Consumer groups warn: beware of schemes during Medicare open enrollment

Better Call Behnken

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s that time of year again. Time for Medicare open enrollment. Consumer advocates warn, be wary of schemers trying to take advantage of the confusing process.

They may call and pretend to be from your insurance company and demand private information. They may knock on the door. And they even may approach you in a public place.

“They think they are going to show up on your doorstep and be that nice, young gentleman that’s going to walk you through everything,” said Kyrie-Leigh Chambliss, of Senior Connection Center.

She helps seniors navigate the overwhelming process every day and sees many fall victim to schemes that cost them money or coverage.

“If someone’s got a Medigap or a supplement plan, and then a broker comes and signs them up for an advantage plan, that can actually boot them out of their Medigap policy, and then they can have great difficulty ever getting that policy back,” Chambliss said.

She also warns to look out for genetic testing fraud.

“If someone approaches you at a shopping mall or outside your doctor’s office, offering “free genetic tests for medicare recipients, walk away. Chambliss warns: you won’t get results, and then Medicare gets billed anyway.

“They bill Medicare up to $20,000, it can be a lot of money, and that ends up coming back on the taxpayers,” Chambliss said. “Medicare will never cover it if they actually need the test done, because in their mind, they already paid for it. “

If you have something you think needs to be investigated, contact Investigative Reporter Shannon Behnken at BetterCallBehnken@wfla.com or 1-855-BEHNKEN.

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Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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