This year, Medicare open enrollment begins about a month earlier. Starting October 15, and running until December 7, those over the age of 65 or younger people with disabilities will have a chance to change their Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plans for 2012.
Open enrollment basically gives you a chance to review your current Medicare plan and pick a different plan if it works better for you. This option is only available once a year, so you should choose wisely. In addition, as plans often change annually, you should review your current plans even if you were happy in the past year.
As the open enrollment period is about to begin, this is also a good time to remind you of Medicare fraud and the importance of reporting Medicare fraud.
So, as you review your plans, you should also review your Medicare claims. Check the claims to make sure they are accurate and that you were billed for the services and equipment that you actually wanted or received.
Oftentimes, a clerical error may have led to a billing error. However, in some circumstances, you have been unwittingly involved in Medicare fraud. For example, an Illinois man was recently arrested for repackaging penis pumps to seniors as a healthcare device at a one thousand percent markup.
If you find billing errors, you should contact the provider to explain the mix-up. If you are unsatisfied with the explanation, you can report suspected fraud by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
The Medicare open enrollment period is an important time for eligible members to make changes to their plans. As you review your plan, you should also look out for Medicare fraud and know about reporting Medicare fraud.