The number of spam and unsolicited phone calls has increased exponentially in recent years, and one industry seeing a huge number of these unwanted calls is healthcare—Medicare in particular. Seniors who are approaching 65 or have just turned 65 receive the largest percentage of these calls.
If you somehow haven’t received any unsolicited calls about Medicare lately, consider yourself very fortunate.
In the past couple years, I have received numerous calls from customers—as well as seniors who are referred to me—complaining of incessant phone calls about Medicare.
These calls are incessant, confusing, and frustrating. Read on for information about who is making these unsolicited calls and what you can do about them.
Who Is Making Unsolicited Calls About Medicare?
Unsolicited calls about Medicare are coming from a number of sources. Call centers and licensed insurance agents are making some of these calls, while some of them are simply scams.
Not only are they a nuisance and major inconvenience, but they are also strictly prohibited by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), which is the agency of the Federal Government that is charged with the responsibility of administering Medicare.
These calls tend to increase exponentially when the Medicare Open Enrollment period comes between October and December.
How to Identify Medicare Spam Calls
The first step to avoiding Medicare spam calls is to know how to recognize them.
Medicare and Social Security will never call you to get your information, and they will never call you directly unless you have called them with a request.
Some common Medicare spam calls you should never respond to include:
- They’re sending new Medicare cards
- Your coverage is about to be canceled
- You have early access to vaccines
- You have access to free medical supplies
- You’re pre-approved for a cheaper plan or eligible for a refund
The best thing to do is to ignore these calls or if you answer, hang up as soon as you realize what it is. Never give out any of your personal information. Unless the call is from your agent or the plan you are currently enrolled in, nothing good will come of any discussion that ensues.
You can also add your phone number to the FTC’s Do Not Call List to prevent more of these calls in the future.
You’re probably wondering, what motivates an agent or entity to continue to make these calls?
Money—in the form of sales commissions!
If you do listen to what these people have to say, remember to take into consideration that anyone who makes such calls is putting their entire business at risk. Should you trust anything that person says?
Aren’t These Calls Illegal?
Unsolicited phone calls are a very serious violation of the Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines (MCMG). As such, there are significant penalties for any agent or entity who commits a violation.
Each year, every agent or entity engaged in marketing Medicare Plans is required to recertify in order to continue to market these plans. Warnings about these calls are part of this certification process, and agents or entities who violate these rules are risking serious consequences.
The rules are so stringent that agents are forbidden from calling a senior who has been referred to the agent, unless the referral first calls the agent.
Unfortunately, the CMS appears to not enforce these rules which is why so many of these unsolicited calls are still happening.
Discuss Your Medicare Questions With an Agent You Can Trust
There are far too many good agents who play by the rules and help you through the process of evaluating different Medicare plans.
If you’re looking for such guidance, please reach out to us at Florida Medicare Specialists. We’re here to help you understand your options and find the one that best fits your needs.
Most importantly, we won’t sell you plans that don’t fit your lifestyle and we won’t call you unless you’ve called us first.
Contact us today and get your questions answered.