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Life and Health


By February 3, 2014No Comments

Lee Dorman of Fountain Valley, CA recently got a phone call offering the 72-year-old a new Medicare card in return for providing some basic personal information.

Unfortunately, calls like this are all too common, as crooks throughout the nation troll for access to Medicare numbers, which they use to scam Uncle Sam. Whatever the scheme, fraud and abuse in this nationwide health care program for senior citizens costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion to $80 billion a year.

Experts offer seniors these tips to avoid becoming a victim of Medicare fraud:

  • Protect your Medicare and bank account numbers. In most cases, your Medicare number is the same as your Social Security number, so you should guard it the same way.
  • Don’t fall for the call. Many people don’t realize that Medicare will never call you. So anyone on the line telling you that they are from Medicare or the federal government is almost certainly lying.
  • Keep track of your appointments. Monitor your Medicare account for possible fraud by reviewing the program’s quarterly summary, which lists all the medical services you’ve received. (However, people receiving benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan will not receive this document). You can also track your Medicare billing at
  • Report suspicious activity. Fake claims submitted for services or equipment you don’t need might prevent you from getting care you’ll need in the future. Also a suspicious level of billing might cause Medicare to stop or deny payment on legitimate claims, leaving you with hefty unpaid medical bills. If you suspect fraud, contact the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 800-HHS-TIPS or