Mississippi Officials Warn of Possible Medicare-Related Scam

April 19, 2006

State officials in Jackson have warned Mississippians to be aware of a potential scam involving Medicare prescription drug cards and Medicare Part C, known as Medicare Advantage.

The state insurance department, working with the attorney general’s office, said it was investigating numerous complaints involving a company going door-to-door in an attempt to convince Medicare recipients to switch their traditional Medicare coverage, Parts A & B, for coverage under a Part C plan.

Medicare Part C allows qualified insurance carriers to pick up coverage for the customer and Medicare in turn pays the carrier a premium.

“There have been enough complaints brought to our attention to warrant a warning to Mississippians,” said Attorney General Jim Hood. “If there is a scam operating, at least we can inform folks and hopefully cut down on future victims.”

Insurance Commissioner George Dale said it was one thing for a recipient to be unhappy with their plan and want to make a change, but “in some of the cases we’re investigating, people were told that their current coverage was about to expire and they needed to switch. They felt they were misled.”

Both officials said residents should not buy insurance coverage from someone who shows up uninvited. They also suggested that individuals “seek the advice of someone you know and trust before making a switch.”

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