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Medicare fraud is an unfortunate reality in the world today. Millions of dollars are lost every year from Medicare scams, and these scams can wreak havoc on the lives of individuals in Montana. Those who dismiss the possibility that they could fall victim are at the highest risk. Be sure to stay vigilant, discuss sensitive information only with people you trust, and take the right steps for your safety.

How to Avoid Medicare Scams in Montana

With Medicare fraud, the first step is admitting that it could happen to you, that way you can take steps to protect your information. Scams can be easily avoided if you take extra precautions and follow a few simple tips:

Common Medicare Scams

While most of the marketing scams listed above pertain to in-person meetings with agents, scammers may try to get information from you in other ways, too. Here are some common scams to be on the lookout for:

Another common phone scam is someone asking “Can you hear me?” They will edit you saying “yes” so that it sounds like you are agreeing to purchase a product or to submit information. If you answer the phone and someone you don’t know asks this, hang up immediately.

Scammers are getting smarter every day and finding new ways to trick Medicare recipients out of their information and money. Take extra precautions with every interaction to make sure your information and identity remain safe.

One crucial way to avoid Medicare fraud is by meeting with a licensed Medicare advisor if you have questions or concerns. When you trust Plan Advisors, you can guarantee that you're getting help from a reputable agent who takes your privacy and Medicare coverage seriously. Find a local trusted Medicare advisor today.

Medicare Scams in Montana

Through Montana Senior Medical Patrol (SMP), senior volunteers help fellow seniors become pro-active consumers identifying potential mistakes, abuse or fraud in medical billing. 

If you are having difficulty with health care bills or fraud, contact your Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-551-3191 during normal business hours for a local volunteer.

Know Your Rights and Avoid Marketing Medicare Scams

During the Annual Enrollment Period, you may hear from your Medicare company or meet in person with a new agent. It is important to understand your rights because at this time there are very specific guidelines that agents are to follow. If they are marketing to you incorrectly, this is a violation of your rights and potentially deceitful.

Here are a few things to note about Medicare marketing during Open Enrollment:

If any agent does ask you questions they’re not supposed to you or anything feels off, it is okay to walk away and find someone else who will treat you with more respect.

If you’re over 65, we’ve entered the season when your mailbox begins to fill up with advertisements from Medicare Plan carriers wanting to show you the many wonderful benefits they have to offer for the upcoming year. While this can be overwhelming, if not annoying, it does provide you reminders of a couple things:

  1. Medicare Advantage Plans are updated EVERY YEAR.
  2. You have an opportunity to review and/or change your plan EVERY YEAR.

Many Medicare beneficiaries have been on the same Medicare Advantage Plan for years, and that’s great! If you are fully satisfied with what your carrier has to offer and the network of physicians that accept your plan, then it’s one less thing for you to worry about. 

But whatever your situation, would it be such a bad idea to take a little time and compare what your plan is offering versus the other options available to you? Probably not.

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

The Medicare ANNUAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD starts on October 15th and ends on December 7th. Within these seven weeks, all Medicare Advantage Plan members are free to decide if they want to keep the plan they have, or choose a new one, to start the upcoming year. 

Medicare Advantage Plan carriers are required to have their new plan benefits published by October 1st. That gives seniors just over two months to complete a plan review.

How Does A Medicare Plan Review Work?

 It is a fairly simple process that takes about 30 minutes of your time. Here are the steps:

  1. Schedule your plan review with your trusted Medicare advisor – if you don’t have one, find a local Medicare advisor today!
  2. Have the following information handy:
    • The name of the Medicare Advantage Plan you are currently on.
    • A list of physicians and facilities you wish to utilize.
    • A list of medications you are taking or considering.
    • A list of special requirements you have (wheelchair, diabetic supplies, etc)
  3.  Decide what is best for you!

A plan review will either leave you confident that you are on the correct plan or it will reveal a plan that is more suitable for you. You really can’t lose!

If you would like to sit down with a local, experienced, and caring Medicare advisor, our team would be happy to schedule a FREE PLAN REVIEW with you. 

Our agents are fully licensed and are knowledgeable on all local Medicare Advantage plans. You could also contact a call center and speak to someone in an entirely different part of the country that may know little about your specific plan or the other available options in the area. But why do that?We can meet with you at our local office, at your home, over the phone, or online. In whatever setting you choose, rest assured that you will be guided by a local agent that can be of service to you year-round and for years to come! Please reach out to us when you’re ready. But remember, the deadline for making a change for next year is December 7th.

Every year there are changes made to Medicare Advantage plans. Sometimes these changes will help you, but other times these changes may mean that something you need is no longer covered by your Medicare plan. That’s why it is so important to take note when your Annual Notice of Change arrives in the mail. 

In many cases, you only have one time a year to make changes to your Medicare plan, so you don’t want to waste the opportunity and be stuck with a plan that is no longer right for you.

Understanding Your Annual Notice of Change Letter

If you have questions about your Annual Notice of Change, we have answers. Whether your Medicare plan is still right for you or you need to make a switch, we’re here to help you understand your letter and make the best decision for your healthcare needs.

What is an Annual Notice of Change?

The Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) is a document that you will receive in the mail, usually before the end of September, listing any changes in your Medicare plan coverage, service area, or costs that will change beginning in January. This notice will help you decide if your plan still meets your needs.

Will I receive an Annual Notice of Change every year? 

Yes – your ANOC letter will come in the mail from your Medicare Advantage plan provider each year before the Annual Enrollment Period. AEP is your opportunity each year to make changes to your plan. It runs from October 15th to December 7th.

Medicare is always changing and an ANOC is your way of seeing what changes will be made to your current plan in the next year so that you can make an informed decision about your healthcare needs.

When do Medicare plan changes take effect?

The changes listed in your ANOC are for the next year. Any changes to costs, coverage, or service area become effective in January. You have until the end of the Annual Election Period, December 7th, to review your coverage and change your Medicare plan.

What do I do when I receive my Annual Notice of Change? 

It is important that you thoroughly review your ANOC for any changes to your Medicare plan. Consider your healthcare needs and make sure that your plan is still the best fit for you. You will want to pay close attention to any changes in costs and coverage. 

If your plan will become too expensive or no longer cover all of your prescription drugs or healthcare providers, then it may be time to switch to a new plan. Even small changes can make a big difference if you have to start paying out of pocket for a medication or health service that was previously covered.

If you are unsure about what all of the changes really mean for you, then you can meet with a Medicare advisor to review your ANOC letter together. They can explain the changes and give you all the information you need to make a decision one way or the other.

Do I have to keep my Medicare plan even if I don't like the changes?

No – the Annual Enrollment Period is your opportunity to find the Medicare plan that best fits your needs. If the changes being made to your current plan don’t help you, then you can find a better plan.

How do I change Medicare plans?

If you are ready to make a change, contact your Medicare agent, or find a local Medicare advisor, so that you can be sure you are switching to the best health coverage for your needs. 

An agent will help you review all of the changes in your ANOC, compare your current plan with your healthcare needs, narrow down your search for a new plan, and can even help you enroll in Medicare plans. They will take the burden off your shoulders so you can go back to enjoying your life.


Concerned your Medicare coverage is no longer right for you? Schedule a meeting to review your benefits with a licensed Medicare advisor to ensure you have the Medicare plan that is right for you. Medicare Annual Enrollment Period ends December 7th, so it's important you review your plan and make any changes before then.

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