Medicare fraud causes health care costs and taxes to rise each year so it’s important to know what to look for and how to avoid it. Scammers try to get your Medicare card number or your social security number to steal your identity and commit Medicare fraud.
New Medicare Cards 2018
Medicare is mailing out new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. Be on the lookout for your new Medicare card with a new number. Check your mail often so it doesn’t sit in the mailbox for a long period of time.
What to Look for in Medicare Fraud Cases
- When you use a health care service, mark the date on the calendar and keep track of receipts and statements
- You can use that information to compare dates on your calendar when you receive your Medicare statement
- Check your claims early and often. If you see an error, report it right away to help stop the fraud. You can view your claims by logging into MyMedicare.gov or call 1-800-633-4227.
- Report fraud by calling 1-800-633-4227 or online to the Office of the Inpector General
How to Avoid Medicare Fraud
To avoid Medicare fraud, follow these tips carefully.
- Protect your Medicare Number and your Social Security Number. Treat your Medicare Card as if it’s a credit card.
- Nothing is ever “free”, so don’t accept offers of money or gifts for medical care.
- Ask lots of questions. Real Medicare people will know the answers to questions about your Medicare account and bills.
- Learn about Medicare. This can help you know what a provider can and can’t bill to Medicare.
- Some providers will tell you that an item or service isn’t usually covered by Medicare but they know how to get them to pay for it. Be cautious of these providers.
- Understand how a plan works before you join it.
- When getting prescriptions, check to make sure you got the right one before you leave and that it is your full prescriptions.
- Report fraud right away.
- Don’t let anyone except your doctor or Medicare providers see your medical records.
- Don’t accept anything from a door-to-door salesman. Medicare doesn’t send representatives door-to-door. So if someone is claiming to be from Medicare at your door, they are a scammer.
- Don’t give your Medicare number, card, or social security number to anyone except to your doctor.
If you are nearing or already 65 and would like more information on Medicare Plans in Washington State, please visit our Overview of Medicare, as well as our guide for those who are New to Medicare. For assistance in choosing a Medicare plan, contact us to get in touch with a licensed insurance agent today!