Students from University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law and Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will host a Medicare Outreach and Health Fair 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Oct. 26 at the law school.
Pacific McGeorge, Pharmacy Host Medicare Outreach, Health Fair
Each year during the fall Medicare open enrollment period the number of Medicare scams targeting seniors soars. This year scammers are also taking advantage of implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Although Medicare open enrollment doesn't begin until Oct. 15 and the health care reform's Covered California opens October, the scamming has already started.
That is why students from University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law and Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will host a Medicare Outreach and Health Fair 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Oct. 26 at the law school.
Pharmacy students will evaluate existing Medicare Part D plan, review medications to make sure they are safe taken together, and provide flu vaccines and health screenings. McGeorge students will answer question regarding rights as a Medicare beneficiary, provide information on how to appeal denials of care, and provide instruction on how to identify Medicare and Affordable Act scams. Appointments for services provided by the Pharmacy students are recommended. Call 209.932.2958 to schedule an appointment.
Often in these scams the perpetrator poses as the government or a member of a health care plan. According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers have already begun calling Medicare beneficiaries, posing as the government, saying that they need the beneficiary's Medicare and credit information because of changes due to the new health care reform law. In one scam, the imposter claims that all Medicare beneficiaries will be receiving new Medicare cards because of the new law and asks the beneficiary to verify his or her Medicare number, which is the same as a person's Social Security number.
It's not just Medicare beneficiaries who are being targeted by scammers this year. In another scam, the caller poses as a federal employee and states that the individual will be receiving a new federal health insurance card under the Affordable Care Act. The caller says he or she needs additional information including personal information and bank account numbers. There is no federal health insurance card and the government will not be contacting people for personal or banking information.
Another scam starting to appear is fake online health exchanges. Covered California is the official state health care exchange, which will open in October 2013. The fake sites use similar wording such as "exchange" in the page heading. It is anticipated that the number of fake exchanges will increase in the coming months. Visit the official Covered California website at http://www.coveredca.com/.
To avoid becoming a victim of one of these scams, seniors and others should never reveal their Medicare card number, which is the same as the Social Security number, or other personal health and financial information to anyone who makes contact over the phone or the internet. The government will not contact beneficiaries by phone, email or visit the home asking for verification of Social Security and Medicare numbers.
Signs of a Medicare or Affordable Care Act Scam1
- Demand for Medicare or Social Security Numbers
- Unsolicited offer to sign up for the new health insurance plans before October
- Statements that the Affordable Care Act requires revealing or confirming personal or financial information
- Statements that the Affordable Care Act requires purchasing new health insurance
- Unsolicited calls, emails, or visits from someone who claims to be a representative of the federal government about the Affordable Care Act
- Unsolicited calls, emails or visit from someone claiming to be a "navigator" under the new law or a "representative of the new 'exchange'
What: Health Fair for Seniors and Other Medicare Beneficiaries
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
Where: Pacific McGeorge School of Law Student Center
3200 Fifth Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Other Medicare Part D events:
In addition to this event, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will conduct additional Medicare Part D Outreach Events throughout the region during the Medicare open enrollment period. During these events, pharmacy students and faculty will assist Medicare beneficiaries to identify the Part D plan associated with the lowest estimated annual cost based on a beneficiary's prescription medication profile and their personal preferences (e.g., preferred pharmacy). They will also help beneficiaries with new plan enrollment, help them determine if they qualify for the low-income subsidy to further offset the cost of their medications, and share other cost-savings strategies. Expanded services include a comprehensive evaluation of their prescription medications, as well as health screenings and vaccinations. View more on the schedule of Medicare Part D events, visit Calendar.Pacific.edu or Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Medicare Part D Outreach website.
1 California Health Advocates. "New Health Care Reform Scams Target the Young and Old". July 25, 2013. http://www.cahealthadvocates.org/news/fraud/.