Each year, healthcare frauds cost the U.S. billions of dollars and puts the wellbeing of the victims at risk by gaining access to their private information. Under the False Claims Act, it’s illegal for anyone or organization to make false records or file false claims for any healthcare program. Each false claim that’s filed with the government can vary between $11,463 and $23,331 in charges.
Types of Medicare scams
Scammers will do anything in their power to make you provide them with your private information by making their scams appear genuine and truthful. Here’s a few common examples to look out for when it comes to Medicare scams:
- Billing for unnecessary services or items
- Billing for services that are not already provided
- Unbundling (meaning two or more billing codes are used or multiple bills are submitted)
- Upcoding (meaning that there’s a higher reimbursement rate)
- Card sharing
- Writing unnecessary prescriptions or changing them
- Multiple cards
- Program eligibility
When scammers receive your insurance information, it can lead to reimbursements for services that aren’t provided. If you decide to deal with providers over the internet or even on the phone, make sure you’re aware of the different methods scammers try to use so you can know if who you’re dealing with is genuine. Here’s a list of methods that are used to receive your insurance information:
- Providing gifts or money for beneficiaries to visit a location where they can fill out paperwork
- Offering free screenings, which are usually seen at health fairs
- Persuading medical personnel to provide the personal information of the patient
- Buying that information from other scammers who have already obtained it
What is Medicare abuse?
Medicare abuse is just as serious as Medicare fraud in the sense that it can result in costs that are not necessary, such as providing patients with services that aren’t actually needed. Medicare abuse can also happen when a provider does not implement good medical practices.
How to protect yourself
It’s important to think of your Medicare card as if it’s a credit card. If someone were to access your information from that card, they could potentially steal your identity. Here are some tips to remember so you can avoid being scammed:
- Medicare will NEVER call you to offer new deals or sell you services. If you receive any calls that are promising you things but they require your Medicare number before you receive those promises, it’s fake.
- Unless you give them permission, Medicare will NEVER call you to ask about any of your private information or for your Medicare number.
- You will NEVER receive visits at your home from Medicare.
- The only way you can be enrolled in Medicare over the phone is if you call them first, so if you’re looking to compare Medicare plans, make sure you already have an idea of what plan you might want to switch to.
Reporting Medicare fraud
If you suspect Medicare fraud, you can call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.
Looking to switch Medicare plans?
At Bobby Brock Insurance, we offer Medicare help for free, so reach out to us and book a free consultation today! If you have any questions regarding the different plans offered by Medicare, our well-trained and experienced agents are here to give you the answers you need. Give us a call at 877-877-5505.