Over the past few years, DNA tests have become more popular across the country. However, unscrupulous people are taking advantage of the buzz around these tests to scam Medicare beneficiaries. To avoid being scammed, consider this advice.
Beware of ‘Free Genetic Testing’ Medicare Scam
(Family Features) Over the past few years, DNA tests have become more popular across the country. However, unscrupulous people are taking advantage of the buzz around these tests to scam Medicare beneficiaries.
Scammers target Medicare beneficiaries through telemarketing calls, booths at public events, health fairs and door-to-door visits. They offer “free” genetic testing to help recipients avoid diseases or find the right medications.
The scammers claim the testing is covered by Medicare, and therefore is free to the beneficiary. In reality, Medicare only covers genetic testing in limited situations, and only when ordered by the beneficiary’s physician. If a company bills Medicare for genetic testing, and Medicare denies the claim, the beneficiary could be responsible for the entire cost of the test, which can total around $10,000.
In other cases, the scammers are simply trying to obtain Medicare numbers they can use to steal a beneficiary’s medical identity or to fraudulently bill Medicare for services they did not provide. Such fraud can hurt not just Medicare beneficiaries, but all American taxpayers who contribute to Medicare.
To avoid being scammed, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) offers this advice to beneficiaries:
If you received a cheek swab or screening that was not ordered by a trusted provider or have concerns about billing errors or possible fraud, contact your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). The SMP program, funded by ACL, helps Medicare beneficiaries protect themselves from fraud, errors and abuse, and detect and report problems if and when they occur. To find your local SMP, visit smpresource.org or call 1-877-808-2468.
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Administration for Community Living
Many seniors are finding their medical expenses exceed what they anticipated when planning for retirement. Whether living a longer, healthier life than anticipated, dealing with a critical illness or paying for ongoing treatment for various ailments, the costs associated with medical care can add up. To help manage your assets in a way that allows you to deal with mounting health care costs, try one of these solutions.
How to Deal with Rising Health Care Costs
(Family Features) Many seniors are finding their medical expenses exceed what they anticipated when planning for retirement. Maximizing the value of available assets can be one of the ways to significantly ease a stressed budget.
Whether living a longer, healthier life than anticipated, dealing with a critical illness or paying for ongoing treatment for various ailments, the costs associated with medical care can add up. If you or a loved one is facing this challenge, it may be time to explore alternatives that allow you to continue to cover your expenses while easing the burden on your bank account.
Consider this story about a woman who sold her $500,000 term policy to pay her medical bills and cover future treatment costs. After her husband passed away, she was having trouble meeting her life insurance premium payments. Years later, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was struggling to meet the cost of her ongoing treatment. She tried to apply for an accelerated death benefit, but didn’t qualify due to her state’s regulations. That’s when she contacted Coventry Direct to explore the option of selling her policy.
One of these solutions may help manage your assets in a way that allows you to deal with mounting health care costs:
Cut costs where you can. Ask your doctor to periodically review your medications to determine whether there are any you can eliminate, either due to improved condition or because other, newer prescriptions make them redundant. Also, talk with your doctor and pharmacist to ensure you are able to fill generic prescriptions when possible for added savings.
Take stock of your financial resources. Obvious assets such as a bank account or home can be leveraged for your financial benefit, but don’t overlook other potential resources, such as a life insurance policy. Many people are not aware that life insurance is personal property, has value and can be sold. Selling your life insurance policy, which is known as a life settlement, may result in an immediate cash payment. A company like Coventry Direct can help you determine whether a life settlement might allow you to sell your policy to help cover immediate needs or relieve the pressure of mounting medical debt.
Be a smart shopper. Shopping around for the best prices may take time, but it can also help you keep more of your money. For example, when it comes to special treatments and procedures, ask for a detailed explanation of charges ahead of time and compare outpatient facilities to hospitals to find the most affordable option.
Seek supplemental coverage. If out-of-pocket expenses are eating away at your savings account and you qualify for Medicare, consider purchasing supplemental coverage. You may find that the monthly premiums are more affordable than the costs you rack up with each new visit or prescription refill.
Managing your medical costs can feel like an overwhelming task, but there are steps you can take, including tapping into your financial assets, that can ease stress and allow you to focus more energy on managing your health and happiness.
To learn more about your options and whether a life settlement is right for you, visit coventrydirect.com/lifesettlements or call 888-858-9344.
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