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Genetic testing fraud alert

You should know about the latest fraud scheme involving genetic testing, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

Scammers are offering “free” genetic tests and claiming Medicare will cover it — so they can get your Medicare Number and use it to commit fraud and identity theft. They’re targeting people through telemarketing calls, health fairs, and even knocking on doors.

Beneficiaries who agree to genetic testing or verify personal or Medicare information may receive a cheek swab, an in-person screening or a testing kit in the mail, even if it is not ordered by a physician or medically necessary. If the test is not ordered by your physician for a medically necessary reason, Medicare will deny the claim and the beneficiary would be responsible for the entire cost of the test, which could be thousands of dollars. 

Genetic testing fraud occurs when Medicare is billed for a test or screening that was not medically necessary and/or was not ordered by the Medicare beneficiary's treating physician.

Protect Yourself

  • Don’t share your Medicare Number, Social Security Number, or other personal information with anyone who offers to give you a "free" in-person genetic screening or cheek swab, or a DNA testing kit in the mail.   
  • If a genetic testing kit is mailed to you, don't accept it unless it was ordered by your physician. Refuse the delivery or return it to the sender. Keep a record of the sender's name and the date you returned the items.
  • A physician that you know and trust should assess your condition and approve any requests for genetic testing.
  • Medicare beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare numbers. If anyone other than your physician's office requests your Medicare information, do not provide it.
  • If you suspect Medicare fraud, contact the HHS OIG Hotline.

American Insurance health agents offer Medicare supplement (Medigap), MedAdvantage and Part D presecription drug coverage options.  Contact our Health Agents Tim Gleason or Dave Root for a quote on this coverage or other health insurance options. 

Source: Office of Inspector General news article, Fraud Alert: Genetic Testing Scam