Many Americans are still very confused by the regulations associated with the Affordable Care Act. Adding to this confusion is the initial glitches associated with HealthCare.org, the federal health insurance website, and scammers looking to benefit from individuals’ lack of comprehension pertaining to the new policy. Unfortunately, with so many changes being made related to Medicare, seniors are particularly susceptible to fraud.
The first thing for seniors to know is that the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” does not directly affect Medicare. Those enrolled in Medicare don’t have to replace their Medicare coverage with Marketplace coverage. No matter how Medicare coverage is obtained, whether through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan, seniors will still have the same benefits they have now. That means, patients of Liberty HomeCare & Hospice that utilize Medicare to cover the cost of their home health care services or hospice services will still receive the same great care they have come to expect.
Another scam that has been utilized is people claiming to be a Medicare representative who needs to update the senior’s information because of the new legislation or send them their new “Obamacare insurance card.” Seniors should be suspicious of these types of inquiries. There is no card associated with the Affordable Care Act, and the federal government rarely calls Medicare recipients regarding their coverage. If updates need to be made to a Medicare account, the federal government typically sends an official letter requesting that an individual contact them directly.
The best way to ward off scammers is to become knowledgeable on how the Affordable Care Act impacts Medicare and what it requires. In addition, seniors should be wary of any unsolicited calls, emails or direct mail marketing from so-called government agencies or pushy insurance salesman. And never give personal information, including a Medicare insurance number to someone that makes direct contact via phone. If you do receive a call, ask to call back and confirm the phone number or website is accurate.
There is a lot of uncertainty associated with the Affordable Care Act and it’s important that our seniors remain safe from fraud.