As we get closer to Medicare Open Enrollment season, we’ve unfortunately become all too aware of some of the scams and predatory practices that are developing as unscrupulous folks take advantage of the confusion over healthcare reform’s effects on Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
Yes, healthcare reform does change the way that the federal government reimburses Medicare Advantage plans. Most importantly, it does away with the subsidies which the federal government first used to establish the Medicare Advantage program ten years ago and which many Medicare Advantage health insurance plans use to offer their supplemental benefits.
However, these cuts are gradually being phased in over the next several years. In fact, information on Medicare Advantage changes for 2011 is not yet available to agents, and people enrolled in Medicare Advantage won’t receive information from their plan until mid-to-late October.
In meantime, unscrupulous folks are preying on senior citizens who are confused by what changes to expect to their Medicare by cold-calling them with pitches for new Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans.
This is unethical, illegal and explicitly against Medicare rules. If you receive a telephone solicitation for a new Medicare Advantage plan from anyone that you do not know (including insurance agents), hang up! Do not let them pressure you into any changes to your plans that you are not comfortable with.
Will you be changing your Medicare plans this open enrollment season? Tell us about it!
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