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Consumer Alert: Department of Insurance Advises
Senior Citizens to Beware of Medicare Scams

Be sure to spread the word to your customers: Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is advising senior citizens to be on the lookout for scammers attempting to retrieve personal information with fraudulent phone alerts from Medicare. Louisiana seniors have reported to the Department of Insurance that they have received automated phone calls advising that a failure to give over information will result in cancellation of Medicare benefits.

"New Medicare cards being issued this year has led to a spike in scams and attempts to steal the personal information of Medicare recipients," said Commissioner Donelon. "If someone calls and asks you for personal information or threatens to cancel your benefits, please hang up and immediately contact Medicare or the Louisiana Department of Insurance at 1-800-529-5300."

New cards are mailing to Louisiana Medicare recipients this month and October 15th marked the beginning of Medicare Open Enrollment, so this is prime season for fraud attempts.

The National Council on Aging has provided information on the following Medicare card scams….
  • The new card does not cost anything and will automatically come to you. Scammers try to convince beneficiaries that they need to pay to obtain a temporary or permanent new card. Beneficiaries don't need to do anything as long as their address is up to date. If you need to update your address, visit your My Social Security account. Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old card and start using your new card right away.
  • Don't give out personal information. Scammers try to convince beneficiaries to confirm or give personal information in order to get their new card.
  • Your Medicare insurance will not be canceled. In this scam, callers claim they need a beneficiary's old Medicare card number to prevent their insurance from being interrupted while new cards are being mailed out. In reality, there will be no interruption in service. In fact, both the old and new Medicare numbers may be used through December 2019.
If you have questions about Medicare or need assistance, please contact the Louisiana Senior Health Insurance Information Program at 1-800-259-5300. You can also find more information about Medicare card scams and other scams from the Senior Medicare Patrol at www.smpresource.org.

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