Dealing with your health insurance provider and medical bills can be confusing, complicated, and expensive. So there are probably few phone calls that you dread like those from your mutual. But now there’s a whole new headache that a call with your insurance provider can cause. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that if you get a call about anything in particular from your health insurance provider, it could be a scam. Read on to find out what you should be on the lookout for.
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The BBB just issued a warning about a scam targeting people on Medicare. According to the warning, which was issued on June 11, crooks are calling victims claiming to be a Medicare person providing free genetic test kits. Scammers claim the test will be fully covered by Medicare and all you would have to do is agree to receive a kit in the mail, swab your cheek, and return the vial to find out if you have a genetic predisposition. heart disease, cancer, or some other medical problem.
If you agree, the crooks will tell you that they need your Medicare ID number and a lot of other personal information. “The targets of this scam report that they have been asked many questions about their health, such as their family medical history and previous diagnoses,” says the BBB.
If you are asked for your Medicare ID number, it is a clear indication that something is wrong. The BBB says you should “beware of anyone claiming that genetic testing and cancer screenings are” free “or” covered by Medicare. ” the agency.
“Do not share your Medicare number. If anyone other than your doctor’s office asks for your Medicare information, do not provide it,” the BBB warns. “Medicare will never call you to confirm your personal information, your Medicare number, or to ask questions about your personal health. “
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Of course, genetic testing is a legitimate service, as the BBB notes – and some victims of this scam are actually given a genetic testing kit. However, what the crooks are trying to do is commit fraud by obtaining your Medicare information and charging Medicare for unnecessary testing. “For victims, these inconveniences can result in medical identity theft and, in some cases, a bill of several thousand dollars,” says the BBB.
If you believe you have been the victim of Medicare fraud, you should report it. There is a form on the Medicare website to do this, or you can call 1-800-633-4227.
However, not all crooks follow the same routine. According to the BBB, other versions of this Medicare scam have seen people go door-to-door or organize tables at health fairs about “free genetic testing” for Medicare members. . “Beware of lab tests at senior centers, health fairs or at home,” says the BBB. The agency adds that some scammers may even provide gift cards or other freebies to try and get you to participate.
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