Open enrollment for Medicare Part D begins Oct. 15. That means that people with Medicare and their caregivers should give their Medicare prescription plans a fresh look to determine whether the plan they have is still the best one to suit their needs.  

It’s also a good time for you to know the rules the Medicare Advantage and Part D plans must follow.  

Medicare insurance salespeople CANNOT call you or come to your door without your invitation. They CANNOT ask for your Medicare, Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers over the phone unless it’s needed to verify membership, determine enrollment eligibility, or process an enrollment request. Again, be very careful of giving this information to anyone you don’t know. They CANNOT offer you money, gifts, or free meals to listen to a sales pitch.  

Plans are not allowed to require payment over the phone for a health or drug plan. The plan must mail you a bill. 

If you have made an appointment to discuss a Medicare plan, agents are not allowed to market other products, like an annuity or life insurance policy.  

For unbiased help in comparing plan options, CLAIM counselors can help. To find one near you, call 800-390-3330.  

As always, report suspected health care fraud or abuse to the Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) at (888) 515-6565.  

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0040, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and  Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and  conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

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