Fraudsters using ‘doughnut hole’ checks to con seniors

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 10:45pm
Staff reports

Seniors may be anxious to receive rebate checks going out to some Medicare recipients, but the state Attorney General says con artists are preying on those who need help with prescription coverage.

“If someone promises to help you get one of these rebate checks for a fee, or tells you that you need to fill out a form or give them your Social Security or Medicare number, it’s a scam,” said Attorney General Bob Cooper. “Don’t fall for it.”

About 85,000 Tennesseans — part of 4 million Americans — will receive a check for $250 between now and the end of 2010. The checks are a down payment to help close a gap in Medicare Part D prescription coverage.

Seniors fall into the “doughnut hole” once they’ve spent $940 in out-of-pocket drug costs. They are responsible for $3,610 in total costs before Medicare coverage kicks in again.

The first batch of checks will be mailed Thursday and more will go out monthly through the remainder of 2010.

Cooper urges Tennessee seniors to immediately report scammers to local law enforcement and to the state Division of Consumer Affairs (1-800-342-8385 or www.tn.gov/consumer).