Protect Yourself From Medicare Fraud
Con artists may try to get your Medicare Number or personal information so they can steal your identity to commit Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud results in higher health care costs and taxes for everyone. Guard your Medicare card like it’s a credit card. Remember:
- Medicare will never contact you for your Medicare Number or other personal information unless you’ve given them permission in advance.
- Medicare will never call you to sell you anything.
- Medicare will never visit you at your home.
- Medicare can’t enroll you over the phone unless you called first.
Medicare Fraud DOs
- Do hang up on unsolicited calls offering you a medical device that will be billed to Medicare.
- Do carefully review MSNs and EOBs. Call Medicare (800-633-4227) or your insurance company if you see claims for supplies or services you don’t recognize.
- Do be aware that if you accept an offer of medical equipment, you could be responsible for up to 20 percent of the Medicare-approved cost of the item.
Medicare Fraud DON’Ts
- Don’t give your Medicare or insurance number to strangers.
- Don’t order durable medical equipment over the phone unless advised to do so by your physician.
- Don’t accept delivery of medical equipment unless it was ordered by your doctor.
- Don’t be swayed by scare tactics, such as claims by an equipment provider that you should get a device now because Medicare is running out of money. Charging Medicare for equipment for future use, before your doctor certifies it as medically necessary, is illegal.
If you get one of these calls, immediately hang up. Here are some other steps you can take:
- Call your doctor and tell him or her about the attempted scam
- Call the Medicare fraud hotline: 800-633-4227 (800-MEDICARE)
- File a complaint at BBB.org/complain
- Get help from Senior Medicare Patrols: 877-808-2468 or smpresource.org
- Report the fraud to the FBI at 800-Call-FBI
Check regularly for Medicare billing fraud, review your Medicare claims and Medicare Summary Notices for any services billed to your Medicare Number you don’t recognize and report anything suspicious to Medicare.
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