Today is the first day for Americans to enroll in the new federal Medicare D health insurance program, and fraud perpetrators also will be on the prowl, according to Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger.
"We know there will be fraudulent plans attempted," Praeger said during an appearance Monday night before about 35 people at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.
Praeger, a Lawrence resident and former state senator, said people should be wary about giving personal information out to the wrong people.
As for Medicare D, Praeger noted that those eligible have until May 15 to sign up for the program. There are a lot of options available and a lot of provisions to consider for those with eligibility.
"It is very complicated," Praeger said.
Eventually the federal government will probably realize Medicare D options and provisions need to be simplified, she said.
So far there are a little more than a dozen companies registered in Kansas to sell Medicare D, she said.
On other insurance issues, Prager noted that there are 45 million Americans who are uninsured and 300,000 of them are in Kansas.
"That's too many," she said. "One of the problems is low wages. Most uninsured Kansans work for small companies."
Children make up 75,000 of the uninsured in the state.
"We can do better," Praeger said.
Insurance is a $10 million industry in Kansas, Praeger said.