• Distribute information and forms in a retail setting or while participating at a health fair or promotional event.
• Travel to meet Medicare beneficiaries in their home, provided they have been invited.
• Provide consumers information about public assistance programs and help individuals apply for government subsidies.
• Engage in high-pressure sales tactics.
• Send unsolicited emails.
• Collect names, addresses and enrollment applications or conduct sales presentations at a health fair or promotional event.
• Sell products which are not health-related during a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan sales or marketing presentation.
• Provide meals at promotional and sales events.
• Sell products in health care settings (doctors offices, pharmacies, etc.).
• Make misrepresentations or omit information about a comparative Medicare product to induce a person to purchase or change their insurance.
• Solicit door-to-door.
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The Ohio Department of Insurance gives the following advice for protecting yourself:
• Be wary of people who claim they work for Medicare. Medicare representatives do not make house calls or solicit beneficiaries by telephone.
• If someone comes to your home without a scheduled appointment, do not let the individual in your home or provide him or her with personal information.
• Be leery of insurance agents who tell you your enrollment in a Medicare Advantage Plan will not affect your Medicare coverage. When you sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan you will be removed from your traditional Medicare plan and may incur more expenses in terms of deductibles and co-payments.
• Do not be persuaded by an insurance agent who tries to scare you into believing your Medicare rates are going to increase if you do not switch plans immediately.
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• Contact your health care providers to verify they participate in the plan or accept the plan you’re considering.
If you believe you have been the victim of a deceptive sales practice, contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1527.
Need help picking a plan? The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program of the Ohio Department of Insurance provides free information and services to Medicare beneficiaries and the people who care for them at 1-800-686-1578.