health care providers are honest and are providing the best care
they can, but the small number who aren't find ways to steal billions
of dollars from the health care system each year. Even more is lost
to errors in billing that are never found. Below you will find current
scams that are happening right here in Iowa.
Grandparent Scam Still Stalking Older Iowans
An older woman from central Iowa was targeted by a scam artist following the theme of the "grandparent scam." The caller was very convincing that he was her grandson who was out of the country, in jail and needed bail money. This woman was courageous enough to do the right thing, which is to stop a minute and think, end the call and then contacted her son to ask if her grandson was in trouble and needing help. Her son was able to contact the grandson and of course............no trouble -- he was fine! Her son also assisted her by contacting the local police and the Iowa Attorney General's office to make them aware these scam attempts are still occurring.
Suspicious Calls Using Major Pharmacy Chain Store Name
Older Iowans in central Iowa have been reporting calls that may be potential scam attempts. All those receiving calls are customers of a major pharmacy chain; the caller says they are phoning from that pharmacy and asking to verify Medicare numbers and other prescription related information.
The cautionary message for all readers is to remember that a pharmacy, doctor’s office or hospital where you are a patient or customer is not likely to phone you to ask personal information, including your Medicare number. You’ve already provided that information to them. If you receive a call like this, do not reveal your Medicare number or any medical information to the caller! If you think it could be a legitimate call, ask for the caller’s name but do not use a phone number they give you. Look up the number in your own records or phone book and make a call to see if information is needed for your records. Be smarter than a scam artist!
Information About the One Time $250 Rebate Checks Coming to Medicare Beneficiaries Who Experience the Coverage Gap
in Their Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (June, 2010)
Department of Health & Human Services estimates that 4 million persons nationwide may be eligible for this rebate. (The estimate for Iowa is about 90,000 persons.) The first checks are to be mailed June 10, 2010, to approximately 80,000 persons nationwide. And for the remainder of the year, the checks will be mailed on a flow basis with the final checks delivered by March, 2011.
These checks are paid ONE TIME to those who are eligible and are only for this year, 2010. The reason there is a March, 2011 payment is that there is a delay between when the person meets the eligibility requirements and when the check is mailed.
The persons who may be eligible for this rebate do not have to do anything in order to receive the check.
• No papers to file
• No phone calls to answer
• No person knocking at their door
• No arrangements to make for direct deposit option
The only method of payment is a mailed, paper check – no direct deposit. The envelope will have the Dept. of Health and Human Services logo and state "Medicare Part D." For persons in Iowa, the return address will be from Wisconsin. We are waiting to hear what return address will show on checks mailed to other states.
Beneficiaries who have questions should call the toll-free number for Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. If you receive a suspcious contact from someone you think is trying to run a scam, please report to Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-800-423-2449 and we will report to federal officials.