TOPEKA -- Kansas Attorney General Steve Six and Secretary of Aging Martin Kennedy are warning Kansas seniors to be aware of a variety of fraud schemes tied to the announcement of the first wave of $250 rebate checks for those who fall in the Medicare “donut hole”.
“There are criminals nationwide who will try to prey on seniors receiving this benefit, particularly with harassing phone calls,” said Attorney General Six. “In Kansas, financial abuse of seniors is a serious issue that my office has worked hard to address. Seniors need to be particularly aware this summer of the different ways criminals will try to access personal information.”
Seniors are reminded not to give out their personal information. Six said a common scam related to the $250 donut hole checks was for individuals to convince seniors that the rebate check needed to be transferred to a third party or used to cover specific prescription drug payments. Seniors may also be told that they are required to give out personal information or pay a third party in order to qualify for the rebate.
“It is important that seniors understand they do not have to take any action to receive their rebate,” said Six. “Once you reach the threshold with Medicare, the rebate will be issued automatically. I encourage seniors to educate themselves, and I also encourage Kansans with elderly friends or family members to be aware of these scams and talk to their loved ones about being vigilant.”
Checks will come directly to beneficiaries who qualify for this benefit under the Affordable Care Act. Seniors or family members should contact 1-800-MEDICARE to report any of these types of calls or go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov to learn more about efforts to fight scams like these.
“We also encourage Kansans to contact the Kansas Senior Medicare Fraud Patrol at 1-800-860-5260 if they have concerns or questions,” said Martin Kennedy, Secretary of the Kansas Department on Aging. “Trained volunteers provide individual assistance, problem resolution and education about protecting, identifying and reporting scams.”
On Tuesday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder wrote to Attorney General Six and his colleagues to outline additional steps being taken to cut fraud, waste, and abuse in half by 2012.