Protect Your Medicaid Identity from Scammers
For some people with limited income, Medicaid can help with healthcare costs and resources. As per the Health Insurance Association of America, Medicaid is "a government insurance program for persons of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care."
As the largest resource for medical and health services for low-income or disabled people, Medicaid provides free health insurance to 74 million people or about 23% of Americans. Numbers like these mean that scammers and predatory providers are on the prowl for vulnerable recipients to swindle.
If you need to apply for Medicaid, here’s how you can protect your information from falling into the wrong hands, as fraudsters continue looking for ways to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic.
Protect your Medicaid number. Treat your Medicaid card and number like you would your Social Security card and number. Only give out your number to health care professionals who need it. And be aware when others ask you for your Medicaid number or offer free services in exchange for your Medicaid number.
Protect all your medical information. Proceed with caution if someone other than your doctors or health care providers asks for any information regarding your medical history. Never offer up personal information or account details unless you know the provider or can verify them as legit.
Learn about Medicaid’s coverage rules. Scammers may try to get you to agree to a service that isn’t normally covered by Medicaid. Educate yourself on what services are typically covered so you can be alert if someone asks to perform a non-covered procedure.
Always be skeptical. It’s ok to ask questions about any procedure that does not sound medically necessary. You can always get a second opinion. If a provider keeps pressuring you to do unnecessary procedures or tests, that is a major red flag.