Medicare fraud is an ever-growing problem that’s estimated to cost the government up to $60 billion every year. Fraud is so rampant that it accounts for anywhere from 3 percent to 12 percent of all Medicare spending. Millions of seniors experience Medicare fraud and identity theft every year. As a family caregiver, it’s important to watch for signs of fraud and abuse to protect your elderly loved one.
Medicare fraud isn’t the only age-related issue seniors may have to face. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust elder care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she lives with an illness and performs the daily tasks of living.
Say “No” to Free Services
Many cases of Medicare fraud or abuse involve physicians or other healthcare professionals offering seniors “free” services of some sort. While the senior may not pay anything, his or her insurance will. This scam is so common because insurers are required to pay claims within 30 days, meaning that by the time the insurer has the time to scrutinize the claim, the money is already paid out.
There are many examples of this type of Medicare scam. For example, medical equipment suppliers may give out free cheap braces to seniors and then bill Medicare for more expensive braces. A podiatrist may offer free pedicures to seniors in a nursing facility and then bill Medicare for foot surgeries. Be suspicious of any medical supplier, doctor, or healthcare provider who:
- Asks for your loved one’s Medicare number in exchange for free equipment or free services
- Advertises free consultations for seniors with Medicare
- Offers services over the phone or door-to-door
- Uses high-pressure sales tactics
- Bills Medicare for services your loved one didn’t receive
Older adults can lower their risk of experiencing fraud and enjoy a higher quality of life by receiving competent in-home care services. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality at-home care. Columbia families trust Assisting Hands Home Care to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Protect Private Information
Many aging adults are targeted by identity thieves who use seniors’ personal information and medical identities to submit false claims. Once a thief has someone’s insurance information, he or she can use it to submit bogus Medicare claims.
Fight identity theft by protecting your loved one’s personal information and Medicare number. Don’t give out information to anyone calling on the phone or knocking on the door uninvited. Only give personal information to Medicare-approved providers, and keep in mind official Medicare business is always done by mail.
A professional home caregiver can promote a safe, happy, and high-quality life for your loved one. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional elderly home care Columbia seniors can trust and rely on. Assisting Hands Home Care will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 443-233-1245 to learn more about our customized care plans.