Protect Yourself – Medicaid and Healthcare

November 18, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

Healthcare organizations such as Medicaid and Medicare find themselves losing millions of dollars each year to scams and theft by fraud. If you’re covered by such an organization, make sure that you take the necessary steps in order to protect yourself and make sure that you don’t become a victim of any fraudulent practices. While lots of people think that they could never become a victim of such a scam, it’s more popular than many people think, but thankfully, there are things you can do in order to minimise the chances of it ever happening to you.

 Don’t give out your information

Under no circumstances should you give out your information to somebody unless you’re 100% convinced that they are a representative of the organization. If you receive a phone call from somebody claiming that they are from Medicaid, the best thing to do is hang up, call Medicaid directly and ask them if they have just contacted you. They may tell you that it was indeed a representative calling you to carry out market research or to give you new information about the company, and in that case, you can give your information as normal now that you have called back. However, if they tell you that none of their members of staff have been calling members asking for information, you’ll feel lucky that you didn’t fall into the trap!

 Keep records of visits and appointments

This might seem like a terrible chore and it may appear to take up a lot of time when you have other things to do, but if anything does ever happen to you in relation to Medicaid, you’ll be very glad that you took the time to keep proper records. This is because it is well-known for healthcare professionals in some circles to overcharge patients massively for the treatment that they have. If this ever happens to you and you feel like there has been some fraud taking place, you should contact a Medicaid fraud lawyer. “The earlier a Medicaid fraud lawyer enters the case the better. Prior to any contact with the Bureau of Fraud Investigation, a full eligibility analysis and document review needs to be conducted,” says Todd Spodek of Spodek Law Group. If you have kept proper records, it makes it much easier for the lawyer to assess whether or not you may have been a victim of fraud.

 Don’t accept “free” healthcare

Although you might love the idea of getting free healthcare when you get a random call from “Medicaid”, it’s important not to fall for it. Scam artists will call you with these offers of free or extremely cheap healthcare simply to get your information, not so you’ll really get the healthcare you want! It’s important to educate yourself about your healthcare organization, since this will help you not only when it comes to being billed and what you’re entitled for, but you’ll also be able to learn about the company and how it operates, when it calls and what offers it may or may not have available to you.

Understand your plan

This rule applies to anything, whether it’s insurance, healthcare, travel or pets. You should always understand your plan and the terms and conditions before signing anything. Many people have failed to read the terms and conditions of a healthcare plan and gone on to think that they are eligible for certain things, only to find out that there are, in fact, not eligible at all and have to pay for it. When they are billed, they instantly believe that there has been some type of fraud taking place; however, this is often not the case. The better you understand your plan, the more chance you have of being shocked and surprised by what you’re being billed for after an appointment or a few days in hospital. Make sure things like prescriptions are covered and that you can get them from a place like an online pharmacy if you have trouble getting around, also make sure that the pharmacy accepts your type of insurance.

Report, report, report!

It’s definitely better to be on the safe side than to fall victim of fraudulent practices, so don’t be afraid of reporting anything that you find a bit suspicious. You can do this at first by contacting Medicaid or your healthcare organization and asking questions or simply letting them know what has happened. Secondly, you can contact a fraud lawyer or even the police if you’re quite sure that it’s a serious offence. Remember that you shouldn’t waste police time and so shouldn’t report every tiny little thing to the police first. There are always other routes to take if you’re not sure, namely the fraud lawyers, the company itself and also any other fraud investigation companies who offer free advice. As long as you’re reporting the incidents truly believing that there could be fraud, you won’t be able to get into any trouble with anybody.