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Consumer Advisory: Medicare Discount Drug Card Scams
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jim Poolman
March 26, 2004 701-328-2440


Bismarck, ND - Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman today issued a consumer advisory relating to Medicare discount drug cards claiming to be "Medicare Approved." Poolman said he wants to make sure that people know what to look out for so they are able to protect themselves from these types of scams. 

The Insurance Department has recently learned that alleged scams are occurring and seniors are the main target. 
Even though Medicare has just published its list of approved card sponsors, these scams are proliferating and are showing up here in North Dakota. The basic drill is that the individual is contacted, either door-to-door, by mail, or telephone and are asked to sign up for a card. They are charged for the card and are promised discounts on prescriptions or free medications that they never receive."

Poolman stressed that approved Medicare discount drug card sponsors will never call people on the phone or go door-to-door. In addition, he said that individuals can check the Medicare approved sponsor list and that Medicare recipients will be able to check to find out if the solicitation is legitimate.

Poolman added, "We know that many seniors are confused about how the new discount drug card works. I want to urge anyone with questions about the card to contact the Insurance Department. It is our responsibility to make sure that no North Dakota senior is taken advantage of.

Seniors are urged to contact the Department at 1.800.247.0560 or visit our website at http://www.state.nd.us/ndins/ or contact Medicare at 1.800.medicare or visit their website atwww.medicare.gov.

The list of approved sponsors is available at this link: www.hhs.gov/news/press/2004pres/20040325.html

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North Dakota Insurance Department
600 E. Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505-0320
Phone 701.328.2440
Toll free 800.247.0560
Fax 701.328.4880

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