Fraudulent medical testing put senior’s coverage at risk

Thursday, May 2, 2019
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This month’s Special Fraud Watch from the Senior Medicare Patrol addresses genetic tests in Montana. Genetic tests must be ordered by your doctor to be covered by Medicare.

Be warned, some labs may offer a cheek swab for genetic testing as part of a “free” health screening in order to obtain your Medicare information for identity theft or fraudulent billing purposes.

Before you agree to genetic testing, be sure the test is ordered by your doctor and the genetic test is medically necessary and covered by your plan.

For example in some cases, the fraudsters work at booths at local health fairs, senior housing, community centers or home health agencies and offer free health screenings, including genetic testing. The representative falsely promises that Medicare will pay for the test, and you simply need to provide a cheek swab, your ID and Medicare information to receive your test results. They may even ask for your doctor’s name, implying that they will send your results to your doctor.

Unfortunately, now they have your health plan or Medicare number, and they can bill Medicare thousands of dollars for medically unnecessary tests or even services that you never receive. They also have personal genetic information regarding your health.

Beware. This is a Scam.

Don’t be a victim of Medicare fraud.

Protect yourself and your benefits.

Never give out your Social Security, Medicare or health plan numbers or banking information to someone you don’t know.

Do not consent to any lab tests without your doctor’s order.

Keep in mind; it is illegal to accept anything of value in exchange for medical services.

For questions about Medicare or for more information, call 1-800-633-4227 or your local SHIP Counselor at 1-800-551-3191 in Roundup.

The area specialist for the USDA Rural Development Program was at the Hardin Senior Center on Thursday, April 25. The program she takes care of is also known as the Section 504 Home Repair program which provides loans to very low income homeowners to repair, improve or modernize their homes and provides grants to elderly very low income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards. To qualify you must be the homeowner and occupy the house, be unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere, have a family income below 50 percent of the area median income and for grants be age 62 or older and not be able to repay a repair loan. Gail will be making another visit here on Wednesday, July 24. For questions call Gail at 406-371-2544 or call the USDA office in Billings at 406-657-6297 extension 124.

Events at the center

The Fun For You Day attendees enjoyed an afternoon at the Hardin Senior Center on Wednesday, April 24 with hostess Shirley Margheim. After playing a few games they went for a treat to The Farmer’s Daughter Store on Center Avenue.

Coming up at the Senior Center is a movie in the afternoon of Wednesday, May 8 and a special Mother’s Day Honoring Dinner on Friday, May 10. Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 12. The Seniors Association meeting will be held on Friday, May 10 at 11 a.m. This month’s Birthday Dinner is on Wednesday, May 15 at the Hardin Senior Center.

We offer congregate meals, home delivered meals, transportation and health screenings.

The Hardin Senior Center, 317 N. Custer Avenue, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The phone number is 665-2581.

The Lodge Grass Senor Center, 119 Harding Avenue, is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The phone for is 639-2265.

Call your center to make meal reservations before 10 a.m. Thank you.

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Upcoming Events