Sunday, December 09, 2007

Medicare: Drug Insurance Swindlers

Trust officers may want to warn elderly beneficiaries to keep their guard up. As a Sunday Journal article reports, it's Medicare Drug Insurance Swindle Season:
Holiday season coincides with the open enrollment period for Medicare prescription drug coverage, and regulators are warning that an increasing number of unscrupulous insurance agents also view it as open season for preying on older adults.

The wrongdoing, among other activities, involves violating federal regulations against door-to-door selling of coverage and the forging of signatures. "It's the wild, wild West out there," says Mary Jo Hudson, director of the Ohio Department of Insurance.
Most popular scam: Selling Medicare Advantage programs disguised as regular prescription-drug programs.

Like the subprime-mortgage brokers of yesteryear, drug swindlers have visions of the Good Life dancing in their heads: "Critics say that driving the unscrupulous sales practices are commission structures that favor promoting one plan over another no matter what the needs of an applicant. Insurance companies also hold contests to push their products that promise salespeople prizes like trips to Las Vegas."

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