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  • Writer's pictureTom Cianflone

Watch Out for These Telemarketing Calls!

Let me tell you about what CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) calls "permission to contact", or "PTC" as we say in the business. CMS says that Medicare agents cannot make unsolicited calls to Medicare beneficiaries about Medicare except under certain circumstances. One of the exception circumstances is if you have an exisiting business relationship with the beneficiary. If you are on Original Medicare with a Medicare supplement and a separate prescription drug plan (PDP), then you have an exisiting business relationship with the carrier of the PDP. And, as it turns out, most PDP carriers also offer Medicare Advantage plans (aka, Part C plans). This includes carriers like Wellcare, Silverscript/Aetna, Humana and most others. What does this mean for you? It means that your PDP carrier can call you directly and say something like this:

Telemarketer says: "I see you're on our PDP. We really appreciate you choosing us as your PDP carrier. But did you know we also offer Medicare Advantage plans? Why are you paying every month for a Medicare supplement when I can enroll you in our Medicare Advantage plan for free! That's right! Say goodbye to your Medicare Supplement, stop paying that monthly premium, and let me enroll you in our Medicare Advantage plan!"

Fact is, this happens all the time. And some people fall for it, not realizing that joining a Medicare Advantage plan completely changes the Medicare experience for them. Now, instead of Original Medicare with all of its advantages, they find themselves in a managed care plan where they can see only providers that are in network with the plan, where the carrier will have to approve medical procedures through prior authorization, and so on. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! If the premium for your Medicare supplement is becoming a burden, CONTACT ME, and I will help you make an informed decision about any changes that may be in order. Never put your Medicare coverage in the hands of a telemarketer who calls you unsolicted! In my experience, nothing good ever comes from doing that.

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