Medicare fraud is when someone uses your information for his or her benefit at your expense. Some scammers are subtle, making the warning signs easier to miss. This is why it’s important to know what you can do if you have been a victim, and why you need to know how to detect fraud attempts and suspicious activity.
What Can I Do?
Once the fraud has happened, the only way to protect yourself from further damage is to report the fraud to the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP Hawaii). You can report by calling 808-586-7281 on Oahu. Or you can also call the toll-free number, which is 1-800-296-9422.
When you make the call, you need to have this information available to ensure efficient and thorough action:
- Your name
- Medicare number
- Provider’s name (and other information to help with identification)
- All information pertaining to the suspicious service or item on your Medicare Summary Notice (e.g. date of service, the Medicare approved amount, and date of the Medicare Summary Notice)
How Will I Know If I’ve Been A Victim Of Fraud?
This is why the Medicare Summary Notice, which arrives once every three months, is so important. It shows medical services with corresponding dates and the charges for them. Be attentive to services you don’t recognize, or dates you do not remember getting any medical treatment. Also be aware of services that your doctor did not order and charges that appear twice.
How Do I Protect Myself From Fraud?
Prevention is better than a cure, and with this information, you will spare yourself from falling prey to a Medicare scam artist.
You need to be protective of your information. This includes your:
- Medicare card
- Social Security card
- Social Security number
This is what scammers will try to get from you. Without this, they can’t victimize you.
Telltale signs of a Medicare fraud attempt include:
- A Medicare “representative” calling you. This person will try to get your personal information as soon as possible. They’ll ask for the sensitive information listed above, plus your credit card number. Don’t give this to them
- Trying to enroll you in a plan over the phone. Medicare representatives do not call you first, nor do they enroll you via phone unless you’ve given permission beforehand
- Using special offers as a tool to get your personal information
Scamming attempts have evolved within the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You should also look out for calls relating to a COVID-19 vaccine or cure, and materials for testing and preventing the virus. Another sign is that these calls will not come from the Hawaii State Department of Health.
Need Help? Give Us A Call!
At Proinsurance Hawaii, we are on your side to help you keep your information safe. We ensure that your policy stays in your hands, not anyone else’s. And with us, you’ll also be able to choose a Medicare plan that meets your needs at the lowest cost. Call us today to learn more.