A Common Scam is Targeting Medicare Beneficiaries

Filed under: Retirement

Imagine this scenario: The phone rings, and the caller on the other end of the line informs you of a new product that can relieve pain that you’re experiencing in a knee, ankle, wrist, or another joint. Since this is a common situation in people over 65, you surely have at least one recurring pain, right?

The call center can transfer you to a doctor, who will listen to your symptoms and prescribe a brace right over the phone. How convenient!

Best of all, the product is covered by Medicare, and the caller promises to handle all billing for you. All you need to do is wait on your new brace to arrive. In some cases, it never does. In others, you do indeed receive the product you were offered, but Medicare is fraudulently billed for excessive amounts.

It sounds like a simple, convenient way to handle a problem that has been bugging you. And that’s why this common scam succeeded in defrauding Medicare of 1.2 billion dollars so far. It’s just one of many types of fraud targeting the healthcare system, costing the system (as well as patients) billions of dollars every year.

To avoid falling victim to this type of con job, know the signs of a healthcare scam:

  • An offer for a “free” product, especially when the caller has no reason to be contacting you
  • Cash payments or gifts in return for receiving a product or service
  • “Medicare representatives” who knock on your door (they are not Medicare representatives)
  • Upon examining your Medicare statements, you notice unfamiliar charges that don’t make sense

All of these are signs of a scam, and you should cease contact with these companies. Report the incident to Medicare so that they can investigate it (the recent brace scam was uncovered thanks to beneficiary reports). And as always, keep your Medicare card in a secure location, and don’t give the number to suspicious strangers who call you on the phone.

As for healthcare itself, yes, even with Medicare it can be expensive. Remember to meet with us regularly throughout retirement, so that we can help you adjust your budget to meet your needs.

If you would like more information or have specific questions, please contact us using the following form. We would be happy to assist you.

This information has been provided by a licensed insurance professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting the insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax, trust and estate, or investment advice. Infinite Wealth Advisors is not an investment advisory firm.  Investment Advisory Services provided by NAMCOA® – Naples Asset Management Company®, LLC, a federally registered investment advisor, website: www.NAMCOA.com .