Have you ever received inconvenient telemarketing calls in the middle of supper? Has your mailbox ever been filled with countless sweepstake offers? Or even better, have you ever had a “new best friend” who insists on giving you financial advice? At some point in our lives, we all become a victim of scams, whether we fall for them or not.
Many older Americans have a decent life savings, good credit and were raised to be polite and trusting, which makes them the perfect target for all types of scams. Health care or health insurance fraud is among the many schemes that can affect the lives of older adults and their caregivers.
Here are some tips from the FBI that can help you or your elderly loved one avoid a scam:
1) Never sign blank insurance claim forms.
2) Never give blanket authorization to a medical provider for bill of services rendered.
3) Ask medical providers what they will charge and what you will be expected to pay out of pocket.
4) Carefully review your insurer’s explanation of benefits statements.
5) Do not do business with door-to-door sales people regarding medical equipment.
6) Only give your insurance identification to those who have provided you with medical services.
7) Know what your physician orders for you.
8) Keep your health care records in order. Not sure how to get organized? Read our blog, Getting Organized in Six Simple Steps.
Hopefully you and your loved one will never be a victim of health care or insurance fraud. However, if you need to report actual or attempted fraud, contact the National Fraud Information Center.