How To Avoid Medicare Fraud
If you or a loved one relies on Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans, then you will want to be on the lookout for Medicare insurance fraud. This form of fraud comes in multiple formats, but they all involve someone attempting to get paid for services they aren't entitled to under the Medicare insurance system. Here is how to avoid Medicare fraud.
Protect The Medicare Insurance Number
The number one way to avoid the most common Medicare insurance scams is to protect your or your loved one's Medicare insurance number from those that don't need it. Many scams involve attempting to pressure or coerce seniors for their Medicare numbers after offering "opportunities" for free lunch or medical supplies. They may also send fake letters or phone calls that claim to be from medical providers needing their Medicare number. Additionally, they may offer money in exchange for the Medicare number - this is like getting paid for your credit card number, except you and the scammer would both be defrauding the federal government.
Check For Provider Scams
Another way to avoid Medicare fraud is by double-checking that the healthcare providers being used aren't attempting to bill Medicare for services that shouldn't be billed. This can include but is not limited to providers billing Medicare for services that were never given, those similar but not the same as what you were actually given, or even continuing to bill for medical equipment you or your loved one have returned. Additionally, if a medical provider claims that a service is "not usually" covered, but they can bill you so that you don't have to pay, that's a scam - there are no loopholes for Medicare billing.
Ask For Help, Or Give It
One of the best ways to ensure that little to no Medicare fraud is done against you or your loved one is to a) ask for help, if you have Medicare, or b) help your loved ones that are covered. This can help everyone involved avoid overpaying for medical expenses or being a victim of fraud. For example, having more than one person look over a contract with your supplemental insurance is a great way to make sure there aren't hidden clauses that allow for insurance agents to act on behalf of you or your loved one. Additionally, many instances of fraud can be caught by looking over your medical bills and ensuring everything is correct.
If you suspect or detect Medicare insurance fraud, then you should call the Social Security Administration and report it. Or, if you have questions about Medicare, reach out to a local insurance provider.