Health Care Fraud
There are several forms of health care and health insurance fraud. With health care, the most common schemes are equipment and rolling lab fraud. Manufacturers of equipment may offer free products to seniors, but they wind up billing insurance companies for these. They are either unnecessary items or are never even delivered. Malls, retirement homes and health clubs are common spots where rolling labs show up. They may offer fake tests to collect money from seniors. Alternately, they may bill Medicare for the fake tests. Some companies may also bill insurance companies for services that do not exist or were never performed. Seniors should always keep in mind that a physician should sign for a service or piece of equipment if it is necessary. Do not buy equipment or agree to take tests if a personal physician does not recommend and sign for them. Always verify with Medicare or an insurer that a service or piece of equipment will be covered, and do not do business with telemarketers or door-to-door salespeople. Keep accurate records of all appointments, lab tests and other medical procedures.
Prescription Drug Fraud
Always know what a prescription drug should look like before taking it. Examine pills carefully to ensure they are not counterfeit, and look at the lot numbers and packaging to see if there are any changes. If the drug looks suspicious, contact the physician or pharmacist. When any adverse side effects happen after taking a drug, notify both the pharmacist and the prescribing physician. Be cautious when ordering prescriptions over the Internet. Do not buy any drugs from companies that sell drugs without prescriptions or are unlicensed, and always look for the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site seal. Beware of promotions and cost reductions, which are commonly associated with counterfeit medications.
Funeral And Cemetery Fraud
All funeral homes are required by law to provide a detailed price list, which is called a GPL, by phone or in writing. Before buying a casket, do some research. Keep in mind they are not required for cremation. Embalming is not required for cremation, but it may be required by some churches for funerals with open-casket viewings. Additional services and the professional services fee are different items on a funeral home's GPL. Any extra services that are itemized, such as a limo for family members to the burial site, will be added to the professional services fee. Read any contracts carefully before signing, and ask questions about refunds, cancellations and interest accrual for prepaid funeral fees. When pre-planning, be sure to let family members know the name and number of the funeral home chosen. A good funeral home will never pressure a person into buying something he or she cannot afford. If a salesperson seems too pushy, try another funeral home.
Fraudulent cemetery representatives may also try to sell plots that do not exist. In some cases, contracts may include fees that are not necessary, but the actual cemetery plot may still exist. When buying a cemetery plot, be sure to buy from the cemetery directly. Read all contracts carefully, and know the location of the plot. Let family members know about any purchased plots.
Let an agent help you prevent health insurance fraud at HALO 314-351-HALO (4256).