Date: June 6, 2017 | Category: News
This month’s Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) Fraud Fact focuses on marketers, fraudsters and scam artists who may try to trick you into buying something by using U.S. mail, AKA snail mail. As a Medicare beneficiary or someone getting ready to enroll in Medicare, you will receive a lot of pieces of mail disguised as official correspondence from Medicare.
For example, you may receive a so-called “Special Notice about Medicare and insurance information.” It may be delivered exclusively to you. It may say something like: “Our office is trying to reach you regarding your eligibility for a proven Medicare and Insurance Back Support System. Your status is pending.” And you have a “release code” and a “claim deadline”. But, guess what? This came from company trying to sell you a back brace, whether or not you need it or whether or not your Medicare plan would cover it. If you think you need such support, contact your trusted primary care physician. Don’t fall for inquiries such as this.
People who nearing 65 years old are sometimes inundated with direct mail offers that deal with Medicare. If you fall into that category, be extra careful. An insurance company might send you an official looking letter, offering you’re a free updated guide so that you can understand your rights and be aware of deadlines for taking action. They might even be using likenesses of the red, white and blue Medicare cards and official guides.
Deadlines do exist, and you do have rights, but you need not ask a private insurance agent to find out. Medicare.gov is a great website offering such information. And CLAIM, the state health insurance assistance program, can help you for free without trying to sell anything. Many area agencies on aging offer free, unbiased benefits counseling for free. Don’t be fooled by literature that looks legit. Read the fine print.As always, report suspected Medicare fraud to the Missouri SMP at (888) 515-6565. SMPs are funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Aging.