If you’re age 65 or over, then you have undoubtedly received phone calls from a wide range of solicitors, asking you if they can “have just a minute of your time” to discuss anything from health care coverage to hearing aids. And, if you’re like most people, it is very possible that you politely declined.
But what about calls that you receive about Medicare benefits? Watch out!
Original Medicare – which is also known as Medicare Part A and Part B – has been around for more than fifty years. As a program of the U.S. government, most people are aware that these particular plans provide similar benefit offerings and charge similar premiums (or no premium at all for Part A) for most enrollees in the program.
But what many Medicare beneficiaries may not be so clear on is the fact that Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, are offered via private insurance companies – and because of that, there are insurance agents and brokers who work to solicit and sell such plans. Therefore, these insurance professionals are oftentimes in fierce competition for your business.
Based on the new Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines, Medicare Advantage plan and Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) plan sponsors – as well as their agents and brokers – are not permitted to make unsolicited phone calls to prospective enrollees.
In fact, according to Medicare’s new communication guidelines, there is a list of various activities that are considered to be big no-no’s when it comes to promoting these types of Medicare coverage options.
These prohibited activities include the following:
If you do receive a call from someone who is soliciting Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plans – and that call is generated by an agent or a company with which you are not already a plan holder – then it is possible that the caller is not abiding by the Medicare communication guidelines.
If that’s the case, you should by no means feel obligated to continue the conversation with that individual, nor should you consider making a purchase of any Medicare-related coverage through him or her.
If you do happen to have questions regarding your present Medicare coverage and / or alternate Medicare coverage that you may be thinking about purchasing, it is typically best to contact a Medicare professional and / or to visit the official Medicare website at www.Medicare.gov.
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Author Bio: Ben started Prepare for Medicare in 2014 to help people help people get objective answers to questions about Medicare. He’s held leadership roles at numerous Fortune 500 Medicare health insurers in product development, sales, marketing and strategy for over 20 years.