Every year, Medicare loses billions of dollars to fraudulent claims which increase our health care costs. Stopping fraud requires cooperation from the government, health care providers, insurers, law enforcement and citizens like you. Here are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones:
- Record the dates of doctor’s appointments on a calendar, tests and services you get, and save the receipts and statements from your providers. Compare the dates and services on your calendar with your “Medicare Summary Notices” (MSNs) to make sure details are correct. If you find items listed in your claims that you don’t have a record of, it’s possible that you or Medicare may have been billed for services or items you didn’t get.
- You can visit www.MyMedicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to review your Medicare claims. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, call your plan for more information about a claim.
- Look for signs of fraud, including claims you don’t recognize on your MSNs and advertisements or phone calls from companies offering free items or services to people with Medicare. Never give your Medicare number in exchange for a special offer.
- Protect your Medicare number; don’t give it out, except to your doctor or other health care provider. Medicare will never contact you and ask for personal information, like your Medicare or bank account numbers. Never let someone use your Medicare card and never use another person’s card.
To learn more about Medicare fraud, visit www.stopmedicarefraud.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE. (from “4R’s for Fighting Medicare Fraud”)
The Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a free, confidential service available to any senior or person with disabilities with questions or problems on Medicare or health insurance. SHIP is provided through the Illinois Department of Aging, and sponsored by Alton Memorial Hospital and OASIS, a national nonprofit organization that promotes successful aging through lifelong learning, health programs and volunteer engagement. For more on OASIS visit www.oasisnet.org. To schedule a one-on-one appointment with one of our SHIP certified counselors, call 1-800-392-0936.
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