The rollout of the Affordable Care Act has begun, with enrollment from October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. This enrollment period is not to be confused with Medicare’s fall Open Enrollment which will be October 15, 2013 to December 7, 2013. The beginning of any new federal program is an opportunity for confusion and con artists to prey on consumers. Below are a few important tips to avoid scams for people with Medicare:
If you have Medicare:
- You do not need to purchase any coverage through our state’s insurance marketplace, called “Covered California”. Your Medicare benefits satisfy the requirements to have health care coverage; you do not need to do anything. It is considered illegal for someone who knows you have Medicare to sell you a plan through “Covered California”.
- You do not need a new Medicare Card, Social Security Card or any other identity card.
- You do not need to verify any of your current information.
- No one from the government will contact you by phone or in person about the new healthcare benefits.
- Beware of bogus emails, phony website links, phone calls and people who come to the door asking for your personal information who say it is because of the new law.
If you have questions or doubts contact the Monterey County Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222 or Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-855-613-7080.