If you are a senior or if have seniors in your life, please pass along this information. Every U.S. citizen older than 65 qualifies for Medicare, making Medicare/health insurance fraud one of the most common scams targeting seniors in 2011, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
Click on the following link to the NCOA article “Top 10 Scams Targeting Seniors”. Medicare loses an estimated $50 billion a year nationally to health care swindlers.
Anyone age 65 or older is a target and “scammers know this; criminals do not have to do research to find their victims,” says Idaho Department of Insurance Director Bill Deal. “Medicare beneficiaries are easy prey. Most beneficiaries have a supplemental policy that picks up what Medicare does not pay leaving seniors vulnerable to pitches for services or equipment.”
The Department has the following tips for consumers, especially seniors:
- Be suspicious of salespeople trying to sell you something they claim will be paid for by Medicare
- Avoid telemarketing calls for medical goods, such as diabetes test strips or wheelchairs
- Know if your physician has ordered equipment for you
- Review Medicare Summary Notices to be sure the services listed have been received
- Report suspicious activities or charges to the Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program at 800-803-7174
Idahoans with questions about Medicare can contact the Department’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) office at 800-247-4422.
Source: Idaho Department of Insurance, News Release - January 18, 2012