Medicare Fraud can happen to anyone. Every year, millions of dollars are taken from the Medicare program through deceptive practices by scam artists. These scam artists actively work to steal Medicare numbers and other personal information to commit fraud. In doing so, this not only affects the victim but may also result in higher healthcare costs and taxes. Individuals with Medicare should be vigilant to protect themselves and their loved ones against Medicare Fraud. Here are five ways to prevent Medicare Fraud.
- Keep track of your Medicare card. This is the easiest way to protect yourself against Medicare Fraud. Your Medicare card is as important as a credit card; if someone were to get the information on it, they could easily commit fraud at your expense. Make sure you know where your Medicare card is at all times and put it in a safe place.
- Regularly check your Medicare billing for fraud. If you see anything that looks suspicious with your Medicare billing, call your provider. They can explain expenses, find mistakes, and identify fraudulent activity. Frequently check your claims – the sooner you identify and report errors, the sooner you can help prevent fraud.
- Record your doctor’s appointments and tests you received on a calendar. This will give you a personal record for you to refer to while reviewing charges.
- Do not allow anyone to review your medical records or recommended services unless it is your doctor or medical provider.
- Educate yourself on what Medicare will cover. Be cautious when a provider tells you there is a way receive Medicare coverage on a service that usually isn’t covered by Medicare. If your provider tries to pressure you to get services or tests you feel are unnecessary, ask for a second opinion or turn down the services.
Medicare.gov offers services to fight Medicare fraud. If you think you’re a victim of Medicare fraud, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for assistance and information.