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Senior Medicare Patrol

Medicare Fraud and Abuse

The U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) funds the SMP project which empowers and assists Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse through outreach, counseling, and education.
SMP scam watch banner for Coronvirus (Covid-19)

Scams related to COVID-19 are rapidly increasing. Scammers are targeting older adults and those with serious long-term health conditions who are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. As a result, fraudsters are attempting to bill Medicare for sham tests or treatment, as well as targeting individuals to illegally obtain money or Medicare numbers.

Actions you can take to help prevent fraud:

  • Don't give out your Medicare number to anyone other than your doctor or health care provider.
  • Never give out your Medicare number to anyone who contacts you through unsolicited calls, texts or emails.
  • Don't click on links from sources you don't know which could put your computer or device at risk.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations and ads touting prevention products or cures for COVID-19.

Please visit the SMP National Resource Center web page below for tips on preventing fraud and information about Medicare coverage.…/Med…/Fraud-Schemes/COVID-19-fraud.aspx

Call the Alaska DHSS Medicare Information Office with questions at 800-478-6065 or 907-269-3680 (in Anchorage).

'Free' DNA testing used to scam Medicare recipients

States sound alarm about fraudsters urging cancer screenings reported in an article by Katherine Skiba, AARP, April 19, 2019.

New Medicare Cards – April 2018 to April 2019

Guard Your Card (YouTube Video). From April 2018 to April 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be mailing new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare. In order to help protect people from medical identity theft and keep their private information more secure, the new cards will have Social Security numbers removed from them and each beneficiary will be issued a new Medicare number. This will not change the coverage or benefits currently being received.

To ensure that you receive your card, make sure that your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be changed, contact Social Security at, or by calling 1-800-772-1213.

Beware of anyone who contacts you about your new Medicare card. CMS will never ask you to give personal or private information in order to get your new Medicare Number and card.

Review this video regarding scams and your card:​

Medicare Minutes

Medicare Minutes are short, engaging presentations on timely Medicare topics that are presented at local sites on a monthly basis. Each month, SHIPs will receive a new Medicare Minute, which they then present at community gathering spots, offering valuable information to their peers, strengthening volunteer participation and establishing programming that has a track record of securing funding from foundation, government, and individual sources.