Unfortunately, Medicare recipients are often targeted by Medicare scams. According to some reports, scams occur more frequently around the Medicare general enrollment period (usually January 1st to March 31st each year).
What Are the Common Medicare Scams?
Common Medicare scams include:
- Attempts to verify your identity by asking you to provide identification to receive a new/updated Medicare card.
- Offers for free medical supplies, where a caller will pretend to offer durable medical equipment (DME) or a medical checkup for free, claiming it’s “covered under Medicare.” However, chances are they will also ask you for your Social Security or Medicare card number as their way of getting you to provide identification when in reality, they are going to use it to commit fraud.
- Claims that you’re entitled to a refund, where a caller will say that you’re entitled to a refund due to a change in Medicare coverage. They will usually ask for your Medicare Number and bank account information to supposedly direct deposit the refund.
Fraudulent callers aren’t always easy to identify, but it’s generally a good idea not to answer calls from unknown out-of-town numbers. However, just because the number is based on where you live doesn’t mean it can’t be fraudulent: new technology allows scammers to use spoofing devices to fake caller ID information. These callers may have already gathered basic personal information about you, like your full name or birthday, but don’t be fooled: that doesn’t make them legitimate.
A good way to test the validity of a call is to say you want to call them back and then ask for their direct number. If what you’re listening to is indeed a scam, chances are, they will hang up or stumble on their words because they don’t know what to say to keep sounding legit. If this is a genuine call, the person will give you a direct number to call and will respect your privacy.
How Do I Avoid A Medicare Scam?
To avoid falling prey to a Medicare scam, there are some key things you can do:
- For every doctor’s appointment or test you receive, make sure to mark it down on a calendar.
- Educate yourself about Medicare and common Medicare scams
- Know what your Medicare plan can and can’t do before joining
- Protect your identification, meaning, keep your Medicare and Social Security cards and numbers in a safe place, and do NOT give them to anyone.
- Check regularly for Medicare billing fraud by reviewing Medicare claims and summary notices to identify anything that has been billed but do not recognize.
- Report anything suspicious to Medicare by calling 1-800-MEDICARE.
There are also some important things not to do. Make sure you don’t:
- Give your Medicare information (your card or number) or Social Security information (your card or number) to anyone except your health care provider or people you know should have the information.
- Allow anyone except your health care providers to review your medical records or recommend services.
- Reach out to your doctor to ask for a service you don’t need.
- Accept any offers of money or gifts for free medical care.
- Medicare will never try to reach you or contact you. The only way they can contact you is if you give them permission to do so.
- Medicare never calls or visits you at your home to sell you anything.
- You cannot enroll in Medicare over the phone unless you were the one who called first.
- Medicare will never promise you anything over the phone if you give them your Medicare number.
Get Medicare Help From A Company You Trust
At Kannonball Insurance Solutions, we’re committed to providing high-quality services to our customers. We’re an elite, award-winning agency recognized for choice, value, and convenience. Our mission is focused on finding you the best coverage that meets your budget, whether it’s Medicare, life insurance, business insurance, and more.