Posted by LLOYD J CAZES CPA

How to Avoid Medicare Scams

How to Avoid Medicare Scams

Medicare scam this day is taking a new turn. Many unscrupulous beings are in the habit of calling the innocent victim and disguising as Medicare, the insurance company, or even Social Security Administration.

They call and request for your Medicare Number, social security number, or bank account details. They claim this is part of the process to activate your new Medicare card, confirm or claim a cash reward, or even sell you a neck brace.

This is far from the truth and nothing but a pure scam. There are millions of Americans currently enjoying Medicare benefits. Should there be a need to change any detail or update your information, there will be a time scheduled for this, which usually spans about two years or so. Identity thieves and Medicare scammers also know this and also use it to scam innocent people. 

With the above in mind, here are some tips to avoid falling victims of Medicare scams

  • Reject Services You do not Need

In case any service provider is pressuring you to subscribe to services or get tests that you feel you do not need, you have two options. You can outrightly reject the offer or speak to a certified physician to get their opinion.

  • Medicare, the IRS, and other Government Agencies will hardly call you

Should there be a need for your insurance company or any government agencies to verify your info, they will not call you. This is true for very sensitive information like your Medicare Number or your social security number. Rather than call, they will send you a letter

The occasion in which you can receive calls from IRS, social security administration, or Medicare is if you permit them to. For this to happen, you must have already been in contact before.

In addition to this, they are not fond of leaving flyers on your vehicles or giving you a promotional offer worth more than $15. Make sure you scrutinize the calls you get.

  • Protect Your Medicare Number and Medical Information

Your Medicare number is as significant as your credit card number. As a result, diligently protect this information and make it available to trusted doctors only, on request. Besides your doctor, only your provider has the license to access your data.

You should smell a rat when other people ask for your Medicare number or promise free service in exchange for your Medicare number.

  • Your new Medicare Card Needs no Activation and is free

Recently, between April 2018 and April 2019, the American government issued new Medicare cards. The aim of this was to protect cardholders from identity thieves and keep their benefits intact. The cards come with 11 unique Medicare IDs and not the Social Security Number.

Many people are not aware of this, and part of the objective is to protect senior citizens that do not know much about the Medicare card initiative. 

Even though the idea behind this new card is to prevent fraud, scammers tried to outsmart the system. They found a loophole in the confusion that the distribution caused. Therefore, fraudsters disguised themselves as Medicare personnel's and demanded an "activation fee" for the new cards. Some claimed to offer reimbursement for transactions done on the previous card if you supply them with some vital information. Watch out for this.

  • Insurance Company and Medicare Hardly try to Sell Anything (Medicare products and Services) to You

If you are in pain or you need a brace for your knee, it is natural to want one. With this in mind, you might get offers recommending Medical supplies worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. The issue is that you might not need many of such supplies. With this in mind, your doctor is the only licensed person to recommend medical supplies and products to you.

  • It is Okay to be Skeptical

It could be your guts warning you if you are skeptical about a service that does not sound logical to you. Past Medicare fraud cases have offered people services such as mud treatment, mold removal, spa treatments, etc. You should refer to Medicare's coverage rule if confused or reject the offer.

Should anyone request your Medicare number or other sensitive info via phone call on behalf of Medicare, make sure you hang up and get in touch with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services immediately.

LLOYD J CAZES CPA
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