Learn about Medicare prescription drug plan scams

Read about the standards and expectations of Medicare prescription drug plans and avoid scams.

Medicare prescription drug plans are offered by private companies and organizations. These plans must meet specific federal standards and be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Fraudulent plans can attempt to take advantage of elders. Learn to recognize these plans and protect yourself.

What to watch out for

Be aware of common Medicare scams, including:

  • Offers of prizes or money in return for joining a prescription drug plan. Companies and organizations can offer prizes or benefits to promote their plans, but it is illegal to require anyone to join a drug plan in order to get a prize or gift. Plans may never offer cash incentives for promotions.
  • Threats of losing other Medicare benefits. The Medicare prescription drug benefit is voluntary and is intended to supplement your other Medicare benefits. There is no requirement to join.

  • Calls from the Social Security Administration seeking personal information. The Social Security Administration will never call seeking information regarding your bank account, credit card, or insurance policies. The SSA will only call seeking your Social Security Number if you applied for low-income assistance and the number on your application is incorrect.

  • Mailed materials that appear to be from the government. Scammers may create documents or sales materials that appear to be from a government agency. These prescription drug plans are offered by private companies, not government agencies, so consumers should be wary of deceptive promotional materials.

How to protect yourself

You can take proactive steps to protect yourself from Medicare scams.

  • Guard your personal information. Legitimate plans only ask for your Social Security Number when you are enrolling in their plan.
  • Recognize Medicare prescription drug plans. Plans not approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services cannot market themselves as Medicare prescription drug plans. Materials from approved plans will have a seal with the words “Medicare Rx” and “Prescription Drug Coverage.” To check if a plan is approved, contact the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
  • Know the law around Medicare prescription drug plan marketing. Companies or organizations offering these plans cannot come to your door uninvited or send you unsolicited emails. They can call to promote their plans, but it is illegal for them to enroll you during this phone call.

Report a Medicare prescription drug scam

You can report Medicare prescription drug scams and get more information by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 727-8400. You can also file a consumer complaint online.

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