October. Just remember t here are no new Medicare cards and the drug cards stay the same.

Anyone offering either new Medicare cards or new drug cards are not to be tr usted. Hang up without saying a word. Responding to these crooks will only increase the possibility of more illegal activity from the unscrupulous people.

The Affordable Care Act, incorrectly called ObamaCare, changed programs as well. In 2012 those falling into the “donut hole”, which is referring to the drug coverage gap, will pay half price for brand-named drugs for seniors.

This is where caution is needed because con artists thrive on program changes. It is true that changes often confuses, so, during the period of misunderstanding, the con artists strike.

Contacting the Better Business Bureau at 713- 341- 6184 may also help to answer quest ions about businesses and charities.

Con Artists posing as agents have a major goal, to get you to give them your money. Personal data is the target.

Restricting personal information is essential. Never give out bank account numbers, social security numbers, credit card information, family names and how you are related to them.

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2011-10-27 digital edition

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