Medicare fraud has become an increasingly rampant cause for concern, with the main target being unsuspecting senior citizens. With the pandemic, the cases have once again surged, and the US Department of Health and Human Services has its own specialized Medicare Fraud Strike Force dedicated to bringing the offenders down.
While we should entrust officials to do everything in their power to shut down fraudulent activities, it’s equally as important to understand how these scams occur and avoid falling into their trap. Here’s all you need to know about Medicare fraud.
How Does The Scam Work?
Desperate to get money through illegal and fraudulent ways, scammers are constantly switching their methods when approaching senior citizens and targeting them for their personal identification and money.
From April 2018 to January 2019, Medicare caught wind of the ongoing scams and decided to design new beneficiary cards that would no longer have the patient’s social security number on them. Instead, every beneficiary was assigned a random mix of numbers and letters called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier. During this time, scammers would call and pretend to be representatives of Medicare and would request payments for the new cards being issued to them.
After the card roll out was done, scammers switched their approach and starting calling senior citizens and asking for their details to “activate” the card provided to them. There’s no set script they follow, so it’s important to stay vigilant and practice precautions.
There are some signs that should light up a red flag in your head. Being aware of warning signs helps you thwart any attempts at identity theft. Here are some common warning signs.
- An unexpected call from Medicare.
Medicare employees will only call you if you request them to through their customer service line. They will never call you out of the blue.
- Unknown medical bills
A scammer might try to bill you for medical procedures that you have never received. If you’re unsure, ask them for the specific hospital, time, and treatment. They usually can’t provide the information.
- Threats on call
Getting threatening phone calls about canceling your Medicare coverage is often a tactic that scammers employ. Instead of getting scared, you should hang up and call the Medicare customer service line yourself.
Get Professional Assistance
Most information gets out from corrupt individuals who share private patient data. At Just Ask Wendy, we take care of your private information and are always ready to ask any questions you may have. Get in touch with us today for our Medicare advantage plans billings information.