Over my career as a broker for BGA Insurance Group, I have always prided myself as an agent who shoots it straight as far as the truth goes and someone who is patient with my clients. As a matter of fact, all my agents pride themselves in that manner and have proven so.
I can tell you that by the large number of testimonials I have received over the years praising our group. I’m blogging today to warn you to be on the lookout for unscrupulous insurance agents and lab workers at various health fairs offering free genetic screening.
Over the past six months or so there have been some hyped up excitement about some labs offering “free” cheek swabs at events such as local health fairs, for the purpose of genetic testing as part of a “free” health screening in order to obtain beneficiary Medicare information for identity theft or fraudulent billing purposes.
Medicare covers procedures when ordered by a physician that is medically necessary. I state that to all my clients. In fact, I can recite word for word what I say to every prospect during a presentation, “if your doctor say’s you need, you can be certain Medicare will cover it.”
If your doctor say’s its important that you get a blood test, Medicare abides by what the doctor orders.
You just can’t wake up in the morning and say to yourself “you know, I think I’m in the mood for a blood test today, I think I’ll just go down and get one.’’
The same goes with this so-called free genetic testing. If your physician did not order it, it will not be covered. These scams are popping up all over the place to lure the senior market because most are Medicare beneficiaries. These scams are designed to fraud the Medicare billing system and steal social security numbers from unsuspecting seniors.
These scams directed at Medicare beneficiaries are becoming more elaborate by the day since Medicare has issued new Medicare cards for all its recipients minus their social security number stamped on them. Every recipient will now have a card with random Medicare numbers to help seniors maintain their identities and protect them from fraud.
Another scam you need to watch out for is insurance agents themselves offering you advice to get genetically tested and telling you that Medicare will cover the cost. These agents are usually being paid under the table by a third party like a one of those fraudulent labs I explained about earlier.
We are so used to hearing about crooked store front operations selling seniors durable medical equipment and then over-billing Medicare and then closing shop a week later. That fraud alone is costing the Medicare system millions of dollars every year.
Now scam artists are praying on your fears by using the cancer scare in this case “prostate screening.” Again, if you can remember the term “medically necessary” you will be fine. A guy in a lab coat at a local health fair offering a free cheek swab for screening purposes does not qualify as medically necessary, only your personal physician does.
Fraud plays a huge role in this world and we the taxpayers pay for it. My livelihood depends on a healthy Medicare system and one day I will turn 65.
The same goes for you, Medicare is your own personal health care, so protect it. So, I ask you all to be on the lookout for these various scams and report what you see to the proper authorities…1-800-Medicare/1-800-633-4227. I know it’s easy to look the other way, but I think Medicare is a great system that needs to be protected for all of us.