Category Archives: Medicare Scams

New Medicare Scam Offers “Free” Glucose Monitor to Seniors

Seniors with Medicare benefits should beware of unsolicited phone calls offering a free new glucose monitoring meter for diabetics.

According to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, the offer is a Medicare scam designed to convince unsuspecting elderly victims to give up their Medicare number.

The caller claims to be from a government agency and says that they are informing seniors who have Medicare B coverage that they are eligible for the new glucose meter. That’s the bait. The hook is when the caller asks you to confirm that “you are who you say you are” by giving them your Medicare number.

Don’t bite! This classic “free offer” scam depends on the fact that — despite all warnings to the contrary — people still want to believe that they can get something for free. Especially something they consider an entitlement, like Medicare benefits.

Medicare NEVER makes calls to beneficiaries out of the blue. All official Medicare business is conducted by mail.

Scam artists may offer bogus products and services, pretend to be federal officials or insurance company representatives, or even set up fake health screening booths to steal Medicare numbers.

Consumers should always check their Medicare Summary Notices to make certain that they or their doctors have authorized the charges shown.

Common Medicare scams include:

• Sales pitches for discounted prescription drugs that never arrive.

• Telemarketers selling unnecessary Medicare-covered products or services, such as “Medicare Arthritis Kits” which do not exist.

• Offers of help in applying for Medicare-issued checks to cover prescription costs, even though Medicare provides the checks automatically to eligible individuals who reach a gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage known as the “donut hole.”

• Free health screening booths at malls or other public places are usually safe, but scams do exist. Consumers should make sure that the screeners
represent a legitimate organization such as a local hospital or public health center before they provide their Medicare numbers.

Scam artists use Medicare and Social Security Numbers to submit fake bills or commit identity theft; and some may use banking information to charge consumers for products that are never delivered.

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Here’s another reason to protect yourself or your aging parent or loved one from Medicare scams… Having your Medicare number stolen may just be the beginning of a bigger nightmare.

Scammers who target the elderly are always looking for gullible victims who can be conned again and again. If they can get a senior’s Medicare number, why not go back to the well for a social security card or checking account number?

If you suspect Medicare fraud, call your state Attorney General’s office. You can also report Medicare fraud to the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Health and Human Services Agency.

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Medicare Scam Prevention: Always Review Medicare Statements Promptly

Have you checked your Medicare Summary Notice statement recently? If you haven’t, do it now. A lot of medicare fraud goes undetected for the simple reason that too many seniors don’t bother to look for strange or questionable Medicare charges on their statements.

One of the more common health-insurance frauds involves durable medical equipment such as a motorized scooter or walkers. Medicare may be billed fraudulently for services or equipment that were never authorized by a medical doctor or billed for equipment that was never received. Or a corrupt provider may submit a bogus Medicare claim form with an unauthorized signature of a doctor.

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Think that Medicare fraud doesn’t affect you just because the money isn’t coming out of your personal bank account? You may feel differently when your claim for a wheelchair or walker is denied because some scammer has already charged that critical equipment to your account.

Your Medicare account information can be just as valuable to an identify thief as a credit card number. Guard it like gold — especially from telemarketers pitching “free” medical supplies or services like blood sugar tests. And be sure to open and review your Medicare Summary Notice statements when they arrive. Report any suspicious billing activity to Medicare’s fraud hotline at 800-447-8477.

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The Personal Price Seniors Pay for Medicare Scams and Fraud

Medicare fraud scams are spreading like wildfire. But most people do not understand how dangerous Medicare fraud really is — until Medicare refuses to pay for vital services or equipment that you or your aging parent or grandparent really need.

That’s what happened to one elderly man in Chicago when he tried to buy a wheelchair, and was informed by Medicare that he’d already bought one…

Someone had used the man’s Medicare number to submit an invoice for an expensive wheelchair and cashed in when Medicare paid $4,487, according to records that Davis subsequently obtained. It’s not clear who that individual was or whether the equipment was ever delivered.

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Medicare fraud is NOT a victimless crime. Not when every dollar that is stolen by scammers is one less dollar that can pay for legitimate Medicare claims. And not when Medicare fraud delays or denies you or an elderly family member from getting the benefits you are counting on.

For more info on how to protect, detect, and report Medicare Fraud, check out the Senior Medicare Patrol, a volunteer organization sponsored by the Administration on Aging.

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Medicare Scams Target Unsuspecting Elderly

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, each year Medicare loses about $60 billion to fraud and abuse. No wonder so many elderly Americans are being targeted by Medicare scams.ᅠ

One of the simplest scams is a caller offering free things, such as a blood-pressure monitor, but saying they need a Medicare number – which is no better than handing out a Social Security number.

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Another classic Medicare scams involve someone calling to “confirm” your Medicare information. Or an official-looking email directs you to click on a link that will allow you to update or correct your Medicare information.

Don’t do it! Medicare will NEVER call or email to request personal financial information. They only conduct business by mail.

Guard your Medicare number and Medicare Summary Notices like you would your social security number or credit card number. They are just as valuable to a scammer. Click here for tips on how to protect yourself, or an elderly parent from Medicare scams and fraud.

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