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Phone scam, file photo

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Question: I receive daily calls from a number I don’t recognize. They leave voice messages saying, “We can help alleviate your pain and increase mobility. This is your final notice. If you don’t act soon, Medicare will label you ineligible for coverage. Press 1 now to speak with me or another pain specialist, or press 9 to be put on the do not call list.” I don’t want to answer these calls and believe them to be a scam. I’m not even on Medicare yet but want to know: can Medicare really label someone ineligible for coverage if they don’t respond to this caller?

Answer: These are calls from scammers attempting to trick you into giving them personally identifying information. To answer your question, no, Medicare will not label you ineligible for coverage if you don’t respond to these calls. There are many agencies to contact for help if you are concerned about a call you received. AARP, The Better Business Bureau and the local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) office is probably best. SHIP can be reached through the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments’ Area Agency on Aging at 471-2096 for questions. Always initiate contact with Medicare yourself, or they will contact you via mail. They rarely, if ever, call unannounced.

Rebecca Blair is a Senior Advocate at the Community of Caring Foundation Aspen Mine Center. Contact her with questions on senior living in Teller County at rebecca@aspenminecenter.org or 689-3584, ext. 101.

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