Nowadays, nothing is out of reach of fraudsters, including Medicare program. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has warned consumers against callers who claim to be insured by Medicare and who request personal information such as social security and bank account number. Some seniors reported receiving phone calls offering “free” health items, or saying “all seniors were receiving a new card on Medicare” and requesting personal financial information for verification purposes.
“Consumers should be wary of calls from anyone who claim to be Medicare representative,” said Kim States, president of BBB. As a general rule, Medicare does not make unsolicited calls to update information, issue a new card or offer free medical devices. You should call the elderly and call a Medicare number if they have questions about their benefits. “
BBB warns that callers may have information from public databases making the call seemingly legitimate. The following tips are provided by BBB to protect your personal information and against Medicare scammers: Medicaid, Medicare, and the Social Security Administration will at no time call to issue a new card or update information. When you receive a call, hang up and report it to the Medicare and Medicaid service centers.
Medicare scams usually involve some form of identity theft. Do not share personal information with unknown callers. If you do not know if a call is genuine, hang up and seek for confirmation by checking with BBB or calling the agency. Pay attention to someone who offers you something “free” in exchange for your Medicare number. Remember that Medicare does not pay for medical equipment without a doctor’s signature confirming that it is necessary.
Review your medical expenses, your Medicare summary notes, and your insurance policies explaining the benefits of medical devices or service fees you have not collected. If you find doubtful commissions, contact your doctor immediately. Transmit information about insurance / Medicare only to people who have provided medical services in the past.
Keep correct records of medical appointments, medical devices and procedures.
Ask your doctor how much they charge and how much you have to pay in your pocket.
Never append your signature on blank Medicare insurance forms.
Make sure your health care provider has approval from Medicare.
Contact the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Health on its website to lodge a report on suspected Medicare fraud.
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