During this final week of Medicare open enrollment, you may receive multiple calls each day regarding your Medicare coverage. Many of these calls may be scams, and unless you know exactly what to watch out for, these scams can be difficult to spot. Make sure you follow the guidelines below and report any Medicare fraud you detect to the proper agencies. If you believe your employer or healthcare provider is the one committing the fraud, contact the qui tam attorneys at Willoughby Brod to learn how you can report the fraud and receive an award for your tip.
Four Tips for Avoiding Medicare Scams
- Do not give out your Medicare number to anyone other than your doctor or someone who should have it.
Treat your Medicare card like your credit card. Keep it in a safe and private place, and do not give out your Medicare card or your Medicare card number to anyone other than your doctor or someone else who should have it, like your primary caretaker for purposes of acquiring medical services on your behalf.
- Know which services your healthcare provider can and can not bill to Medicare.
Not all medical services are reimbursable under Medicare. In fact, many basic services that Medicare recipients need, such as reading glasses and hearing aids, are not covered by Medicare. Make sure you familiarize yourself with these coverage gaps, so you do not fall prey to scammers who try to tell you they can obtain Medicare coverage for you for these services.
- Remember that nothing is ever free, and those who “know how to bill to Medicare” are probably scamming you.
If someone calls you offering you something for free or alleging that they “know how to bill to Medicare” so that Medicare is guaranteed to pay, hang up the phone immediately. Remember that nothing is ever free, and no one has the power to bypass Medicare coverage rules. It is the law, and there is never a good or effective way to break the law.
- Check your prescriptions before you leave the pharmacy.
Check your prescriptions before you leave the pharmacy so that you are able to detect any suspicious conduct, such as trying to give you a much cheaper generic drug instead of the more expensive brand name drug your doctor prescribed. Make sure you also check for quantity, so you are not walking out with half your order. It is important that you check your prescriptions before you leave the pharmacy so you can immediately notify a pharmacist if you detect an error.
Contact a California Qui Tam Attorney Today
If you believe you have been the victim of a Medicare scam, or if you believe you have witnessed fraudulent conduct from your employer or healthcare provider, contact the qui tam attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to learn more about your options. Our Santa Rosa and San Francisco qui tam lawyers have helped numerous whistleblowers report corporate healthcare fraud and seek justice for the victim(s) and taxpayers in general. Contact us today at (800) 427-7020 or visit us online to schedule your confidential and free consultation.
(image courtesy of Jonathan Perez)