TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOURSELF
FROM MEDICARE/MEDICAID FRAUD
Protect your Medicare or Medicaid number as you would your credit card information.
Don’t give out your personal information, such as your Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security number, bank account numbers or credit card numbers to anyone you do not completely trust.
Medicare and Medicaid will not call you on the telephone and do not sell or endorse any product. If someone calls you or visits your home and tells you that he or she represents Medicare or Medicaid, they are lying and can not be trusted. Hang up the telephone or shut the door. “It’s shrewd to be rude.”
Always read your Medicare Summary Notice or health care billing statement.
The Medicare Summary Notice is the piece of mail you receive after you get medical services through Medicare that is stamped “This is Not a Bill.” Look for three things on your billing statement:
- Charges for something you did not get
- Billing for the same thing twice
- Services that were not ordered by your doctor
Always keep a calendar of your doctors visits and medical tests.
- Compare your statements with your calendar. Make sure you are not being cheated.
Never accept “free” services from persons selling medical services. If anyone tries to offer you “free” services, be very suspicious.
Do not keep mail in your mailbox for more than one day. People can steal personal information right from your mailbox.
Always rip up or shred your Medicare or other health care papers and other important documents before throwing them away. Crooks go through the trash. A crosscut shredder can do the job for you and lower the risk that important information is being stolen from you.
Count Your Pills. Always count the pills after you have picked up your prescription. Short pilling is a major problem under the new Medicare Part D drug prescription program. If you are short, complain to your pharmacist. If it happens more than once file a complaint.
Report possible fraud.
- Call the SMP of New Jersey Hot Line toll free 877-SMP-4359 or Jewish Family and Vocational Service 732-777-1940.
Important Telephone Numbers and other information
Medicare: 1-800-MEDICARE; web-site: www.medicare.gov
New Jersey Medicaid: 1-800-356-1561; web-site: www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmahs/clients/medicaid/
SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program): 1-800-792-8820
Social Security Administration: 1-800-772-1213
PAAD or Senior Gold: 1-800-792-9745
Medicare Drug Integrity Contractor (MEDIC): 1-877-772-3379
- to make a toll free complaint in connection with Medicare Part D drug prescription program
New Jersey Drug Registry: www.njdrugprices.nj.gov
- to compare prescription drug prices at pharmacies in your area
Materials such as this Tip Sheet are just one way of educating the public to the possible dangers. This Tip Sheet and many other materials are available for FREE, so if you are interested in receiving them please contact Evan Buchbinder at Evanb@jfvs.org or call 732-777-1940 and ask for the Senior Medicare Patrol. In addition, you may also print out your own copies using our Printer Friendly Version.
This document was supported, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official U.S. Administration on Aging policy.