The Federal Trade Commission has a new website which provides information about medical scams which often target the elderly. Some of the things they advise are:
- protecting your health insurance information to avoid theft of your ID and improper use of your benefits. Always review your statements from your doctors, and alert your health insurance company if you lose your card, or if it is stolen.
- reviewing your Medicare statements to make sure that your provider is only billing for procedures that were actually performed. If you have questions about a procedure that you don't remember having performed, call your doctor or Medicare.
- being wary of "miracle cures" that promise extraordinary benefits with no side-effects, claim to treat a long list of illnesses or cure incurable illnesses. Check with your doctor or pharmacy before shelling out money or adding a new drug or supplement to your regimen.
- being skeptical of prescription assistance programs that claim to offer savings but require a large upfront fee. Your pharmacist can let you know about the legitimate programs available in your area.
If you think you may have been the victim of a scam, or if you have concerns about a telephone call or piece of mail you received talk to your doctor or other health care provider, or bring it to the attention of your attorney during a meeting. It's always better to be safe than sorry.