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Phone scams against the elderly

'So-called' discount health plans
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'So-called' discount health plans

Another scheme with a news hook: unsolicited phone calls or visits from hucksters selling fake discount health plans.

The caller claims to be with the government or a government-sponsored company and tries to sell you a "health plan" that will provide discounts on various medical services, says Breyault.

These plans rarely offer any worthwhile coverage, he says.

Signs that it's a scam:

  • The caller won't give you details in writing. (And don't even ask unless you have access to a fax machine or a P.O. box. You don't want to give these people your home address.)
  • The caller asserts he or she is with the government or a government-sponsored company.
  • You're told you must have insurance now. But mandatory health coverage requirements don't go into effect until 2014.

Best move: hang up.

If you want different coverage, Bankrate.com offers insurance quotes. You can also search Medicare by ZIP code and see which plans are available in your area. Or you can find an agent for supplemental and drug plans through the National Association of Health Underwriters.


 

 

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