Beware: Medicare Scams

By: Rae Chelle Davis Email
By: Rae Chelle Davis Email

They may look like ordinary people when they knock on your door but the moment they say they are from Medicare or another Health Provider you should be alert. Scam Artists may even try to contact you via telephone. Most of the time they are seeking your personal information and you should never give it out.

"Many people have the idea that they're going to get money from individuals or get services or commit identity theft," said Darrell Elliott of the Kansas Department of Aging. Their primary targets are the elderly, disabled, and anyone who may be vulnerable.

"Medicare will never contact you on the phone," said Elliott. However, they will correspond through the mail. Therefore, if you do not have a locked mail box you should be sure to check your mail each day so that someone else does not check it for you.

If you believe you have come in contact with a scam artist or to report Medicare Fraud you can call 1-800-860-5260.

Here are some tips to help you detect potential errors, fraud, and abuse:

* Always review your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) and Part D Explanation of benefits (EOB) for mistakes. Access to your current Medicare account is available 24 hours a day by visiting www.mymedicare.gov.

* Compare your MSN and EOB to your personal health care journal and prescription drug receipts to make sure they are correct.

* Look for three things on your billing statement:
1. Charges for something you didn't get.
2. Billing for the same thing twice.
3. Services that were not ordered by your doctor.

Here are some ways you can take an active role in protecting your health care benefits:

* Treat your Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security numbers like a credit card number. Never give these numbers to a stranger.
* Remember: Medicare doesn't call or visit to sell you anything.
* Don't carry your Medicare or Medicaid card unless you will need it.
*Shred personal documents when they are no longer useful.


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