The 4R’s For Protecting Yourself Against Medicare Scams

~ By Kim Lata, Colorado Division of Insurance ~

It’s open enrollment season for Medicare. That means that along with getting important information from legitimate health insurance companies, seniors may be targeted by identity thieves and other scams. The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP), which is part of the Colorado Division of Insurance, wants seniors to be ready to protect themselves against Medicare fraud and abuse.

Colorado SMP officials are reminding seniors that they are the first line of defense against Medicare fraud. The best way to foil fraudsters, says SMP, is to remember the 4R’s.

Make sure and record all medical appointments, tests or other services on a calendar and save all your receipts and statements. Ask a friend or family member for help if you need it. That way you will know exactly what you got and when you got it.

When you get your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN), check it against your calendar. Make sure that every detail is correct and all the items you are billed for were really delivered. You can also check your claims online at

Be skeptical of advertisements or phone calls offering “free gifts” or “early bird discounts.” Medicare will never contact you for your Medicare number or personal information.

If you don’t recognize a claim on your MSN, or if you suspect fraud, call the Colorado SMP at 1-800-503-5190.

Always guard your Medicare number. Never let anyone else use your Medicare card. Never share it with anyone who contacts you by phone or email offering a special offer. Medicare will never contact you for your number or other personal information. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Remember to remind friends and neighbors to protect their Medicare cards too. If everyone does their part we can cut down on fraud.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about Medicare fraud and how to protect yourself, contact the Colorado Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-800-503-5190.

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