Carson City, NV - October 23, 2014
Seniors who would
like to review and possibly change their Medicare health and prescription drug
coverage for 2015 can now do so until Dec. 7, 2014 when the Medicare Open
Enrollment period closes.
options and costs change annually, so enrollees are encouraged to review their
options. However, seniors who are happy with the coverage they have now do not
need to do anything during the Medicare Open Enrollment period.
selections can be made at Medicare.gov by December 7, 2014.
If you enroll in or make changes to your plan during the
annual open enrollment period, your new coverage begins Jan. 1, 2015. You
should continue to pay premiums for your old coverage through Dec. 31, 2014.
Picking a Medicare
plan can be confusing; and to help seniors, the Nevada Division of Insurance
has the following advice to help seniors avoid fraud and pick the best plan
that matches their needs.
Help making your decision
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provides
information, counseling and assistance to Medicare Beneficiaries in Nevada
through a statewide network of volunteers. SHIP Volunteers offer free
one-on-one assistance and counseling about problems seniors encounter regarding
Medicare, supplemental health insurance and long-term care.
SHIP can be contacted statewide at (800) 307-4444 or in Las Vegas
at (702) 486-3478. Northern Nevada SHIP can be reached at (877) 385-2345.
Information is also available on the web at http://www.nvaging.net/ship/ship_main.htm.
Know your rights
State and federal rules are in place to protect consumers against
abuses in the marketing and sales of Medicare prescription drug plans and
Medicare Advantage plans. Individuals who contact you about any type of private
- Must be licensed by the state. Check with
Nevada’s Division of Insurance to make sure the salesperson is licensed as
an agent at doi.nv.gov/licensing-search/ or by calling the Division at (888) 872-3234.
- May not make unsolicited contact such as
door-to-door sales, cold calls or approaching you in a parking lot.
- Must have made an appointment before coming to
- Must arrange in advance the type of products
that will be discussed during a scheduled sales appointment. At the
appointment, the salesperson may only try to sell you the types of
insurance agreed upon by you in advance.
- May not try to sell you non-health care
related products (like a life insurance policy or an annuity) during a
sales or marketing presentation of a Medicare prescription drug or
Medicare Advantage plan.
- May not attempt to sell you a plan in a doctor’s
office, pharmacy or at an educational event.
- May not offer you free meals at promotional or
- May not offer you gifts or other promotional
items whose value is in excess of $15.
Beware Medicare Fraud
To protect yourself from scam artists intent on taking advantage
you, here are some additional tips to avoid becoming a victim:
of door-to-door sales people. Remember, agents cannot solicit business at
your home without an appointment. Do not allow uninvited agents into your
not give out personal information, such as Social Security numbers, bank
account numbers or credit card numbers to anyone you have not verified as
a licensed agent. People are not allowed to request such
personal information in their marketing activities and cannot ask for
payment over the internet. They
must send you a bill. Once you decide to purchase a plan and have
verified that the agent is licensed, you may give the agent personal
information to assist in enrollment and billing.
that the plan you have chosen is an approved Medicare plan. All
of the approved plans are available at Medicare.gov or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE
The Nevada Division of Insurance has a guide to buying Medicare
Supplement Insurance online at doi.nv.gov/Consumers/Medicare-Supplement/;
consumers can also call the Division at (888) 872-3234 with
questions about Medicare Supplement Insurance. For more
information about your Medicare prescription drug options, including an online
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder, go to Medicare.gov.
Nevada Division of Insurance
The State of Nevada Division of Insurance is a division of the Nevada
Department of Business and Industry. It is the state agency that protects the rights of
Nevada consumers and regulates Nevada’s $11.5 billion insurance industry. It
has offices in Carson City and Las Vegas. In 2013, the
Division investigated more than 2,300 consumer complaints and recovered nearly
$4.4 million on behalf of consumers. Download the Division’s smartphone app NDOI Connect today in the Apple App
Store and Google Play.