Indianapolis – The Indiana Department of Insurance is alerting Hoosiers to be aware of scammers during the COVID-19 pandemic. A warning was issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General regarding scams by fraudsters who are offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. These services are unapproved and illegitimate.
Fraudsters are targeting beneficiaries in a number of ways, including telemarketing calls, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits. They are using the coronavirus pandemic to benefit themselves, and beneficiaries face potential harm. The personal information collected can be used to fraudulently bill Federal health care programs and commit medical identity theft. If Medicare or Medicaid denies the claim for an unapproved test, the beneficiary could be responsible for the cost.
- Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare or Medicaid numbers.
- Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
- Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites.
- A physician or other trusted healthcare provider should assess your condition and approve any requests for COVID-19 testing.
- If you suspect COVID-19 fraud, contact National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline (866) 720-5721 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact SHIP with Your Medicare Questions
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a free and impartial counseling program for people with Medicare. SHIP is provided by the Indiana Department of Insurance. All of SHIP’s services are free and are not affiliated with any insurance company or agency. SHIP counselors have completed intensive training to offer you objective assistance in complete confidence. To contact a counselor, call 1-800-452-4800. For the TDD line for the hearing impaired, call 866-846-0139.
About the Indiana Department of Insurance
The Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI) protects Indiana’s insurance consumers by monitoring and regulating the financial strengths and market conduct activities of insurance companies and agents. The IDOI monitors insurance companies and agents for compliance with state laws to protect consumers and to offer them the best array of insurance products available. The IDOI also assists Hoosiers with insurance questions and provides guidance in understanding how insurance policies work.