July 13, 2017. Our program featured Ron Lambert who is a volunteer for CARIE (Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly). The core mission of CARIE is to improve the well-being, rights and autonomy of older persons through advocacy, education, and action. Ron’s program centered on the problem of Medicare fraud, the cost of which has been estimated at $60 billion/year. He offered three words of advice to those on Medicare: protect, detect, and report.
He stressed the need to protect your Medicare number. Only carry your card when you know you will need it. Your card includes your social security number. Never give your Medicare number to anybody but a health care provider. New, more secure, chip-embedded cards will be distributed from April 2018 through December 2019. He advised to resist ordering products featured in television ads. Those products offered at “little or no cost” to the consumer are probably too good to be true. Trust your medical professionals to recommend which products to buy. Ask your care provider if they are Medicare approved BEFORE you receive treatment. Always get a receipt when you use your Medicare card. Do not leave the medical facility without checking the receipt. Make sure all the charges are proper.
People with questions can call CARIE at 1-800-356-3606. The people from CARIE will help resolve any issues and take the steps to alert law enforcement officials if necessary.