Medicare provides wonderful services to the elderly that can help them stay healthy and enjoy greater wellbeing. Unfortunately, there are individuals and companies that choose to prey upon seniors who may not always recognize a potential scam. Medicare fraud costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year, yet many instances are preventable by taking the following precautions.
Protect Personal Information
Scam artists are getting savvier with their methods for collecting important personal information such as Medicare identification numbers. Seniors should be wary of anyone who calls without warning and claims to be from the Medicare office or a medical facility. Senior care agencies in New Hampshire note that as a general rule, these offices never ask for this information over the phone. Seniors who are unsure about a phone call should hang up and contact the phone number on the back of their Medicare card.
Keep a Health Log
Fraudulent charges are another type of Medicare scam that seniors should understand. Typically, this will involve billing Medicare for services or products that a senior never received. Seniors can keep a health journal that includes the dates of their appointments and the names of any providers. Then, this can be cross-checked against their bill each month to determine if any fraudulent charges have occurred.
Be Wary of Non-Medical Salespeople
Door-to-door and phone scams are still frequently reported forms of Medicare fraud. A scammer will act as a well-meaning medical sales representative who has special equipment or repair services for mobility devices that can improve a senior’s quality of life. Unfortunately, the equipment often never arrives or is poor quality, and the scam artist can then use the senior’s personal information to make further charges to his or her account.
Report Suspicious Activity
One of the best ways to prevent Medicare fraud is to make sure it is reported every time so that others do not fall prey to illegal activity. When in doubt, simply contact the Medicare office and have any pertinent information in hand such as the name of the provider and the date any suspicious activity occurred. This allows Medicare to investigate the suspicious activity and hopefully identify the scam artist.
To learn more about promoting a safe, happy, and high-quality life for your elderly loved one, call Home Care Assistance of New Hampshire at (603) 471-3004. We provide trusted live-in, hourly, and respite home care in New Hampshire, ensuring seniors have the support needed to age in place with comfort and dignity.