Written by Missouri SMP
As the COVID-19 pandemic grows, so do the scams associated with it. Because older people are at greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, the Missouri SMP warns that they also are prime targets of potential fraud.
As of the beginning of December, there was no FDA-approved vaccine for COVID-19. The first vaccine is expected to be available to a limited number of people under emergency FDA approval as soon as this month. There also is no COVID cure.
Scammers may try to convince you otherwise, though. Don’t believe them. Call your doctor if you have questions.
It’s also important to remember public health officials may contact you if they believe you may have been exposed to the virus. However, they will NOT not need to ask you for insurance or financial information.
The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) recommends that you:
◼ Contact your own doctor if you are experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19.
◼ Do not give out your Medicare number, Social Security number, or personal information in response to unsolicited calls, texts, emails, home visits, or booths at health fairs and other public venues.
◼ Be suspicious of anyone going door-to-door to offer free coronavirus or COVID-19 testing, vaccines, supplies, or treatments. Call your doctor or health department if you think you need a test or to see if you qualify for a vaccine when one is approved.
◼ Carefully review your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB), looking for errors or claims for products or services that weren’t received.
◼ Follow the instructions of your state or local government for other actions you should be taking in response to COVID-19.
To learn more or report suspected Medicare fraud, call the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0040, 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.