Latest Scams Targeting Older Adults
Genetic Testing Awareness
Our SHIP and SMP networks recently received additional information from the Administration for Community Living informing us that representatives from genetic testing companies, or possibly insurance agents working on behalf of these companies, may ask to participate in a beneficiary event. For the protection of our beneficiaries, we have been advised to decline these requests because of the potential for fraud. CMS has received inquiries from beneficiaries stating that they have been billed for genetic testing or cancer screenings performed at community events and senior centers. NARCOG is helping the ACL by sharing the following messages with beneficiaries:
- Do not give out your Medicare number or Social Security number. Be cautious of unsolicited requests for your Medicare or Social Security numbers. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
- Do not consent to any lab tests at senior centers, health fairs, or in your home. Be suspicious of anyone claiming that genetic tests and cancer screenings are at no cost to you.
- Genetic tests and cancer screenings must be medically necessary and ordered by your doctor to be covered by Medicare. Random genetic testing and cancer screenings aren’t covered by Medicare. If you are interested in the test, speak with your doctor.
- Monitor your Medicare Summary Notice to see if there are any services you didn’t have or didn’t want but were billed for. Medicare Summary Notices are sent every three months if you get any services or medical supplies during that 3-month period.
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-HHS-TIPS if you think you’re a victim of fraud.
Calling 1-800-MEDICARE is probably the most efficient way to address any claims that may have been submitted.
Our State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) and Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program are available to answer your questions and assist you with any concerns you have regarding solicitations for genetic testing.