Texas Senior Medicare Patrol warns of new scheme targeting seniors
The Texas Senior Medicare Patrol is warning seniors of a recent scheme where a company attempts to commit Medicare fraud.
The ruse begins with a senior receiving a phone call about an alert system, similar to another product often seen in television commercials, that is free for the first six months and then is $10 a month from that point on, according to a Texas SMP press release.
After the initial phone call, the company wants to send someone to the senior's home to discuss the alert system. At the appointment, the representative switches the conversation to wanting to provide the senior with a back brace and knee brace that will be "free" from Medicare.
"This is a good example of how someone can steal money from the Medicare system," Barbara Parrott McGinity, program director for the Texas Senior Medicare Patrol, said in a press release. "They offer a simple item, tell you we will get your doctor to approve it and, since Medicare pays for it, why not get it?"
The press release suggests that seniors should not discuss purchasing medical items with salespeople before talking to their doctor.
The suspicious company discussed in this article has a website, but no real information. They do not publish a location and the phone number rings to a full mailbox. The release suggests this is another red flag, if getting ahold of the the company is difficult.
"They are likely to bill Medicare for a more expensive item than you receive, ripping off Medicare for thousands of dollars," McGinity said in the release.
To protect yourself and your Medicare, Texas SMP suggests to never let strangers come to your home for any reason, unless there is a family member or friend there with you. Call the Texas SMP at 888-341-6187 to find out if it sounds legitimate. You can also report suspicious behavior to the Texas SMP.
You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if a company is legitimate. Visit www.bbb.org to do so.
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