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Tis the Season to Defraud

The holiday season partly overlaps Medicare Part-D enrollment as well as end-of-year tax planning. Scammers will be calling your senior. As the family gathers, remember these topics and discuss them with seniors.  Here are a couple conversation starters:

“Have you heard that people are pretending to represent Medicare by calling folks to ask for their Medicare numbers? Have you gotten a call like that?”

FACT: Medicare already has your number. Please check their MSN sheet (it says this is not a bill at the top)to check for charges that are not theirs.

“My Friend said they got a post card from a company offering free back or knee braces to people on Medicare. Have you seen mail like that?”

FACT: Only your doctor can prescribe equipment. Talk to your doctor. The “offer” is another way to get personal information.

“I see many commercials about insurance company offers for Part-D drug coverage. Do you have a Part-D plan that covers all your medications?”

FACT: Part-D open enrollment ended 12-7. However, if your senior took a plan because of pressure from an aggressive salesperson, you may be able to change it. Contact the Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland, Beth Monnat; 217-787-9234. Each Illinois AAA has a contact person.

“I’ve heard some people are getting calls from the IRS asking for personal information and claiming they owe back taxes. Have you heard about it?”

FACT: The IRS does not need personal information, they already have it. They do not call, they send letters. If your family member received such a call, contact the Area Agency on Aging or the IRS.

I receive these alerts in regular email notices. They are published under a grant from the Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Community Living. This is part of the Age Options program.  Subscribe by contacting Jason Echols, MSW, at jason.echols@ageoptions.org             Stay safe this holiday season.

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