Friday, September 9, 2016
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In This Issue
Fraud in the News
The following are current news articles about health care and fraud issues.

Health Care Fraud:

Consumer Fraud:

Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area. If you have any questions about the Illinois SMP program, or to receive these Fraud Alerts directly, please contact Jason Echols, Healthcare Consumer Protection Coordinator at AgeOptions.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MP0216, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy. 

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Dear SMP Readers, 


In this week's Fraud Alert, we have a reminder that Medicare will not pay you later, a study that shows younger people may fall for scams more often, and resources if you are struggling with debt.


Read more in this week's Fraud Alert!

Buy Now, Medicare Will Not Pay Later

The SMP hotline recently received a call from a beneficiary who was told that Medicare would reimburse him for the cost of his diabetic shoes if he paid out of pocket. The beneficiary paid for the shoes and called 1-800-MEDICARE to ask how to be reimbursed. He found out that because he went to a provider that did not accept Medicare, he had to pay on his own.

Medicare will only pay claims filed by Medicare approved providers and only for things that are medically necessary. If you believe you need medical equipment or supplies, the best place to start is by talking to your doctor and together finding a supplier that accepts Medicare assignment. To learn more about how Medicare covers durable medical equipment (DME), check out our new SMP DME tip sheet.
Are Older Adults Better at Spotting Scams than Millennials?

In a recent AARP blog post, Sid Kirchheimer shares the results of a Better Business Bureau study that shows although many people imagine an older adult as the most likely person to be scammed, younger adults are more likely to lose money to a scam than older adults. These stereotypes actually put younger people at risk because they do not see themselves as vulnerable. Read more in the AARP post "In Spotting Scams, Older is Wiser."

Anyone can be scammed, and scammers know what to say to make you give them money or your personal information. That is why it is so important to report scams and tell your friends and loved ones about scams, like the ones shared in this Fraud Alert. Anyone can be targeted by scammers, and it is nothing to be ashamed of.
Have Debt? Be Careful of Scams

One of our partners in southern Illinois recently had a client who almost responded to a debt consolidation scam. These companies might advertise on TV or call unsolicited and offer to consolidate or lower your debt. The client almost sent forms with a lot of personal information to this company, but a worker at the post office cautioned him that this might be a scam.

If you are concerned about a debt you have, it is important to seek unbiased information on how to address it. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a lot of information on their Coping with Debt webpage. The FTC also provides information on how to choose a credit counselor. If you feel that a debt relief company has been dishonest with you, report them to the FTC.

AgeOptions Ideogram


Jason B. Echols, MSW,
Health Care Consumer Protection Coordinator
1048 Lake Street, Suite 300
Oak Park, IL 60301
phone (708)383-0258 fax (708)524-0870


AgeOptions, the Area Agency on Aging of Suburban Cook County, is committed to improving the quality of life and maintaining the dignity of older adults and those who care about them - through leadership and support, community partnerships, comprehensive services, accurate information and powerful advocacy.

Fraud Alerts contain information about current scams taking place in Illinois, announcements and updates about programs or services related to health care and/or fraud protection, and links to news articles about health care and fraud topics. Please forward any recommendations or announcements that you would like to be included in a future Fraud Alert to