Scammers target senior citizens' medical coverage - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Scammers target senior citizens' medical coverage

By Jack Kuenzie - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina has almost 750,000 senior citizens, and many of them are in the process of making critical choices about their medicare coverage.

December is an open enrollment period for Medicare Part "D." and for scammers, that means open season on seniors

When it comes to health care, seniors have all the challenges they can handle. The last thing any of them needs is an encounter with someone operating outside the law, but Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer says it might be happening to older South Carolinians who are trying to sort out their prescription drug plans.

"Anytime you get a few calls, you realize there's a lot of people that don't know to call and complain. So we want to prevent anyone else from being taken advantage of," says Bauer.

Bauer oversees the state's Office on Aging. It's been getting reports that some seniors have been targeted by phone callers posing as Medicare employees.

The callers ask for personal financial information or payments to sign up for Medicare Part "D" plans.

"With 727,000 seniors in South Carolina, there are going to be people who become victims. There are going to be people that give out information and have their identities used in a very inappropriate way and lose financial means over it," says Bauer.

If you're a senior, Medicare representatives can call you to tell you about prescription drug plans but not if you're on the Do Not Call Registry. Representatives cannot call to sign you up and can only enroll you if you call them. Providers cannot ask for payment over the phone or on the Internet. They can't come to your home unless invited, and there's no fee to enroll.

"That generation tends to be very trustworthy. For instance, they will follow anything their doctor tells them whether or not they may for instance have some disagreements with some medication or whatever, but the doctor gave it to them so they won't challenge the physician. So they are also pretty easy to fool sometimes. A lot of them are isolated," says Wendy Jones of Senior Resources in Columbia.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • 'Papa! Papa!' Audio of children stokes rage over separation

    'Papa! Papa!' Audio of children stokes rage over separation

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 1:20 AM EDT2018-06-19 05:20:32 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 1:12 AM EDT2018-06-20 05:12:47 GMT
    (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...(U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...
    An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking cries of small Spanish-speaking children being processed by U.S. officials stoked the uproar over the policy of separating immigrant children from their...More >>
    An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking cries of small Spanish-speaking children being processed by U.S. officials stoked the uproar over the policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.More >>
  • Trump administration pulls US out of UN human rights council

    Trump administration pulls US out of UN human rights council

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:00 PM EDT2018-06-19 16:00:59 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 1:12 AM EDT2018-06-20 05:12:24 GMT
    (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File). FILE - This is a Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2008 file photo, showing a general view of the Human Rights Room (Room XX) at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Diplomats say the United...(Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File). FILE - This is a Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2008 file photo, showing a general view of the Human Rights Room (Room XX) at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Diplomats say the United...
    The Trump administration is poised to announce its departure from the United Nations' main human rights body in its latest withdrawal from an international institution.More >>
    The Trump administration is poised to announce its departure from the United Nations' main human rights body in its latest withdrawal from an international institution.More >>
  • Twin brothers reunited 74 years after WWII death at Normandy

    Twin brothers reunited 74 years after WWII death at Normandy

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 6:00 AM EDT2018-06-19 10:00:39 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 1:12 AM EDT2018-06-20 05:12:20 GMT
    (Susan Lawrence via AP). In this undated photo, provided by family member Susan Lawrence on Wednesday, twin brothers Julius Pieper, left, and Ludwig Pieper in their U.S. Navy uniforms.(Susan Lawrence via AP). In this undated photo, provided by family member Susan Lawrence on Wednesday, twin brothers Julius Pieper, left, and Ludwig Pieper in their U.S. Navy uniforms.
    (Susan Lawrence via AP). In this undated photo, provided by family member Susan Lawrence on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, twin brothers Julius Pieper, left, and Ludwig Pieper in their U.S. Navy uniforms. For decades, he had a number for a name, Unknown X-9...(Susan Lawrence via AP). In this undated photo, provided by family member Susan Lawrence on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, twin brothers Julius Pieper, left, and Ludwig Pieper in their U.S. Navy uniforms. For decades, he had a number for a name, Unknown X-9...

    For decades, he was known only as Unknown X-9352 at a World War II American cemetery in Belgium where he was interred.

    More >>

    For decades, he was known only as Unknown X-9352 at a World War II American cemetery in Belgium where he was interred.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly