Medicare is notifying beneficiaries that scammers have started using COVID-19 as an opportunity to steal people’s identities and commit Medicare fraud. In some cases, the scammers might say they’ll send you a coronavirus test, masks or other medical supplies in exchange for your Medicare number or personal information.
Remember, Medicare will never call, text or email you to request or verify your Medicare number or personal information unless you have given them permission in advance.
Fraud Alert – Lidocaine Cream Prescriptions
Please be aware that some pharmacies and marketing companies may be using questionable practices to take advantage of you or even commit fraud. As a reminder, for your medications to be covered under your Peoples Health plan, they must be prescribed by your doctor.
Medicare recently let us know that certain pharmacies and marketing companies may be working together to fill false prescriptions for lidocaine creams and bill people who have Medicare for the costs. Lidocaine creams are medication used to reduce pain or discomfort caused by skin irritations or hemorrhoids. The false prescriptions were not written by the person’s doctor or requested by the person.
Here are some ways to protect yourself:
- Never give your social security number, Medicare number or Peoples Health member ID number to anyone you don’t know over the phone. Remember, Medicare and Peoples Health already have this information and will not call and ask you for it.
- Review the Explanation of Benefits that we send you each month. Let us know if you see any activity that you do not recognize.
- Be on the lookout for any unfamiliar medications sent to you. This may happen when pharmacies send you medication that you never requested or when pharmacies automatically refill medications that you may have received in the past but no longer need.
If you notice any of the above or have other concerns, please let us know. You can report concerns about these activities to our Compliance & Ethics HelpCenter at 1-800-455-4521.
Supervised Exercise Therapy for Symptomatic Peripheral Artery Disease
On May 25, 2017, Medicare began covering supervised exercise therapy for members when the therapy is referred by a physician. Members with intermittent claudication (leg cramping typically caused by obstruction of the arteries) are eligible when treatment is for symptomatic peripheral artery disease. Up to 36 sessions over a 12-week period are covered if certain conditions are met. A second referral is required for additional sessions.
If you have questions about these coverage changes, or if you received any of these services on or after the effective dates and want to seek reimbursement, contact member services. You can also learn more about the changes by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), 24 hours a day, seven days a week. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.