ND SMP Scam of the Month – October 2018

 

Money Savings Programs


As a ND Medicare Beneficiaries, are you eligible for money-savings programs?

 

If you received a letter from Social Security this spring, it is because you are enrolled in Medicare and, based on your monthly Social Security benefit, you appear to have an income that qualifies you for two money-savings programs. These programs can help you afford your prescription and health care costs.

 

The Medicare Part D Extra Help program (also known as the Part D Low Income Subsidy, or LIS) helps pay your Part D drug plan premium and saves you money on medications at the pharmacy. If you qualify for Extra Help, you will pay no more than $8.35 for your prescriptions for each drug your plan covers.

 

 

Social Security does not have access to information about your other income and resources, such as any pension or retirement account you may have. If you apply for Extra Help or MSP, you will be asked for more information about your overall finances.

 

Getting this letter does not mean you automatically qualify for these programs. You still need to fill out an application for each program.

 

To get free, confidential help with an Extra Help/MSP application, you can contact the ND Benefits Enrollment Center (ND BEC) at ndbec@minotstateu.edu or call 1-800-233-1737 or 701-858-3580.

 

Remember to mark your calendar and watch for sites for the free annual Part D Open Enrollment event October 15 through December 7.

 

Be aware: this is an election year for Senate representatives and some of you may have seen or heard the acronym SMP used in some of the ads. The SMP referred to in the ads stands for Senate Majority PAC (Political Action Committee) and does not refer to the National Senior Medicare Patrol program.

 

This publication has been produced in part from a grant awarded by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). (Award #1225) All opinions expressed herein are those of ND BEC and not NCOA.

 

Contact the Consumer Protection Division at the ND Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-472-2600 if you think you have been scammed.

 

What can you do?

 

Keep your personal numbers (Medicare, Social Security, and bank account numbers) PERSONAL.

 

Call the ND SMP office if you have questions about Medicare fraud or you think you may have given out your number to an MSN or EOB to their bill. It has come to our attention that there may be some offices imposter.

 

The National Do Not Call Registry allows you to register your home or cell phone for free. Your registration will be effective for five years. Telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at https://www.donotcall.gov/

 

 

What to do if you responded to one of these marketing ploys?

 

Here’s what to do if you get a suspicious call:

  •      • Don’t give out any personal information.
  •      • Simply hang up the phone—or better yet, if you don’t recognize the telephone number, don’t answer it at all.
  •      • Report the call to the ND Attorney General Consumer Protection office at 1-800-472-2600.
  •      • Report your experience to 1-877-FTC-HELP or ftc.gov/complaint.
    •           - Click on “Scams and Rip-offs” and then “Imposter Scams”.
  •      • Call the ND SMP office if you have questions about Medicare fraud or you think you may have given out your number to an imposter.

 

Scammers are very creative people, possibly secondary only to computer hackers! What can
you do to prevent being a victim of health care fraud?

 

What can you do to protect yourself from fraud?
 Keep your personal and financial information private.

 Keep your personal numbers (Medicare, Social Security, and bank account numbers) PERSONAL.
 Contact the ND Attorney General Consumer Protection office at 1-800-472-2600.
 Call the ND SMP office if you have questions about Medicare fraud.

 


This project was supported, in part, by grant number 90MP0217, from the Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services. Points of view or opinions do not necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

 

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To report a potential scam or if you have been the victim of a scam, call the ND Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). ND SMP is a free service which provides one-on-one assistance with Medicare fraud and scams. Call 1-800-233-1737 for assistance or go to www.ndcpd.org/smp.