Beware of Medicare fraud

Medicare fraud is when doctors or other providers deceive Medicare into paying when it should not or paying more than it should. This is against the law and should be reported.

Some types of fraud include:

* Billing Medicare for services you never received

* Billing Medicare for services that are different than the ones you received (usually more expensive)

* Continuing to bill Medicare for rented medical equipment after you have returned it

* Offering or performing services that you do not need in order to charge Medicare for more services

* Telling you that Medicare will pay for something when it won't

* Using another person's Medicare number or card

There are several things you can do to help prevent Medicare fraud.

* Protect your Medicare number the same way you would protect a credit card number. Only give your Medicare number or your Social Security number to your doctors and health care providers. Be careful about giving it to people who offer you a service for free and asks for your Medicare number.

* Protect your medical information. If people who are not medical professionals want to see your medical records or recommend services, don't let them.

* Learn more about what Medicare covers. If a provider tells you how to get Medicare to cover a service that normally is not covered, be suspicious.

* Don't accept services you don't need. Some dishonest providers may try to pressure or scare you into getting unnecessary tests or other services. Don't let them.

* If it sounds too good to be true....If a provider promises Medicare will pay for mud treatments, Swedish massages or dance classes (these have all been actual fraud cases), be skeptical. The more you know about what Medicare covers, the less likely you will be to fall into a Medicare fraud trap.

(Taken from the Medicare Rights Center )

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