I wish I did not have to write any more scam articles. Every week we get calls from seniors who have received a call they are leery about or an email that seems off. Many times the senior’s instinct is correct and it is a scam.
Some of the scams that target seniors involve Medicare in some way. The person on the phone will say they are with Medicare or even a physician’s office and ask for your Medicare number to “verify” your identity or confirm an order for unwanted, unneeded and unnecessary medical equipment. You should NEVER give your personal information to someone who calls you over the phone.
There have been reports that seniors have had people come to their door offering genetic tests that can screen for cancers or heart disease or any number of other illnesses. Some even claim they can test to see if you need additional COVID 19 immunizations. They will tell you that Medicare will cover it and you will not be out anything. Medicare generally does not cover genetic testing. Once again, do not give your private information to someone that comes to your door unsolicited.
Aging Matters collaborates with the Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) to help prevent Medicare Fraud and Abuse. One of the most effective ways to do that is for seniors to keep track of their medical visits and procedures. I know I have trouble remembering when I had a certain vaccine or procedure. To help keep things straight the SMP offers a free Health Care Tracker to Medicare beneficiaries. Using a Health Care Tracker can help you make sure the health care services, tests, and/or medical equipment items you receive are listed correctly on your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB). You will receive an MSN if you have original Medicare and an EOB if you have a Medicare Advantage plan.
Keeping a Health Care Tracker protects you and your health care benefits from fraud, errors, and abuse by allowing you a quick way to verify services and equipment. The tracker also provides a place where you can record physician and procedure appointments. You can record the date, length of visit, medical provider, and reason for the visit. There are spaces to write the names of the tests such as X-rays, blood drawn, urine testing, and ultrasound; checked weight, height, and blood pressure; and prescribed medicine and ordered equipment. Once you receive your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB), compare the information, and you can check to make sure that Medicare or your Advantage plan was billed according to the information in your Health Care Tracker.
Scammers are always going to try to get information and it is up to all of us to protect ourselves. If you have questions, need more information or would like a Health Care Tracker please call Aging Matters, 800-392-8771. Because Aging Matters.