With the open enrollment period for Medicare having just wrapped up, seniors and many other Medicare beneficiaries can sit back and relax for a while. But with each new year, fraudulent claims are processed by scammers costing billions of government dollars, and driving up premiums unnecessarily in the Medicare system. The following tips and guidelines will make you better informed as to how to detect and prevent Medicare fraud from happening to you:
After receiving your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) and the summary of your Part D plans, ask yourself these questions…
- Did I receive all the services/prescriptions listed?
- Did my doctor order these services?
- Do the prescriptions listed match my prescriptions?
- Are the dates of the services/prescriptions correct?
- Are the dollar amounts shown the same as those on my bill?
Never give out your Medicare card number and your Social Security number to anyone over the phone or in person, unless you initiated the conversation, you know the person, and you write down their name, number, and title. In addition…
- Don’t leave your Medicare number in a phone message.
- Don’t accept any offer of “free” services or supplies in return for your Medicare number.
- Don’t let anyone convince you to see a doctor for a service you don’t need.
Avoid scams that includes the following headlines:
- “It’s free!”
- “We know how to bill Medicare.”
In closing, educate yourself about Medicare and know your rights as well as what type of medical care providers can and cannot offer. Most importantly, ask questions!
Credit source: California Health Advocates (Medicare: Policy, Advocacy, and Education) website.