Consumer Alert-Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Scams Continue
PIERRE, S.D. - Attorney General Larry Long is warning South Dakota seniors to continue to be cautious of bogus companies offering prescription drug plans for $299 or more. Telemarketing calls, emails and websites that offer free or low-cost prescription drug programs for a fee are not Medicare approved and are likely a scam.
To avoid these scams consumers need to:
- Hang up the phone immediately when someone calls with one of these offers.
- Remember that the Social Security Administration and Medicare are not going to call or visit people to enroll them in a prescription program.
- Refuse to give any personal information to anyone who calls on the phone, by email, or to someone at the door. Specifically do not give out information such as social security numbers, or bank or credit card numbers.
- Ignore claims that you must join their program or you’ll lose your other Medicare benefits. The Medicare prescription drug benefit is voluntary but late fees will apply if you enroll after May 15, 2006. It supplements your other Medicare benefits.
- Register with the federal "DO NOT CALL" list at 1-888-382-1222, or go to www.donotcall.gov. This will help limit many of the unwanted telemarketing calls.
To verify that a drug plan is Medicare approved, call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or for a list of approved plans visit www.medicare.gov. If you have questions or problems with a Medicare Part D plan you can contact the Division of Insurance at 1-605-773-3563. The Division of Insurance maintains a list of registered discount plans. For more information on ways to protect yourself or to report possible Medicare fraud, call the South Dakota Medicare Assistance Program at 1-800-822-8804 or the South Dakota SHIINE Program at 1-800-536-8197.