Diabetic Seniors: Fraud Alert for Supplies

Diabetes involves many care needs, including supplies for glucose meters, test strips and lancets to prick the skin for blood sugar testing.  Seniors who need to monitor their blood sugar and take medication for diabetes may be targets by professional fraudsters.

The National Legal Resource Center (NLRC) has issued an alert for those seniors with diabetes to be aware of telephone solicitors who are really just looking to gain their personal information by pretending to be providers of "free" diabetic supplies.

What is the Diabetes Medicare Fraud Scheme?

Someone pretending to be from the government, a diabetes association or from Medicare will call the diabetic senior to offer "free" diabetic supplies.  The caller may offer a heating pad or foot orthotics in exchange for the senior's Medicare or financial information.  As the cost of these supplies can become an extra expense burden for seniors, many times there is temptation to accept the "free" items by exchanging the personal information to qualify.

Then the diabetic senior may receive items in the mail which they never ordered and the supplies are billed to Medicare under the person's Medicare number.  They are not free.

The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, advises you about what to do if you or your aging parent receives one of these suspicious calls:

  1. Do not provide your medicare number or other personal information to anyone over the phone when they call with an "offer".  Medicare and other legitimate agencies do not call to solicit sales of supplies.
  2. Report the Call:  1-800-HHS-TIPS
  3. Check your Medicare Summary Notice and Billing
  4. Refuse Delivery of Items You Did Not Order

If you notice any items on your Medicare summary which you are not familiar with, you should always call to question them.

Senior caregivers should also monitor suspicious calls and provide another set of eyes to review Medicare statements.




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