Weather Alert

Medicare Open Enrollment Begins October 15th

The Missouri Department of Commerce & Insurance is encouraging consumers who are eligible for Medicare to review their plan options and costs during this year’s open enrollment. The open enrollment period, which runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, presents Missourians with the opportunity to change their Part D drug coverage or Medicare Advantage plans. To help consumers choose a plan that best meets their needs, the department offers free assistance to Missourians who are eligible for Medicare and their caregivers through the department’s CLAIM program. CLAIM can also help Missourians on a limited income determine whether they qualify for a Low-Income Subsidy and/or Medicare Savings Programs to offset the cost of their prescription drugs.

Missourians can ask questions by phone or arrange one-on-one counseling by calling 1-800-390-3330 or visiting missouriclaim.org.

“I encourage all Missouri seniors who have Medicare to take time during open enrollment to review their plans,” said Chlora Lindley-Myers, director of the Missouri Department of Commerce & Insurance. “Plans can change from year to year, and what you had last year may not be what best suits your needs this year.”

Director Lindley-Myers warns Missouri seniors, health care providers and others to be wary of unscrupulous sales tactics during the open enrollment period. Protecting your personal information is the best line of defense in the fight against health care fraud and abuse. “Never give your Medicare or Social Security numbers to strangers, especially those offering unverifiable free services,” said Lindley-Myers.

The department offers these tips to keep your personal information safe:

  • Verify that a salesperson is a licensed insurance agent by calling the Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-726-7390.
  • Be cautious of door-to-door sales people. Medicare has no sales representatives, and agents cannot solicit Part D or Medicare Advantage plans at your home without an appointment.
  • Avoid sales people who offer free lunches for listening to a sales presentation. Federal law prohibits offers of free meals in exchange for signing up for a plan or listening to a presentation on Medicare.
  • Do not give out personal information to an unlicensed agent. Sales people are not allowed to ask for your Medicare Number, Social Security, bank account or credit card number during marketing activities. If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare Number or other personal information, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
  • Sales people cannot ask for online payments and must send a bill. Once you decide to buy a plan and have verified the agent is licensed, then you may give the agent personal enrollment and billing information.
  • A Medicare health or drug plan can call you if you’re already a member of the plan. The agent who helped you join can also call you. A customer service representative from 1-800-MEDICARE can call you if you’ve called and left a message or a representative said that someone would call you back.

Consumers with complaints or questions about insurance can contact the department’s Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.


Connect With Us Listen To Us On