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Protecting Medicare and You From Fraud

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages
This guide recommends ways in which users of Medicare can detect and prevent fraud by Medicare providers as well as identity theft, which occurs when an individual uses another person's personal information--such as name, credit card number, or Social Security number--without consent in order to commit fraud or other crimes.
Recommended actions for protecting against Medicare fraud include checking each Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) from a company that handles bills for Medicare, in order to ensure that one has received the services and equipment billed to Medicare. Other recommendations are to report errors and concerns to the service provider or Medicare contacts listed in this guide and to be suspicious of attempts to push medical services as free, required by Medicare, or as being cheaper when done regularly or in volume. Among the recommendations offered for protection against identity theft is to provide personal information only to doctors or other providers who are approved by Medicare, a State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or Social Security. Another section of the guide suggests ways to protect oneself from financial exploitation by private companies approved by Medicare who offer Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. Recommendations are to understand the type of plan joined and to know how Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans can conduct marketing. Contacts for more information are listed.