DES MOINES — The open enrollment period for Medicare is rapidly coming to an end. The final date to sign up or make changes to your plan is Saturday December 7th.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services handles the questions on the open enrollment and spokeswoman Julie Brookhart says it is important for users to be sure they are on the Medicare-dot-gov website. “There are other websites out there that folks think it’s the federal website — they might be dot-com — they’re not. The official website is Medicare-dot-gov, and then you would click on the plan finder tool link,” Brookhart explains.
She says you’ve likely seen promotional materials from various plan providers in mailings and T-V ads. “Those probably are legitimate marketing pieces from all of the health plans that contract with Medicare,” she says, “but we tell Medicare beneficiaries that they can’t call you up, they can’t come door-to-door, they can’t solicit really.”
Brookhart says you should be aware that there are some scams out there too. “If you get any callers calling you, asking you for your Medicare number or if you sign up for my plan you’ll get a gift — if it all sounds too good to be true — it probably is. Medicare is never going to call you and ask for that type of information,” Brookhart says.
She says you should be a little skeptical. “Just be on guard. If it doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t, she says.
Brookhart says they ask you to call them at 1-800-633-4227 to report any possible Medicare fraud. You can also call that number if you need help with your plan. There are some 625-thousand Iowans who use Medicare.