One of the most common scams surrounding Medicare is an identity theft scam. A phone call to an elderly person will tell them that new cards are being sent out for Medicare and they just need the elder’s Medicare number and name to make sure they get their new card. This creates fear in the elder and they may immediately provide this information to the caller. The problem, this is not really a representative of Medicare, it is a scammer. Medicare will never call and ask for personal information.
Medicare fraud is when Medicare is billed for services that elders did not receive. For example, a provider may provide in-home massages but they bill it to Medicare as physical therapy. Dishonest persons, who receive kickbacks, will sometimes order inferior medical supplies while billing for the higher quality medical supplies that were recommended by a physician or care provider.
Another type of Medicare fraud comes in the calls or insurance agents offering to review the elder’s insurance policies. There are legitimate insurance agents so this can be a tricky situation. Insurance sales is biased and there are many types of policies which may or may not meet the needs of your loved one. Any legitimate insurance agent will not use pressure sales tactics or put deadlines on making a decision that is different than Medicare enrollment dates.
More and more Medicare scams are presenting themselves. It is important to understand what scams look like to be ready to avoid them.