Medicare open enrollment started Friday, a critical health insurance program for elder rural residents. AARP’s Sean Voskuhl said it’s important for rural residents to review their Medicare plan each year to find potential costs savings.

“One of the most important health decisions you can make is enrolling in Medicare. Whether you’re enrolling in Medicare for the first time or looking to make changes to your current plan, it’s important to understand how the program works in order to make an informed decision.”

However, Medicare scams spike during open enrollment season with scammers posing as insurance providers calling and emailing about free gifts or limited time offers. These scams, Voskuhl noted, are designed to capture information to bill Medicare for bogus services and treatment.

“You may receive calls, texts or even personal visits from scammers offering screening, medical equipment or promoting a Medicare plan. In short, the scammers are trying to steal your personal information. Be suspicious of anyone who calls, emails or visits you promoting a Medicare plan. Legitimate health plans can only contact you if you’ve requested information.”

Voskuhl added AARP has valuable information on its AARP’s Medicare Resource Center Website to help you navigate your Medicare plan.

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