Skip to main content

Here in Hanover

Sponsored Content

Medicare Takes Aim at Medical Identity Theft

Oct 03, 2017 04:31AM ● Published by Family Features

Criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 or older for personal identity theft. In 2014 alone, there were 2.6 million such incidents among seniors, according to the Department of Justice.

A growing offshoot of identity theft is healthcare fraud, which can result when someone unlawfully uses another person’s Medicare number. Medical identity theft can lead to inaccuracies in medical records, which in turn can result in delayed care, denied services and costly false claims. 

That’s why Medicare works with the Department of Justice, taking aim squarely at would-be thieves. In the largest law enforcement action against criminals fraudulently targeting the Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare programs, 412 people around the country, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, were charged in 2017 with bilking U.S. taxpayers out of $1.3 billion.

The next big fraud-fighting push is well underway -- and its focus is protecting the personal information of senior citizens by removing their Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.

People with Medicare don’t need to take any action to get a new Medicare card. Beginning in April, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail out newly designed Medicare cards to the 58 million Americans with Medicare. The cards will have a new number that will be unique for each card recipient. This will help protect personal identity and prevent fraud because identity thieves can’t bill Medicare without a valid Medicare number. To help with a seamless transition to the new cards, providers will be able to use secure look up tools that will support quick access to the new card numbers when needed. 

Healthcare fraud drives up costs for everyone, but healthcare consumers can be an effective first line of defense against fraud. Follow these tips to help protect yourself:

Do

  • Treat your Medicare number like a credit card.
  • When the new card comes in the mail next year, destroy your old card and make sure you bring your new one to your doctors’ appointments.
  • Be suspicious of anyone offering early bird discounts, limited time offers or encouraging you to act now for the best deal. That's an indicator of potential fraud because Medicare plans are forbidden from offering incentives.
  • Be skeptical of free gifts, free medical services, discount packages or any offer that sounds too good to be true.
  • Only give your Medicare number to doctors, insurers acting on your behalf or trusted people in the community who work with Medicare, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
  • Report suspected instances of fraud.
  • Check your Medicare statements to make sure the charges are accurate.

Don't

  • Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email or approaches you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Medicare will never contact you uninvited and request your Medicare number or other personal information.
  • Don’t let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number.
  • Don't allow anyone, except your doctor or other Medicare providers, to review your medical records or recommend services.
  • Don't let anyone persuade you to see a doctor for care or services you don't need.
  • Don't accept medical supplies from a door-to-door salesman.

Learn more about how you can fight Medicare fraud at Medicare.gov/fraud, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can also visit a local SHIP counselor, who can provide free, one-on-one, non-biased Medicare assistance.

With a common sense approach to protecting health information, senior citizens can be effective partners in fighting Medicare fraud.

By Seema Verna, CMS Administrator

Sponsored by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Here in Hanover's free newsletter to catch every headline

Family Features Family Features Lifestyle
  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/16/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/17/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • A Doll's House

    10/17/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/17/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/17/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/18/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros

    10/18/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Eric...


  • Ready. Fire! Aim.

    10/18/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ready. Fire! Aim. is a joint exhibition that will take place at the Hall Art Foundation in Readin...


  • David Shrigley

    10/18/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by British artist David ...


  • A Doll's House

    10/18/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/18/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/18/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Discover the Difference for Prospective Families

    10/19/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Please join us for a Discover the Difference Open House on Thursday October 19, 2017 from 9:00-11...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/19/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • A Doll's House

    10/19/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/19/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/19/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/20/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • A Doll's House

    10/20/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/20/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/20/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/21/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Eric...


  • Ready. Fire! Aim.

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ready. Fire! Aim. is a joint exhibition that will take place at the Hall Art Foundation in Readin...


  • David Shrigley

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by British artist David ...


  • Buns & Rolls, Sweet & Savory

    10/21/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    You’ll make two different doughs to swirl up a sweet roll, then master a dough that’s perfect for...


  • A Doll's House

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • CHaD Hero Fundraiser

    10/22/2017
    09:00AM

    Register to run, walk, hike, bike, and raise money at CHaD HERO. You can even register for a Virt...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/22/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Eric...


  • Ready. Fire! Aim.

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ready. Fire! Aim. is a joint exhibition that will take place at the Hall Art Foundation in Readin...


  • David Shrigley

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by British artist David ...


  • A Doll's House

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Buns & Rolls, Sweet & Savory

    10/21/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    You’ll make two different doughs to swirl up a sweet roll, then master a dough that’s perfect for...


  • CHaD Hero Fundraiser

    10/22/2017
    09:00AM

    Register to run, walk, hike, bike, and raise money at CHaD HERO. You can even register for a Virt...


  • 40 Years in Business

    10/27/2017
    05:30PM — 07:00PM

    Come celebrate 40 years of business at Designer Gold in Hanover Party and Recpetion!


  • Celebrat 40 Years in Business

    10/27/2017
    05:30PM — 07:00PM

    Celebrate 40 years in business with party and reception!


  • Halloween: Baking with Kids

    10/29/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Spend a spooky day with someone you love and let us clean up the mess! You and your favorite bake...


  • Pumpkin Fest in Norwich!

    10/30/2017
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Kids, bring your parents! Come to the Norwich Green and carve a pumpkin to be displayed at downto...


  • Easy as Pie

    11/04/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    This class will banish even the worst case of crust anxiety! Come make and roll out pastry for a ...


 

 


PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THESE COMMUNITY SPONSORS


Northcape Design Build
Hanover Inn at Dartmouth
Ultimate Bath Store

Sean's Lawn N' Garden Services
Cabinetry Concepts
New London Inn & Coach House Restaurant