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Beware of Deceptive Medicare Marketing During Open Enrollment

Medicare shopping each year during open enrollment can be stressful. However, it does not have to be.

The biggest fear seniors have when shopping for Medicare options during open enrollment is the preponderance of scams, such as deceptive advertising and questionable sale offers. What information out there comes from reliable sources, such as Medicare or a reliable, legitimate insurance agent or broker? What information is from a scam or con artist that wants to steal money?

Whenever there are changes set to take place in Medicare plans and companion offerings, beneficiaries need to look for new plans or other options. This is usually the pivotal point where scam artists attempt to mislead beneficiaries. This year, open enrollment began October 15, 2018 and ran until December 7, 2018 and despite scam operations, the bulk of Medicare marketing has been legitimate. Consumers are relatively pleased about the plethora of Part D prescription drug plans that offer more options for them when combined with original Medicare.

To make sure you are on track and reading accurate, reliable information, go to an official website at medicare.gov. Using the official Medicare website, allows beneficiaries to avoid the possibility of being scammed by private website sites with similar addresses. An example would be instead of medicare.gov, a scammer could use medicare.com, medicare.net or medicare.org. The .gov designation is your guarantee that the information on the website is accurate and reliable.

Often scammers perpetrated their callers by stating they are agents who work for Medicare, or any ads that claim to offer plans endorsed or sponsored by Medicare. Scammers have been known to call Medicare recipients and say they work for Medicare and Medicare sponsored and/or endorsed plan. It is a good idea to just hang up and report such a call. Insurance companies and agent are not allowed to make unsolicited Medicare calls. If you are unsure, only use the official government Medicare website for Medicare plans.

It is also important to read the fine print on everything and take careful note of the appearance of the website you are visiting. Some sales materials and ads look like they come from Medicare, but really do not. If you find something that is misleading in appearance, it may also be misleading you about what it really offers.

The most important thing to remember when shopping for Medicare during open enrollment is to check the information you see. If you are not sure the information you received or found is accurate, check the government Medicare website. And, if you are still not sure about the veracity of what you are seeing, reading or hearing, call reliable insurance brokers who have the information you need at their fingertips.