How Medicare Fraud Hurts the Elderly Community

Medicare Fraud

 

As you may be aware, Medicare fraud has risen in recent years. Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to trick the community into aiding them in their criminal agendas. It is estimated that a potential $60 billion of our government’s money is lost each year to fraud. This is a devastating blow to our nation’s limited funds, but is not the only fallout from this illegal activity. The very people that are supposed to receive those benefits are put at risk.

Several cases of Medicare fraud have been brought to light recently and have been a catalyst in educating the elderly community to better protect themselves. One of the most prominently known cases is that against ‘Doctor’ Jacques Roy of Rockwell, Texas. He has been convicted of over $375 million in Medicare fraud. From 2006-2011 he, and his business, claimed 11,000 patients needed home health care services. However, many of those patients were healthy and in no need of this type of care. Roy has now been sentenced to life in prison, along with six of his conspirators. Most of the stolen money is lost without any hope of recovery.

There are many other ways scammers have taken advantage of unsuspecting people. They find clever ways to collect your Medicare ID or social security number by promoting free medical supplies or knocking on your door. Once they have acquired your information, they will claim services used by you to Medicare and receive payment directly from the government. One example might be billing for a wheelchair that you’ve never needed nor received. Certain services are limited so if they have already been claimed before you request them yourself, you can be denied those services.

You can protect yourself from getting caught in these scams. Here are a few tips to save you from being a victim of Medicare fraud:

  • Do not give any of your information to someone who shows up on your doorstep.
  • Protect your Medicare ID and social security card.
  • Do not give any banking information over the phone. Medicare will never ask you for this type of information.
  • Do not give your information in exchange for gifts or free medical supplies. Medicare will never offer this.

If you believe that you or a loved one might be a victim of Medicare fraud, call the Medicare hotline at 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).

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Posted in Medicare, Senior Citizen, Senior Safety
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