Missouri SMP: Beware during Medicare Open Enrollment

Date: October 5, 2020 | Category: News

The Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) wants to remind you that Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D and Advantage Plans is right around the corner.
Open enrollment annually occurs from October 15 to December 7. If you are on Medicare, you have an opportunity to change your Part D Prescription Drug Plan and/or Advantage plan during open enrollment.
The Missouri SMP highly recommends that you look at the plans, their costs, their benefits and how they work with your medications. Because plans change every year, it’s important for beneficiaries to review their options annually as well.
To get ready for open enrollment, you need to know your Medicare number, your preferred pharmacy, your primary care physicians if you are considering an Advantage Plan that has preferred providers, and a list of your prescription drugs. You may visit medicare.gov to enroll online.
You can review your options with the help of a State Health Insurance Program counselor. In Missouri, that’s called the CLAIM program, which can be reached calling toll free 1-800-390-3330. A certified CLAIM counselor will help you understand your options.
During this time, you also may be faced with phone calls from salespeople. Medicare has put into place guidelines that regulate the sales of Medicare Advantage plans. For example, those companies are not allowed to call you (without an invitation from you) if you are not already enrolled in a plan through them.
Medicare is complex, which is why the Missouri SMP assists beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse.
To avoid becoming the target of abuse or fraud, do not give out your Medicare information to anyone calling you on the phone or emailing you. If the callers are from Medicare or your insurance company, they would already have that information.
If you have questions, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or the Missouri CLAIM. To learn more or report suspected Medicare fraud, call the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565.