Harrisonburg health insurance specialist provides tips on avoiding Medicare scams

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 8:40 AM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - It is the final weeks of open enrollment for Medicare plans, and a Harrisonburg financial institution says this is the time of year they see a rise in different scams.

Staff at Everence Financial say during this time they are contacted by clients receiving scam materials via mail, online, or by phone call.

Chan Gingerich, a health insurance specialist at Everence says he recently had a client who was scammed. They reported giving personal information like their social security and Medicare numbers to a scam caller, who claimed to be an associate needing to make updates to the account.

According to Gingerich, another tactic the callers have is making offers that are too good to be true.

“A caller will also pretend to offer durable medical equipment or a medical checkup at no cost to the Medicare beneficiary and they’ll say Medicare will cover it. You know the only catch is the caller needs your social security number and Medicare number in order to verify your coverage and also again they can ask for a credit card number,” Gingerich said.

Gingerich says there are some other tips to help avoid these scams.

  • Keeping your Medicare number safe, just like you would with your social security or credit cards.
  • Avoid schemes that will try to talk you into expensive services you may not need.
  • Beware of free gifts
  • Keep track of your documents like billing statements.
  • If you suspect any fraudulent behavior, experts say the best option is to call the Medicare helpline at 1-800-633-4227 or contact them online at Medicare.gov.