Unfortunately, there are people in the world who would rather steal money from others than make money of their own. Stealing from our health care system is increasing through scams run by rogue healthcare providers or others in the healthcare industry who are billing Medicare for unnecessary or non-existent testing, diagnoses and claims. These healthcare industry participants are then pocketing the money they get from Medicare to increase their bottom line. The problem even bigger problem for unwitting individuals is that Medicare then sometimes must cut off coverage and services to the victims of this fraud for future health episodes.
Here’s how Medicare fraud is being perpetrated and the what you can do about it.
1. How is Medicare Fraud Being Perpetrated?
Many scammers are preying on older Americans using cold calls. A scammer will call a person stating there is an issue with the Medicare recipient’s account, then the scammer will ask the Medicare recipient to verify the Medicare number and social security number. The scammer will then have all the information they need to file a claim. Depending on how much information the scammer gets, they may also be able to use it for other financial gains as well like opening credit cards, liquidating bank accounts or other financially destructive acts.
2. What Can We Do?
It is important to be aware that Medicare will NEVER call you on the phone requesting your private Medicare and social security information numbers for a problem with your account. If you receive this type of call; hang up the phone. If you’re comfortable doing so, you can also report the call to Medicare directly or to the Office of the Inspector General.
Additionally, for older Americans who suspect they may have been victims of Medicare fraud or any sort of phishing scheme, there is the option of initiating a credit freeze. A credit freeze is a good remedy for those who may not be in the market for anything requiring a new credit pull, especially if those persons are not hyper-vigilant about checking in on their Medicare accounts and credit reports.
For more information on Medicare fraud and what you can do, check out the articles below: