Scammers use phone calls, fake websites or ads on the internet, and TV to trick seniors into providing their Medicare health insurance information.
They then use that information to bill Medicare for fraudulent charges, says Money Talks News’ recent article entitled “This Medicare Scam Offers Free COVID-19 Tests.”
In a recent consumer alert, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says, “We’re hearing about many Medicare recipients who signed up for these free COVID tests and never got them. And what makes matters worse is that scammers could also bill for other products and services people didn’t need — and didn’t get.”
Those seniors who are on Medicare, the federal health insurance program that primarily serves those age 65 and older, are eligible to get up to eight free at-home COVID-19 test kits per month.
They can receive the over-the-counter tests at a participating pharmacy. The Medicare website has a partial list of participating pharmacies.
In addition, the federal government continues to offer free COVID-19 tests to all U.S. households, regardless of whether they have insurance. Every household may request two orders for a total of 16 free test kits.
Anyone can go to the U.S. Postal Service’s special.usps.com/testkits page to ask for these by mail. It’s important to note that you won’t be asked to provide any health insurance information.
Medicare fraud doesn’t directly cost people with Medicare. However, if you have Medicare and someone makes fraudulent Medicare charges in your name, it can affect your coverage.
As such, you should monitor your Medicare Summary Notice documents regularly for any charges for medical goods or services that you didn’t get.
If you get a call from someone who says they’re from Medicare and offers free COVID-19 tests, the FTC advises that you hang up immediately.
More importantly, do not give out your Medicare or other personal information to someone who calls you unexpectedly.
Reference: Money Talks News (Aug. 23, 2022) “This Medicare Scam Offers Free COVID-19 Tests”