The open enrollment period for Medicare runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 each year. During this time, you may change your Medicare health or prescription coverage for the upcoming year.
“Rising health care costs put a strain on many retirement budgets and seniors need to remain well informed to make the most economical decisions,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney. “While the Mississippi Insurance Department (MID) does not regulate Advantage Plans, we are available to answer questions if you have concerns or are confused by the open enrollment process.”
MID has recently received complaints from insureds that claim they have been switched out of their Medicare plan without their knowledge or an agent misled them into signing up for a plan that is not beneficial. While federal law controls the marketplace and this issue, MID is investigating complaints submitted to it.
The MID Medicare Shopper’s Guide is available here: https://www.mid.ms.gov/consumers/pdf/medicare-supplement-guide.pdf
Individuals who contact you about any type of private Medicare coverage:
· Must be licensed by the state. Check with the Mississippi Insurance Department to make sure the salesperson is a licensed agent.
· May not make unsolicited contact, such as door-to-door sales, cold calls or approaching you in a parking lot.
· Must make an appointment before coming to your home.
· Must arrange in advance the type of products that will be discussed during a scheduled sales appointment. At the appointment, the salesperson may not try to sell you other types of insurance coverage other than the type(s) agreed upon in advance.
· May not try to sell you non-health care related products (like a life insurance policy or an annuity) during a sales or marketing presentation of a Medicare prescription drug or Medicare Advantage plan.
· May not attempt to sell you a plan in certain health care settings, such as a doctor’s office or a pharmacy.
· May not attempt to sell you a plan at an educational event.
· May not offer you free meals at promotional or sales events.
· Do not give out personal information, such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers or credit card numbers to anyone you have not verified as a licensed agent. People are not allowed to request such personal information in their marketing activities and cannot ask for payment over the Internet. They must send you a bill. Once you decide to purchase a plan and have verified that the agent is licensed, you may give the agent personal information to assist in enrollment and billing.