June is just around the corner, which means hot summer days and sweet iced tea. You’re on the porch sipping your tea, listening to kids playing outside. You take a moment to relax, when your phone starts ringing, and ringing, and RINGING. You pick up, and the person on the line asks, “Are you on Medicare?”
The Better Business Bureau Education Foundation houses the Texas Senior Medicare Patrol, and they want you to join them in celebration of this week.
Why is Medicare fraud such a big deal? The waste is affecting people across the country, and it can have serious health and financial impacts on beneficiaries. Someone who has had their Medicare number stolen could have incorrect health records, and records of unnecessary services that make their premiums go up.
Examples of Medicare Fraud
- Charging someone for services that did not happen.
- Providing services or tests that were not medically needed.
- Billing for services that cost more than the actual service.
- Using someone else’s Medicare number to receive services.
- Getting paid to allow someone else to use your Medicare benefits.
How can you participate in Medicare Fraud Prevention week? Learn how to protect yourself! The Texas Senior Medicare Patrol has 3 steps to remember how to keep yourself safe: Prevent, Detect, Report!
- Leave your Medicare card at home, unless you know you will need it.
- Don’t give away your Medicare Number or card to anyone, except your health care providers.
- Know that Medicare will not call, text or visit you at your home.
- Review your Medicare Summary Notices (MSN) and Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for:
- Services you did not receive
- Double billing
- Services not ordered by your doctor
- Services by providers that you did not see
- Request the Texas Senior Medicare Patrol for a free health care tracker by visiting texassmp.org or calling 1-888-341-6187
- Get access to your Medicare information at Medicare.gov
Keep an eye out for suspicious claims on your Medicare Summary Notice you receive each quarter and be very wary of anyone offering “free” services, especially in exchange for your personal information.
- Call the provider if you see something suspicious on your MSN or EOB
- Gather the MSNs/EOBs, bills and any other important information
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE
- Report suspected Medicare fraud to the Texas Senior Medicare Patrol at 888-341-6187.
The Texas Senior Medicare Patrol is hosting webinars during Medicare Fraud Prevention Week. Tune in to learn from great organizations how they take part in preventing Medicare fraud and how you can protect you and your loved ones. Learn more at texassmp.org.
Want to get more involved? Become a volunteer! The Texas Senior Medicare Patrol needs YOU to get the word out! Contact Dorian Dotson, Volunteer Coordinator, at 713-341-6141 for more information.