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A warning for Tulsa area senior citizens

The Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner is warning seniors to watch out for what she calls unscrupulous insurance sales people. This when there is only one month left for seniors citizens to enroll in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

News on 6 reporter Jennifer Loren talked with the commissioner. She says there are steps you can take to avoid being duped.

As the May 15th deadline draws near, insurance companies that cover Medicare Part D are running more television ads than ever before. But Oklahoma's Insurance Commissioner, Kim Holland, says seniors beware. Some insurance companies will only try to sell you their products, which may not be best for you. "So the senior is not getting, necessarily, the benefit of reviewing multiple products and everything that's available to them and allowing them to make an objective decision."

Holland says there's nothing wrong with the ads. But she says uninformed seniors may then fall victim to unscrupulous sales people who don't give them the full story. They could sell them a plan that's wrong for them. “Our concerns are mostly about more aggressive sales tactics where adequate time is not spent with a beneficiary, a senior, to allow them to make the best choice for them."

That's why the commissioner suggests going to a place like LIFE Senior Services to figure out which plan is best for you. LIFE is a non-profit group that works with the Oklahoma Insurance Commission. They give seniors the free, unbiased advice they need.

Medicare specialist Cindy Loftin: "We do not care who you sign up with. We have no vested interest in any insurance company. What we do care about is that you make the best decision that's right for yourself, whatever that may be."

LIFE counselors go over all the plans and can even walk you through the enrollment process online. They say they've saved seniors thousands of dollars just by finding the right plan for their needs.

If you have any questions about Medicare or feel you've been taken advantage of, the Insurance Commissioner wants to hear from you. You can call 1-800-763-2828 for any Medicare information.

The number for LIFE Senior Services is 664-9000.
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