For individuals over the age of 60, Medicare fraud and abuse is a serious risk, according to Legal Aid of the Bluegrass.
The organization is a nonprofit which runs a Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance program, or SHIP, to assist any person that has Medicare with their public benefit issues. Legal Aid of the Bluegrass recently sent out a public service announcement warning of Medicare fraud and abuse.
Here are some examples of fraud and abuse highlighted by the Medicare SHIP Program:
- A provider that bills Medicare for services or supplies they never gave anyone, like charging an individual for a visit they never had, or a back brace they never got.
- A provider that charges Medicare twice for a service or item that an individual only received once.
- A person who steals an individual’s Medicare number or card and uses it to submit fraudulent claims in your name.
- A company offering an individual a Medicare drug plan that Medicare hasn’t approved.
Legal Aid of the Bluegrass recommends people contact their provider’s office if they suspect fraud, or to help them figure out if a billing error has been made. Legal Aid of the Bluegrass also recommends for people to seek help immediately if they believe their Medicare card or number was stolen.
People can contact their local Medicare resource, the Medicare SHIP Program at 1 (866) 516-3051. Medicare SHIP can help people investigate the concern, file a complaint with Medicare on their behalf, and work with other agencies including the Attorney General’s office and/or the Kentucky Department of Insurance.