How Can I Spot and Avoid Medicaid/Medicare Scam?
As technology gets better, so do Medicaid and Medicare scammers. That’s why its becoming increasingly important for Senior Citizens to learn of the types of scams out there, so that they can snuff them out before they get a chance to cause any harm. As a general rule of thumb to follow regarding your Medicaid/Medicare number, just remember to never give it out to anyone besides your doctor or any other healthcare provide whom you trust.
What Are Some Common Types of Medicaid/Medicare Scams?
Most Medicaid/Medicare scams occur during the open-enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, which is regarded by scam artists as the best time to deceive Senior Citizens. While you should be on alert for scams all year round, you should therefore be especially vigilant during your open-enrollment period. Scams are often perpetrated over the phone, and deceptive callers can impersonate Medicaid/Medicare with frightening accuracy – a modern scamming technique called spoofing now even allows scam artists to trick your caller ID into showing their call is coming from Medicaid/Medicaid. You should be wary of calls purporting to be from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) asking you to renew your card and benefits by supplying them with your Medicare number. Keep in mind that, for most of you with old cards, your Medicare number is identical to your Social Security number and, if you give it to anyone over the phone, you have likely just become a victim of identity theft. If you do receive a call from your insurance provider, however, and believe it to be legitimate, hang up and call your insurance provider yourself just to be completely sure.
Are There any In-Person Medicare/Medicaid Scams?
Unfortunately, yes, there are, and these can often be even more deceptive than over-the-phone ones. Never give your Medicaid/Medicare card to a door-to-door medical supplies salesman purporting to be from CMS – remember, Medicaid/Medicare never send out representatives to sell services or products – and be equally wary of giving it to anyone offering free tests or screening in exchange. Most of the times, in person Medicaid/Medicare scams can occur from the healthcare providers we should be able to trust the most – our own doctors. This makes it imperative for you to carefully review every Medicaid/Medicare bill you receive to ensure that your provider is not charging for services you never received. In addition, you should never agree to sign your name to a blank form; instead, ask to sign a completed form and ask for a copy of it for your own records. You should also steer away from asking your doctor for services that you do not need and from sharing your medical information with anyone apart from a healthcare provider.
What Should I Do If I Think I’ve Been Scammed?
If you feel like you’ve been scammed, you should inform your Medicaid/Medicare provider immediately. Then, when things have settled down, you should hire an experienced Medicaid/Medicare Fraud attorney to handle your case and bring you the proper compensation you deserve.