Experts estimate that Medicare losses due to fraud amount to tens of billions of dollars each year. This ultimately translates into higher consumer costs, more barriers to care, and additional administrative burdens on recipients, physicians, hospitals, and other care centers. Bad actors among providers, beneficiaries, and third parties all contribute to the problem.
You might question the impact you as an individual citizen can have toward controlling Medicare costs, but you shouldn’t minimize the power of education and awareness. For example, in the prevention of Medicare fraud, every little bit helps!
Medicare recipients can ensure they are not unwitting participants in attempts to defraud the system by:
- Reviewing the explanation of benefits for all services received to check for accuracy.
- Declining gifts or financial offers in exchange for medical services or referrals.
- Paying the appropriate share of copays and deductibles as specified in the plan.
- Protecting personal information to prevent identity theft.
Con artists are very adept at sounding official and impersonating Medicare employees. Learn how to stay one step ahead of them with these tips for fighting fraud or watch this video. Be vigilant, ask questions and you are less likely to be compromised!
If you suspect an incidence of Medicare fraud, please call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and provide all the relevant information to the representative.