Protect yourself from medical scams

Online scams are becoming more and more prominent in an age where so much information is at our fingertips grasp.

According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, this is no different for the healthcare industry, as healthcare is the largest known type of insurance fraud.

Research shows that scammers are using the newly issued Medicare ID cards and using them to steal identities and dig their hands into your information and take your money.

Billing fraud is another type of scam that is hard to spot because it seems so legitimate by the people trying to get specific information from you.

"There can be a big confusion about services that are being billed for, and it is hard to parse out if it's fraud or a billing error," says Fred Riccardi, vice president of client services at the Medicare Rights Center.

Here are some tips brought to you by an article in U.S News.

  • Treat your Medicare card like if it was your own credit card. Same goes for your social security number. These numbers should not be given to anyone besides you doctor.

  • Do NOT accept free gifts from medical care.

  • Learn about what a medical provider would normally ask and not ask for. Knowledge is power.

  • Be advised against people who say that a certain procedure or service is not covered, but will bill the insurance anyways.

The most important thing you can do is always call the hospital directly and ask to speak with the billing office there and verify that you are not putting your identity and information in the wrong hands.