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Medicare Annual Election Period and Shopping Bus resumes

Lise-Anne Deoul, Director - Columnist
Posted 10/8/20

Medicare Annual Election Period (Formally known as Medicare Open Enrollment) is October 15th-December 7th, 2020

Insurance companies selling Medicare private plans (which include Part D and …

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Medicare Annual Election Period and Shopping Bus resumes

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Medicare Annual Election Period (Formally known as Medicare Open Enrollment) is October 15th-December 7th, 2020

Insurance companies selling Medicare private plans (which include Part D and Medicare Advantage plans) must follow certain rules when promoting their products. These rules are meant to prevent plans from presenting misleading information about a plan's costs or benefits. This is also known as marketing fraud.

Medicare private plans are allowed to conduct certain activities. For instance, companies can market their plans through direct mail, radio, television, and print advertisements. Plans can also send emails, but they must provide an opt-out option in the email for people who do not wish to receive them. Agents can also visit your home if you invite them for a marketing appointment.

Insurance agents cannot:

• Call you if you do not give them permission to do so

• Visit you in your home, nursing home, or other place of residence without your invitation

• Ask for your financial or personal information (like your Social Security number, Medicare number, or bank information) if they call you

• Provide gifts or prizes worth more than $15 to encourage you to enroll. Gifts or prizes that are worth more than $15 must be made available to the general public, not just to people with Medicare

• Disregard federal and state consumer protection laws for telemarketing, the National Do-Not-Call registry, or do-not-call-again requests

• Market their plans at education events or in health care settings (except in common areas)

• Sell you life insurance or other non-health products at the same appointment (known as cross-selling), unless you request information about such products

• Compare their plan to another plan by name in advertising materials

• Use the term “Medicare-endorsed” or suggest that their plan is a preferred Medicare plan

• Plans can use Medicare in their names as long as it follows the plan name (for example, the Acme Medicare plan) and the usage does not suggest that Medicare endorses that particular plan above other Medicare plans

• Imply that they are calling on behalf of Medicare

If you feel a plan or agent has violated Medicare's marketing rules, you should save all documented proof, when available, such as an agent's business card, the plan's marketing materials, and your phone call records. Report the activity to 1-800-MEDICARE or your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 877-808-2468.

Keep an eye out for more articles regarding the Medicare Annual Election Period. We look forward to assisting you.

We are very pleased to announce that the shopping bus will resume on a modified schedule as of October 13th. Please dial 807-0244 to make a reservation at least 3 business days prior (example, Thursday rides must be confirmed by Monday, Tuesday rides must be confirmed by the prior Thursday)

• Shopping runs will start at 7:30 a.m. instead of 8 a.m.

• Riders will get an hour and a half to do their shopping.

• Buses will be limited from 5 to 6 people due to social distancing, and seats will be marked. All riders are required to wear masks.

• The amount of allowed shopping bags is being increased from 5 to 8.

• Shoppers will be limited to two runs per bus per day. A waitlist will be maintained for any last-minute cancellations and to provide priority for the next ride available. Please only make a reservation if you're absolutely sure you will be able to keep it.

• The routes will remain the same as prior to closing, but on a modified schedule

(Please note: Route 2 Highland Area and Route 5 Town of Delaware are open to the general public. Please check www.sullivanny.us/Departments/Transportation for pick up locations. The same reservation procedures apply.)

• Route 1 (October 13, October 29, November 19, December 10)

A. Town of Fallsburg - Woodridge, Mountaindale & South Fallsburg.

B. Town of Rockland - Livingston Manor & Roscoe.

• Route 2 (October 15, November 5, November 24, December 15)

A. Highland Area - Narrowsburg, Eldred, Barryville, Glen Spey, and some surrounding areas

B. Town of Thompson - Monticello, Mongaup Valley.

• Route 3 (October 20, November 10, December 1, December 17)

A. Town of Bethel - Smallwood, Cochecton, Bethel Senior Housing and White Lake.

B. Town of Neversink - Neversink, Grahamsville, Foxcroft Village.

• Route 4 (October 22, November 12, December 3, December 22)

A. Town of Liberty - Liberty, Golden Park, Barkley Gardens & White Sulphur Springs

B. Town of Mamakating - Summitville, Wurtsboro & Bloomingburg.

• Route 5 (October 27, November 17, December 8, December 29)

A. Town of Delaware - Fremont, Callicoon, Hankins, Jeffersonville.

B. Liberty Village Apartments, Hurleyville, Loch Sheldrake and Kiamesha Lake.

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