It seems to increase with each passing year. Medicare is the largest provider of senior health care, and many times seniors find themselves most vulnerable to fraud. However, there are steps you can take and things you can be aware of in order to protect yourself from Medicare Fraud. These tips can help you save money and protect your personal medical information.

How Can I Protect Myself Against Medicare Fraud?

Always review the Medicare bills that you receive. An official Medicare payment request will detail the health care services or products that were used, what Medicare was billed for those services, what Medicare paid for those services and what you owe toward that particular bill. Always make sure that the bill you have received is for services or products that you used.

Protect your Medicare card and store it in a safe spot. There is an important Medicare Health Insurance Claim Number on this card, and it should only be shared with your physicians or any other Medicare provider.

Do not give your medical records or senior healthcare information to anyone other than qualified medical professionals.

Do not ever provide anyone with your Medicare Health Insurance Claim Number over the phone. Do not provide anyone who is selling products at your door with your Medicare Health Insurance Claim Number. Medicare professionals will never contact you on the phone and ask for your number, nor will a Medicare professional ever come to your home unannounced in an attempt to sell you senior health care products.

Be aware that there are people out there who will offer you free medical services or free equipment. Typically, these con artists will offer these services to you and then ask you for your Medicare Health Insurance Claim Number. Do not provide this person with that information, and then contact the police. This practice is illegal.

Medicare will not endorse specific health care providers. Avoid working with a supposed health care professional who claims to be endorsed or supported by Medicare. This is not common practice and may be a red flag for fraud.

Contact Medicare at any time that you see an error on your bill or you are concerned about a particular situation being fraudulent. You can reach a helpful Medicare professional by calling 1-800-MEDICARE to find out more information or to report suspicious activity or fraud.

Medicare Fraud is an all-too-real problem in today’s society, and unfortunately senior citizens are often seen as easy victims in these schemes. Protect your senior health care information along with other important personal and financial information. Know what you can expect from Medicare and what you should not expect from Medicare professionals, and know who to contact if you suspect fraud. The more aware you are of these types of fraudulent schemes, the more protected you will be into the future. Following these simple rules will protect your identity as well as your money.