Friday, October 29, 2018
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Fraud in the News
The following are current news articles about fraud issues.

Consumer Fraud:

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. 
  

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Dear SMP Readers, 

In this week's Fraud Alert, the Illinois SMP is featured in a news report airing tonight, and consumers are wondering if they got a letter from Medicare. 

Have a great week!

Watch Tonight's CBS 2 Chicago News for Illinois SMP & DME Scam Story

Tonight on CBS 2 News at 10, Pam Zekman interviews AgeOptions' Travis Trumitch about a durable medical equipment scam targeting Medicare beneficiaries. This investigative news report also features beneficiaries whose Medicare accounts were billed for braces or orthotics that they did not need. 

Tune in tonight to see the full story on CBS 2 Chicago News at 10 (airing 10 pm CT). See a preview of this story including a video on CBS 2's website " Medical Supply Phone Scam Targets Seniors, Costs Medicare Millions." 

Is That a Letter from Medicare?

The Illinois SMP at AgeOptions has received several reports from beneficiaries receiving letters that they believe are from Medicare. These letters say that it is important that you call soon to talk to a licensed insurance agent about the options available to you in 2019. 

These letters are not coming from Medicare but are coming from a ".com" company. Medicare does not require you to review your plans or make changes. 

Medicare lets you compare plans on its official government site Medicare.gov. It is important to note that the web address for the official Medicare page includes ".gov" Any website other than Medicare.gov or MyMedicare.gov is not the official government website. 

Also, if you want to call Medicare, the number is 
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Be careful dialing that number to ensure you are actually calling
1-800-633-4227.

If you have received a letter from a ".com" company, look closely at the letter. It will usually say that it is from a "non-government resource," meaning that it is not a letter from Medicare itself.

From now until December 7, this is Medicare's annual open enrollment period, and you have  the opportunity to make changes to your Medicare plans. T here are free, impartial resources to help you compare plans, including the Illinois SHIP, Medicare.gov, and your local area agency on aging. Read more about these resources in our SMP article: Medicare Open Enrollment and Marketing Fraud: Making a Choice that is Right for You .

If you are concerned about inappropriate insurance marketing tactics, call the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions at (800)699-9043 and ask for "SMP."
Fraud Alerts contain information about current scams taking place in Illinois, announcements and updates about programs or services related to health care and/or fraud protection, and links to news articles about health care and fraud topics. Please forward any recommendations or announcements that you would like to be included in a future Fraud Alert to jason.echols@ageoptions.org