4 Lightweight Tips to Prevent Medicare Fraud
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Very few people use this saying anymore, but the truth of it is still relevant—almost shockingly so. Especially when it comes to Medicare fraud.
No one wants to be a victim. No one wants to deal with some con down in Florida, racking up charges using their Medicare number. And no one wants to feel taken advantage of.
That’s why it’s much better to take the simple steps now. So let’s get started.
- Protect your Medicare Number!
First things go first. It’s the oldest tip in the book, but it works. This number is unique to you. So protecting those 9 digits is doubly important: It’s your identity.
One way to protect your number is to avoid carrying the actual card unless you have to. And—this almost goes without saying—don’t share it with anyone except your doctor, health care provider, and your insurance agent, who will need it to write a policy.
- Take a Lesson From Sherlock Holmes.
This sounds like a pound-sized piece of advice, but it’s really not too heavy once you get into the habit. Be like Mr. Holmes and notice the small stuff. Check your Medicare Summary Notice for anything suspicious (i.e. billing to Medicare for care or services you didn’t receive). Check your pills before you leave the pharmacy to make sure everything is correct. Did you get your full prescription?
It pays off to notice things that no one else does. It’s elementary, my dear…umm…Medicare beneficiary?
- Strive to Understand for Yourself.
This is another tip that sounds heavier than it really is. So allow to me translate. For all intents and purposes, this means to ask questions. And I mean a lot of questions.
When you don’t understand your bill or your plan or your Medicare options, just ask. Ask your doctor’s office, or ask at your insurance agent’s office. Shift the weight on the expert to help you understand. If he gives you a boulder-sized answer, give him another boulder-sized question. And don’t let down until you get a manageable answer. This might sound stubborn, but you have a right to know what you want about your health care. It’s the expert’s job to give you an understandable (yet accurate) answer.
Because knowing how Medicare works, your plan works, and why you were taken care of the way you were are excellent starting points for noticing and preventing fraud.
- Don’t go to the mousetrap for the free cheese.
Only a mousetrap has free cheese. This is the truth with all the sales and advertising junk pared away.
It’s not that I don’t understand the allure. Someone comes to your door or calls you to offers you something for free. Do you believe it? FREE! All you have to do is give them your Medicare number and then POOF…all your money saving dreams can come true.
But don’t fall for it. Don’t go for the cheese. This is a surefire way to get snapped into the metal jaws of Medicare fraud.
Stopping Medicare Fraud Ounce by Ounce
In closing, Medicare fraud is a crushing problem. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is constantly hunting down the bad guys, trying to recover as many funds as they can. But it hardly puts a dent in the 60 billion dollar a year problem, according to AARP. This is why the government needs you to take the necessary measures of prevention. It’s a big problem, but I am confident that if enough people decide to get smart and do these small “ounce-sized” things now, we can prevent another round of crushing Medicare fraud later.
Think you’ve been a victim of fraud? Want to make up to $1000? Then check out this post!
Still have questions? Call our office at 937-492-8800. We can help!