Government benefits are a prime target for fraud including Medicare fraud. There are three major areas of concern regarding Medicare fraud—identity theft, billing fraud, and fraudulent marketing activities.
Currently Medicare ID numbers and thus ID cards contain the Social Security number of the individual which is key to many serious forms of identity theft. To counter this, over the next several months, Medicare is issuing new cards and the new ID number will no longer contain the individual’s Social Security number. For more information on the new cards, see this CMS announcement https://www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html. BTW, Medicare will never contact you by phone or email, and if you receive such a contact hang up or delete because this is currently a popular scam.
The issuance of the new cards is a great improvement but it still will not prevent Medicare identity theft, so here are some tips to help you to avoid and to spot Medicare identity theft:
- Keep your Medicare card protected as you would your driver’s license or a credit card, giving it only to people who need it such as health care providers and insurers.
- Keep records of your medical visits and receipts for your expenses. When you receive your monthly statement from Medicare for services and prescriptions, review them for errors. Especially be on the lookout for providers and charges you do not recognize or that appear to be incorrect. Those incorrect or unexpected charges might be attributable to a case of someone having stolen your identity in order to secure valuable medical services.
- Similar to Medicare never calling or emailing you, Advantage Plans and Part D Prescription Plans may send you information by mail, but they are not allowed to ever call or email. If you do receive such a contact, again, hang up or delete as this is most likely an attempt at enrollment fraud.
- If you encounter any issues in your billings that the provider or insurer cannot resolve, contact Medicare at 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) or online at Medicare.gov.
The bottom line is there’s really no better time than the present to become a LibertyID member. LibertyID provides expert, full service, fully managed identity theft restoration to individuals, couples, extended families* and businesses. LibertyID has a 100% success rate in resolving all forms of identity fraud on behalf of our subscribers.
*Extended families – primary individual, their spouse/partner, both sets of parents (including those that have been deceased for up to a year), and all children under the age of 25