Alert: New Scam to Attack Medicare Users

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Photo by Carol Duff

Health Editor’s Note: Fraud Alert from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General .

There is a new, medically oriented scam targeting Medicare recipients. The perpetrators may contact you through telemarketing calls, health fairs and even showing up at your front door. “Free” genetic tests are offered and you are guaranteed that Medicare will cover the cost.  Medicare only covers genetic testing ordered by your doctor. Medicare will never pay for testing that is not medically necessary or that was not ordered by your doctor. Medicare will deny the claim and you will be responsible for the cost of the test which will amount to thousands of dollars. The people who contact you will obtain your Medicare Number and then use it for identity theft or fraud.

Do not give our your Medicare or Social Security Numbers to anyone who offers a “free” in-person genetic screening or cheek swab or a DNA testing kit in the mail. If you receive a kit in the mail refuse delivery or returns it to sender unless your doctor has legitimately ordered you to have one performed. As always you can call 1 800 MEDICARE to have your questions answered. You can report an attempt online at oig.hhs.gov/fraud/hotline….Carol

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