FEDweek

Medicare’s Tips on Preventing Identity Theft

The Medicare program advises beneficiaries to take preventive action against identity theft, including:

Guarding personal information such as Medicare identifiers and SSNs, and only sharing personal information with providers, plans, and suppliers approved by Medicare (a list of approved suppliers is available on Medicare.gov). Importantly, do not give personal information to anyone who calls or comes to the door uninvited, including individuals claiming to be conducting a health survey. Medicare and Medicaid do not send representatives to homes to sell products or services.

Checking medical bills, explanations of benefits, and credit reports for accuracy; record the receipt of services and compare this to Medicare statements.

Being suspicious of anyone who offers free medical equipment or services; if it is free, they do not need a Medicare number. Do not accept offers of money or gifts for free medical care.

Not letting anyone borrow or use a Medicare ID card or identity in exchange for goods or services; this is illegal.