Medicare Insurance Fraud Targets Seniors - Senior Medicare Scam Alert

BusinessScams

  • Author Amber Hauptman
  • Published November 23, 2011
  • Word count 597

With all of the concerns about Medicare insurance, Medigap policies (Medicare supplement plans), and Medicare supplement rates, seniors have enough to worry about without having to worry about getting scammed. Unfortunately, fraud is out there, and it’s a topic we keep having to come back to. We’ve seen senior lottery scams, credit card scams, and more, but now there are even scams targeting seniors that involve Medicare insurance. One of the best ways to protect yourself is simply to be aware of the ways that thieves are trying to target seniors.

"Beware of a phone call from someone claiming to be a representative of Medicare. In reality they're just trying to steal your identity. West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw has raised the warning, saying he's received reports from citizens of his state, and has learned that seniors in neighboring Kentucky have also been targeted." (from Consumer Affairs)

This Medicare Insurance phone fraud is a variation on credit card frauds we’ve seen in the past, and you can be sure that if it’s taking place in West Virginia and Kentucky, it’s taking place in other states, too. These thieves use the guise of Medicare to get seniors’ personal information, which can lead to identity theft, financial theft, and more.

The folks over at Senior Corps have laid out the most basic way you can avoid this Medicare scam and any similar scam that’s going on:

"You can avoid Medicare fraud by not giving your personal information to people who may come to your home or call you on the telephone. You should only give your personal information to those who are approved by Medicare or doctors. If you are not sure if the provider is approved by Medicare or not, then there are toll free numbers that you may call to find out this information. If you lose your card, then you should call to report it. Hotlines are available for you to call to report Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud is a serious crime."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation website says that seniors are less likely to "report a fraud because they don’t know who to report it to, are too ashamed at having been scammed or do not know they have been scammed" Therefore we have provided a list of helpful resources that seniors can use to help identify medicare scams and where to report them.

United States Senate has a Special Committee on Aging with a section devoted to Elder Fraud and Abuse

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provide a throughough step-by-step process on How to Report a Medicare Fraud

National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, MetLife, Virginia Tech and Mature Market Institute provide a study on Elder Financial Abuse for 2011

The National Consumer Protection Resource Center Devoted an entire website to Senior Medicare Patrols, with links to a Fraud Prevention Summit, Stop Health Care Fraud video and more.

Insuraprise Publications releases a monthly senior newsletter devoted to providing seniors timely news information regarding senior living, senior scam alerts, financial planning and medicare supplemental plans.

Medicare insurance fraud is a serious crime, and it needs to be reported. If you’ve been a victim (or an attempted victim) of Medicare fraud, you need to alert the proper authorities. A number of seniors never report that they have fallen victim to fraud. It’s understandable why, but one way to ensure that it doesn’t happen to somebody else is to make it known that it has happened to you.

If you would like to learn more about medicare supplement plans then please visit http://www.medigap360.com/page1.php

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