NY Medicare helps to offset the cost of your hospital visit. It can also give out all kinds of information about you. Identity theft in the U.S. alone has cost consumers millions and millions of dollars. Protecting your wallet and your NY Medicare information is vital.
You may have heard recent news stories about hospital bills and Medicare fraud accusations. It is estimated that about 50% of Medicare claims have errors. However, it is not the errors that are the true issue. The true problem is that the NY Medicare system is rife with out-and-out fraud.
Many members have reported getting statements of charges from Medicare that contain services that they never received. In some cases, the information is traced back to a case of identity theft. One of the most common ways nefarious types can get information about your identity is through data breaches. In 2019, in just the first half of the year from January to June, about 4 billion records were exposed because of data breaches.
However, high-tech data breaches are not the only way thieves are collecting information. In some cases, they get it the old-fashioned way by lifting your wallet and collecting identifying information from an ID like your NY Medicare card.
Doing Your Part to Stop the Fraud
Medicare provides health insurance support to millions of people each year. The processors rarely review the claims for unusual activity. About 29.6% of Medicare patients are diagnosed with cancer, about 17.4% are diagnosed with heart disease, and about 15.6% are diagnosed with dementia. Those numbers translate into hundreds of thousands if not millions of claims each year. It can be nearly impossible to go over the claims with razor-sharp accuracy when the claims are being processed. It is up to every Medicare beneficiary to ensure that they are not being defrauded and ultimately the system is not being defrauded.
There are things you can do to reduce the risk that you will be a victim of Medicare fraud. Acting quickly can stop fraud. If you start getting bills from a hospital that you know that you have never visited, call right away to dispute the charges, then call the Medicare fraud hotline.
Do not keep your NY Medicare card in your wallet unless you are going to the hospital or to the doctor’s office. As a matter of fact, keep as few identifying documents in your wallet as possible. The fewer things you have in your wallet the better.
If you frequent the same hospital and doctor’s office, there is no reason for you to carry around your Medicare card at all. It should have been scanned into the system during your first visit.
Protecting Your Wallet With Your NY Medicare Card
Sometimes you will have to bring your Medicare card along to the hospital or the doctor’s office. During those times, be sure to protect your wallet. If you are a gentleman that usually keeps your wallet in your back pocket, change that habit. Keep your wallet in your front pocket or in an inside jacket pocket.
Ladies keep your wallet tucked safely inside a purse in a zippered compartment. Creating a physical barrier to accessing your wallet is a good safety measure. Keep frequently used cards handy instead of being buried in your wallet. Rifling through your wallet in a public space can be dangerous and an invitation to thieves.
Never Give Information Out Over The Phone
It is not just physical protection that you need to worry about. Never give out your Medicare number over the phone. If someone calls you posing as a hospital employee, get a phone number from them, call the general number for the hospital and ask to speak with the person that just called you.
It is always better to be safe than sorry. Protect your wallet and the information that it contains and guard your NY Medicare card like it is gold because to thieves it is as good as gold.