December 7, 2021
Medicare fraud is big business for criminals. Medicare loses billions of dollars each year due to fraud, errors, and abuse. Estimates place these losses at approximately $60 billion annually, though the exact figure is impossible to measure.
Medicare fraud hurts us all. When thieves steal from Medicare, there is less money for the health care you really need. You pay for things you might never get. You can get hurt when you get tests, medicine, or care you don’t need. Doctors, pharmacies, and medical suppliers can make mistakes and bad choices. Sometimes they straight-up steal from Medicare. Medicare is trying to crack down.
How You Can Help
Be the first line of defense in protecting your Medicare benefits.
- Treat your Medicare card like a credit card. Your Medicare number can be valuable to thieves who want to steal your medical identity or bill Medicare without even seeing you.
- Don’t take advice or offers of medical services from people you don’t know who call, come to your house, or approach you in public.
- Read your Medicare Summary Notice or Explanation of Benefits. Look for services or equipment you didn’t receive, double charges, or things your doctor didn’t order.
- Ask questions and report problems. Call the doctor or company and ask them about mistakes. Call the insurance company if you still have questions. Get help from your local SMP.
- Volunteer. No one cares more about keeping criminals out of Medicare than the people who need it. Become a part of your local SMP program. Help protect your friends and neighbors.
How Your Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Can Help
Your local SMP is ready to provide you with the information you need to PROTECT yourself from Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse; DETECT potential fraud, errors, and abuse; and REPORT your concerns. SMPs and their trained volunteers help educate and empower Medicare beneficiaries in the fight against health care fraud.
Your SMP can help you with your questions, concerns, or complaints about potential fraud and abuse issues. It also can provide information and educational presentations. Ohio SMP may be reached directly at 1-800-488-6070, opt. 4 or 513-458-5522.
SOURCE: SMP National Resource Center