June 3, 2019
Don't Spring for "Free" Genetic and
Cancer Screenings
If you are attending a senior or health fair this spring, and you stumble upon a vendor that offers "free" genetic testing or cancer screenings, take a second to ask yourself some questions before giving them your information and your DNA for a swab.

These tests are, in fact, not free. While the testing company might not charge you for a co-pay, please note that these tests (when legit) probably have a 20% co-pay under Part B, so in a non-fraud scenario, there is an out of pocket cost. Medicare will be charged, and this could affect your insurance further down the road when you might actually need a cancer screening or genetic test.

Medicare may cover genetic tests for diagnostic use when medically necessary and when your doctor prescribes this test.

If you've received genetic testing paid for by Medicare at a fair or presentation or notice something suspicious on your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN), please contact the Illinois Senior Medicare Patrol at AgeOptions at(800)699-6043

Click Here for our Genetic Testing Tip Sheet in English.

Click here for our Genetic Testing Tip Sheet in Spanish.
Genetic Testing Scammers Now Turning
to Phone Calls
Scammers are using the popularity of Ancestory.com, 23 and Me and other DNA testing products to get Medicare beneficiaries to take "free" genetic tests. Scammers are now calling consumers over the phone and offering "free" genetic tests.

The scammers call saying your doctor has ordered these tests. After they have collected the older adult's information, including Medicare number, the scammers will send kits through the mail. The consumer then swabs their mouth, sends it back to the company, and Medicare is billed.

While the Illinois SMP has mostly heard of genetic testing scams at health fairs, a recent article from AARP highlights that this is a scam whether it happens at a health fair, community center or over the phone.

Click here to read the whole article from AARP.
Have a wonderful week!

Travis Trumitch
Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area. If you would like to sign up to receive the Fraud Alert directly, visit click here.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0036, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.
The Illinois SMP at AgeOptions partners with agencies across the state to empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse through outreach, counseling, and education.

Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area and visit our website to sign up for our Fraud Alert email list.