AARP warns of robocalls calling seniors about Medicare. | Unsplash
AARP Magazine reports in the August / September issue of an article by Doug Shadel entitled “Meet Becky from Medicare”.
The article speaks of “robocalls” that senior citizens call Medicare. “Hi, this is Becky, your patient advocate who works closely with Medicare. Medicare currently offers preventive genetic cancer screening tests nationwide and has recommended that anyone over 50 should get tested. These tests help identify the early signs of cancer and are covered by your insurance company. If you don’t act soon, Medicare may mark you as ineligible. Please press 1 to speak to a specialist. “
According to experts, this is the number 1 robocall in the country. The “specialists” have no idea other than what is in a script that they read to you. They cannot answer questions about the name of the test or how it was performed. According to the article, almost everyone qualifies. There is no confirmation of your medical record. Once you agree, the call will be routed to a licensed doctor who will ask a few questions and then the test will be ordered.
So what’s the big deal? It doesn’t cost you anything as you’ve been told that’s covered by Medicare. According to Medicare, Medicare covers genetic screening in very special circumstances and only on the recommendation of your own doctor. But what really happened is that you now have your Medicare information. Other scammers will buy your information and then send you medical equipment and other items with bills. Medicare is “played” for billions of dollars each year and we all, as taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries, pay for it – one way or another.
The article concludes, “In the meantime, consider speaking to those you know who are on Medicare and asking them to ignore calls from ‘Becky’ and the like.”
Harry P. Thal, the Medicare guru, can be reached at 760-376-2100.