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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 18, 2017

Seneca: Be wary of phone calls about Medicare, insurance plans

May 08, 2013

Many Medicare recipients receive phone calls from individuals wanting to discuss their Medicare.

Seneca Area Agency on Aging wants everyone to be careful about what they share with unknown callers.

In the last few weeks, Joan Nydle and Colleen Reed from Seneca have heard of several suspicious calls: callers claimed to be from Medicare offering news about Medicare changes or new Medicare cards or wanting to make home visits.

Nydle and Reed say Medicare officials never call to give news or offer a new card.

“Iowans are wise and getting very cautious about cold calls that mention Medicare,” said Reed. “We just need to keep staying one step ahead. That means if a caller mentions Medicare, be sure to have them tell you exactly where they are calling from and what their purpose is.

“If they say they are from Medicare or Social Security and want to give you news or a new Medicare card – this is almost certainly a scam attempt,” she continued. “If they ask for any personal information, such as Medicare claim number, credit card information, checking account information — hang up. It is OK to be rude.”

Other tips from Seneca include:

• If a caller says he or she is with your Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan, and you are worried about providing information on the phone or question if the call is legitimate, tell the caller you are going to hang up. Then call the number on your member identification card to verify what the call was about.

• If the caller says he or she is with an insurance company, and you don’t have a policy with that company, ask them what they’re selling, so you can decide if you want to visit with them. If you have a complaint with the behavior of an insurance salesperson, call Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol to learn who to contact to file a complaint.

• Call Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol at 800-423-2449 or Seneca Area Agency on Aging at 641-682-2270 or 800-642-6522 to report a suspicious call or learn where to file complaints. Visit the website at www.Seneca-aaa.org.

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