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Learn More About Medicare Coverage Relating to COVID-19

2020 SMP Office of Inspector General Report

Medicare Fraud 101

According to Government estimates, Medicare lost $52 billion to fraud, abuse and improper billing in FY2017. Medicare fraud typically involves rogue health care providers or medical suppliers who bill the program for services, equipment or medication that they don’t actually provide, or else inflate the cost of those items. Some will even falsify patients’ diagnoses to justify unnecessary tests, surgeries and other procedures or write prescriptions for patients they’ve never examined. Others use genuine patient information, sometimes obtained through identity theft, to create fake claims.

One of the most effective ways to combat against Medicare fraud is to review your Medicare statements and make sure the dates and services listed are correct. If something doesn’t look right, call your medical provider’s office. 

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.


Free Medicare Device Scam

One tell-tale sign that should make every consumer suspicious is when something is offered “for free.” These free offer scams are often associated with Medicare.  The program spends around $6 billion a year on medical devices, and a market this big draws scammers.  In a medical equipment scam, someone reaches out with an offer of a “free” brace, wheelchair or other device. All they need is your Medicare number.  Once they have it, scammers can use it to bill the government for devices and services that aren’t needed.

Medicare fraud results in higher deductibles and copays for Medicare beneficiaries, and can even put affected patients at risk. Be suspicious of unsolicited free offers and never give out your Medicare number to anyone who isn’t a trusted health care provider.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.