Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones warned seniors and their advocates to beware of shady sales practices during the 2012 annual open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage Plans and the Medicare Prescription Drug Program. Open enrollment begins October 15 and runs through December 7. Jones offers these tips:
• Medicare has no official sales representatives so the program doesn’t send people to solicit your business.
• Federal regulations prohibit unsolicited sales calls or marketing in educational or care settings.
• Guard your personal information. Never give out your social security number, bank account numbers, or credit card information over the telephone.
• Verify that the person you are dealing with has proper authority to act on behalf of the plan.
• Federal Regulations also prohibit offers of free meals for listening to sales presentations or for signing up in a particular plan.
Jones urges the public to report deceptive practices to the Department at 1-800-927-HELP (4357). Consumers can also visit our web site at www.insurance.ca.gov