brace01 adj“Do you have Medicare? Do you have aches and pains? We can provide braces that Medicare will cover! How about a genetic testing kit to see if you are predisposed to getting cancer?” If you are like most Medicare beneficiaries, you or someone you know has received phone calls or other solicitations for these items, often several times a day. TV ads are also very effective at soliciting these products.

Braces are considered by Medicare to be durable medical equipment (DME.) They are only covered when medically necessary and prescribed by your physician. In one recent scam, a Pennsylvania resident was called and offered wrist and back braces. She gave her Medicare ID number to the caller, and a few days later received a box of cheap, over-the-counter braces that she didn’t need. But her Medicare was charged nearly $5,000 for the equipment. If you need any medical equipment, call your doctor first. Hang up on anyone calling to sell you these items. It’s almost certainly a scam and you could wind up having to pay out-of-pocket for the equipment. Genetic testing scams are also very common. The tests are presented as available and beneficial to a wide range of people, and companies often say that a person’s insurance will cover the tests or testing kits at no cost to them. Medicare does have a benefit that covers genetic testing for individuals that meet very specific criteria for these tests. Here are the facts:

The only genetic test that Medicare covers as a screening benefit without cost to the beneficiary is the colorectal cancer screening test.
Medicare covers other genetic tests as diagnostic services, meaning that by federal regulation the treating physician must order the test and use its results to manage the patient’s condition. The regulation states that any test that’s ordered by someone other than the treating physician is “not reasonable and necessary.”

Beneficiaries could be subjected to unnecessary services and potential out-of-pocket costs. Since the consumer’s insurance is billed, often with falsified claim information by physicians who have never seen the beneficiary, consumers should consult with their personal doctors first if they believe that a genetic test would be beneficial.

The PA Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at CARIE works to curb fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid. If you need more information, please don’t hesitate to contact CARIE at 800-356-3606. Help is always free and confidential.

More Finance Articles

  • “Should I Sell My House Myself?”

    This question goes through everyone’s mind at one time or another. Can I save some money and some hassles if I do it myself (FSBO – For Sale By Owner)? Let’s look at why it is more advantageous to use...

  • 10 Commandments of Selling Your Home

    Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey. Here is simple advice for consumers when buying or selling a home. What is the home you’re buying/selling really...

  • 5 Real Estate Terms You Need to Know

    “In almost 40 years in real estate one of the most important things that I have learned is to have clear communication with clients and not to assume that we are all speaking the same language.” Below are...

  • 7 Deadly Sins of Real Estate

    Advice to help your real estate transactions. Helpful tips that will make your real estate transactions much easier.

  • A Reverse Mortgage Makes Your Home Work For You

    A reverse mortgage may help you pay off debt and provide breathing room John and Carol love getting their grandchildren off the bus, volunteering at church, and going for long walks together at Trexler...

  • Adjusting Your Home to Your Lifestyle

    As the frozen ground relinquishes its grip on budding tulips, we take note of the regeneration around us. Spring represents a rebirth and renewed vitality and stimulates a re-assessment of our...

  • Are You Planning for a Good Retirement?

    Most people who vacation spend many hours planning before hand. They purchase tickets, make reservations, schedule tours and transportation and anything else that allows them to relax and enjoy their...

  • Are You Ready for Medicare Open Enrollment?

    Medicare Open Enrollment for 2018 starts October 15 and remains open until December 7. During this annual enrollment period (AEP) you can make changes to various aspects of your coverage. You can...

  • Beach Property Drawbacks

    Erosion due to storms can be a huge challenge!   While it can happen any time of the year, erosion due to storms can have a dramatic impact on beachfront properties as evidenced by this picture in...

  • Before You Buy or Sell Your Home

    A crucial part of a house transaction is the inspection. There are a number of standard issues to review. Using a certified inspector will help ensure the property is cleared of any problems....

  • Benefits of Using Senior Real Estate Specialist

    Seniors have unique situations that call for someone trained to best handle them. A specialist brings more than just a realtor’s license when helping seniors with their real estate issues. These...

  • Brace and Testing Scam

    “Do you have Medicare? Do you have aches and pains? We can provide braces that Medicare will cover! How about a genetic testing kit to see if you are predisposed to getting cancer?” If you are like...

  • Buying or Selling a Home? Use a Realtor with Experience

    Similar to younger generations, seniors are an active demographic in the real estate market. Whether downsizing or moving closer to family, seniors need and desire to transition into a new home for...

  • Discounts for Veterans 2018

    This section is  a list of local and national organizations that offer discounts to veterans. These discounts can change so check first to verify the discounts offered. Also included are resources...

  • Dutch Treat - Savings in the Valley

    For many years organizations like AAA and AARP have negotiated discounts for members and seniors with national companies. At the local level there are numerous businesses in our community that offer...

  • Elder Law Alert: Department of Veterans Affairs Makes Sweeping Changes to VA Pension and Aid & Attendance Benefit

    Introduction VA Pension benefits are “nonservice connected” disability benefits that provide a monthly tax-free income to eligible wartime veterans and their surviving spouses. A married veteran can...

  • Excellent Phone Apps for Seniors

    MintGet your finances under control with an all-in-one budget and money tracker called Mint. By securely syncing to your bank accounts and credit cards, Mint will track your income and expenses (by...

  • Getting the Right Help for Your Move

    When you’re ready to move, are you going to call your friends with pickup trucks to come over and help?  When relocating from a large four bedroom home to a one or two bedroom apartment in a senior...

  • Industry News For Professionals July-August 2017

    Lehigh Valley Aging in Place Coalition (LVAIP). The mission of LVAIP is to provide an ongoing forum for professionals from private, public, non-profit and business sectors to inform, educate and...

  • Industry News For Local Professionals - Holiday 2018

    HealthNetWed., Nov. 14, Dec. 12 at 12 pm. Traditions of Hanover Bethlehem, 5300 Northgate Dr., Bethlehem. Monthly networking group for professionals hosted monthly and features a speaker and time for...

 
Contact Us

Please enter your data here. Fields with an asterisk (*) are required.
Please provide us with a phone number or email so we may respond to your request.


Full Name(*)

Please type your full name.

E-mail

Invalid email address.

Phone

Invalid Input- please enter in form: 123-456-7890

How may we be of service?(*)

Please tell us how big is your company.

If you wish to subscribe enter your full address.

Invalid Input

Please enter the characters shown.(*)
Please enter the characters shown.
Refresh
Invalid Input