How to protect yourself from Medicare fraud – Office of the Insurance Commissioner

September 12, 2017 | By | Reply More

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers $60 billion each year

Today, is National Report Medicare Fraud Day. We all pay the price for Medicare fraud, abuse and waste, which contributes significantly to rising health care costs. In fact, Medicare fraud costs taxpayers $60 billion every year.

What you can do to help stop Medicare fraud

  • Protect your Medicare number, located on your Medicare card. Treat it like a credit card and don’t carry it with you unless you need to use it.
  • Don’t give out your Medicare, Social Security or bank account numbers over the phone or in person, unless you made contact – and you trust the person.
  • Remember, nothing is ever free. Don’t accept offers of money or gifts for “free” medical care.
  • Ask questions. You have a right to know everything about your medical care, including the costs billed to Medicare.
  • Check your Medicare statements to make sure they are accurate and match the services you actually received.
  • Be wary of medical providers who tell you the item or service isn’t usually covered, but they “know how to bill Medicare” so Medicare will pay.
  • Be cautious if a company requests you pay for premiums in cash, pay a year’s premium in advance, or pressures you to buy right away because it’s your “last chance.”
  • Check with the insurance commissioner to make sure an insurance company or agent is allowed to do business in Washington state.

How you can report Medicare fraud

If you suspect fraud or have questions about fraud, call our Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-562-6900 and ask to speak with our Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program. SHIBA is Washington state’s Senior Medicare Patrol, a federally funded grant through the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services that works to reduce Medicare fraud.

If fraud or abuse is suspected, we will work with you and the appropriate state and federal agencies to investigate.

Category: Medicare

Leave a Reply