Posted by Kelly Hokyo
Estimated Reading Time 1 minute 38 seconds
5 Ways to Prevent Medicare Fraud
Posted by Kelly Hokyo
You might be surprised to learn that criminals are after your Medicare information. Why would they even want that? Are they planning to use your plan to obtain medical care?
Well, technically that can happen, when someone is desperate for healthcare services. But in most situations, Medicare information is stolen for more creative purposes. Your card contains information that could help a con artist steal your identity, with the true goal of taking out loans or getting credit cards in your name. And there are fraudulent companies out there, who simply charge their fake products and services to your plan.
Medicare fraud is unbelievably common, and to a large extent you are responsible for protecting your own information. Take these five steps to help prevent fraud.
Keep track of your card. Only carry your card when you need it (for medical appointments, or when you visit the pharmacy). If stolen, the information on your card could be used to commit fraud.
Be wary of cons. Anyone who calls you, pretending to be from Medicare, is likely a con artist. Ditto with companies that call to offer you various products and services. If you need it, talk to your doctor about it. And whatever you do, never give out personal information like your Medicare number over the phone.
Read your Medicare Summary Notices. You should receive these notices from your plan administrator on a regular basis, detailing charges to your plan. If you spot claims that look like errors, report them to the administrator immediately. They could be fraudulent claims.
Be wary of manipulation. Be careful with sales pitches that make you feel emotional. Con artists use your fear to push you into an impulsive decision.
Government agencies will never call you. Scammers will commonly call seniors claiming that they are from Medicare, Social Security, or even the IRS. These agencies will never call or email you. They will communicate in the form of written letters. If you get a call from someone claiming to be from a government agency, the best practice is to just hang up.
And of course, just check with your doctor first! The best person with whom to discuss your healthcare and Medicare information is your personal physician. They can guide you toward the right decisions for your medical needs, without the risk of Medicare fraud.