The Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) plan open enrollment period is from October 15 to December 7.
Part D open season is an important time. You should review your existing Part D plan to be sure it fits your needs. One that was previously good might not be your best choice now. Learn about Part D at the Medicare website, www.medicare.gov. To find a Part D plan, go to the “Find health & drug plans” section.
Now is also a time to be especially alert for scams targeting you.
For example, one making the rounds now involves people being called by a scammer. The crook asks for personal information, such as your Social Security number and birthdate, so that they can allegedly send you an updated Medicare card. Do not give out this type of information. Protect yourself.
Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) coverage information is not on your Medicare card since Part D policies are sold by private insurance companies.
Social Security does not make cold calls or send emails to you offering a Medicare card. Replacement Medicare cards are not sent unless you ask for one. You can request one online or by contacting Social Security directly, at no cost, but you are doing the requesting.
Medicare is not the only popular basis for scams.
Social Security does not make cold calls to verify your bank account for direct deposit. Do not give out bank account information. If you get a letter saying that SSA has changed where your payment goes, and you did not make the change, contact Social Security immediately.
The upcoming cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase is another scam topic. Social Security does not cold call for personal information related to the COLA. If you receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), no special update is needed from you. The COLA will be received automatically.
When someone contacts Social Security, whether by phone or in-person, the SSA representative asks questions to verify identity. This helps protect you. However, the big difference is that you contacted SSA first. This is not an unexpected cold call to you.
For online information, be sure you are at the real Social Security website, www.socialsecurity.gov. There are no charges for program services. Guard yourself online too.