Consumers Beware of Medicare Advantage Marketing Fraud

Consumers Beware of Medicare Advantage Marketing Fraud

Last week Julie Schoen, our California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Project Director, spoke on Medicare fraud on a statewide press teleconference hosted by California’s Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). Both agencies, DMHC and SMP, are committed to protecting beneficiairies from the sometimes malicious and fraudulent practices of a few insurance agents. While most agents may be trustworthy, DMHC has reports of several who are trying to persuade seniors to switch from their current health plan to the Medicare Advantage (MA) plan they are selling even though it is not in their best interest, and sometimes even without their consent.

DMHC put together a helpful 2-page consumer alert (PDF) that summarizes 7 red flags to watch out for when being approached by an insurance agent, and 10 actions to take before signing up for any new health plan.

See Medicare Fraud for more info on fraud. Also see Medicare’s Fall Open Enrollment to learn about your rights to switch MA and Part D plans or return to Original Medicare during Oct 15 through Dec 7.

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.