Have you received a phone call or a postcard in the mail offering you a back brace or knee brace? It is not uncommon for Medicare beneficiaries to receive these types of solicitations, even when your doctor has not deemed a medical device necessary. Often the “salesperson” will tell you that the product will help you and it’s “free” because it’s “covered by Medicare.” They will also request lots of personal information, including your Social Security number. If you receive one of these solicitations here a few tips to remember:
- Hang up: Don’t engage with an unsolicited caller who offers you medical supplies.
- Listen to your doctor: Medicare has strict coverage rules for its medical supplies that need to be prescribed by your doctor. Never respond to open solicitations for Medicare-covered supplies.
- Protect your personal information: Only provide your Medicare number to health care providers at the time you are actively seeking service.
- Reconcile your Medicare statements: Carefully monitor your Medicare statements for any claims for services or supplies billed to you which you did not receive.
- Report fraud: If you’ve been solicited by a potential Medicare scammer, report it by calling the Office of the Inspector General at: 800‑447‑8477 or visit medicare.gov. You can also contact the Colorado Senior Medicare Patrol at: 800-503-5190.
If you have questions about a potential Medicare scam call or medical supply offer you received, contact an AARP Foundation ElderWatch Volunteer Specialist at 800-222-4444, option 2, to talk you through the situation.