Every year, Medicare loses about $60 billion to fraud, errors and abuse. It seems like just as one scam is beaten down another one pops up – kind of like a Whack-A-Mole game.

Progress has been made in controlling the knee-and-back-brace scams and now there’s a new one: genetic testing. This is where you are offered information about whether you are a candidate for cancer in exchange for a cheek swab – oh, and your Medicare and/or Social Security number. Plus, you are assured that “Medicare pays for it.”

Don’t fall for this.

Giving your personal identifying information to anyone who is not entitled to it is the first step in identity theft. We all need to all do what we can to keep Medicare expenses in check. Everyone needs to be vigilant. For more information, or If you think you have been a victim of Medicare fraud or abuse, call the Senior Medicare Patrol at 800-786-5536 ext 4071.

Joe Lykins

Senior Services Specialist

Area Agency on Aging

of North Idaho

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