Georgia Medicare Gives Thanks

Georgia Medicare Looks at 2018

As Dickens said, “This is the best of times and the worst of times.” Like all years, there are times when things are good and times when things are not so good. From a business perspective I would give this year a 9 on a scale of 10. Georgia Medicare expert reflects on 2018.

Georgia Medicare expert

The Good News

Georgia Medicare supplement clients continue to bless me with referrals. My business grows mostly by word of mouth. When my advice is useful clients remember and pass my name along to their friends.

Like that old shampoo commercial where Heather Locklear told two friends about Faberge, and they told two friends, and so on.

Good new spreads like wildfire, and it is appreciated. With more than 500 GA Medicare clients, new referrals come in almost every month.

Thank you for being generous and sharing my name with your friends.

Georgia Medicare YouTube Channel

After years of planning and hoping it would happen, I finally implemented my Georgia Medicare YouTube channel in early summer. With the help of Christy Sanchez this labor of love is now a reality.

The videos are not fancy or technically complicated. It’s just me talking to the camera the same way I speak to you on the phone. Feel free to like, share and comment on any of the videos.

Of course you can also ask questions.

Say Hello to New Medigap Carriers

I currently count almost 60 insurance carriers offering Medicare supplement plans in Georgia. Many are brand new to the Medigap business. Others are new to Georgia.

At least 6 carriers are new to the Georgia Medicare market. Each one has cut rates to the bone in an attempt to gain market share.

It’s a race to see who can offer the lowest Medigap rate.

For at least a year.

New carriers include Lumico, Western United (late 2017), Everest (late 2016), American Continental, Prosperity (gotta love that name), Mass Mutual, Unified and Pan American. I might have missed a few but that’s a mouthful.

I generally don’t recommend a carrier until they have been here at least 3 years. In the past carriers (like AFLAC) have either disappeared from the market or blew up their rates on renewal in the first 3 years.

I don’t need that kind of drama in my life and neither do you.

Say Hello to a New Name for an Old Friend

One shining star is Anthem Blue Cross. BCBSGA has been co-branded with parent Anthem for a few years now. As of July 2018 the Anthem name is on all new Medicare plans in Georgia.

Of course you can call them direct or use an agent like myself. When you go direct you are a “house account”. You will never know who will answer the phone or anything about them. 

Last week they could have been asking if you wanted fries with your meal.

When you call me you will never hear “Press 1 for English”. You get me or voice mail. Leave a message and I will call you back.

No extra charge for my 40+ years experience.

You can enroll in an Anthem Medigap plan using my link . . . if you have an hour or so to kill. 

https://brokerportal.anthem.com/ac/BobVineyardAnthemGA

Or call me direct. I can take your information in about 10 minutes.

You choose.

The Bad News

A few carriers like Equitable, Manhattan and Aetna Health and Life stopped writing new Medigap business in Georgia. If you have a plan with them you can keep it as long as you pay your premiums.

I hope to move as many as possible away from these carriers in hopes of seeing fewer and smaller rate increases at renewal.

Thank You!

Thank you for all your support, for passing my name along and especially the kind words for my Georgia Medicare YouTube Channel.

I look foward to helping as many people as possible to navigate the Georgia  Medicare maze.

Do You Want Fries With That?

Would you like fries with your Medicare plan? What do you know about those who offer advice about Medicare?

Picking a Medicare Plan is as Easy as Ordering Lunch

Picking a Medicare plan while blindfolded is what happens too often. Almost no one understands Advantage plans. Medicare drug plan deductibles? Who can explain that? Much easier to pick a plan without a deductible. You can’t go wrong there.

Medicare supplement plans are easy. All plans with the same letter are identical. Just go with the plan with the lowest premium. Right?

Maybe you will appreciate my Shop Like a Boss video, explaining how to search for Medicare information.

No need to ask an insurance agent. They cost too much.

Questions You Really Should Ask

How long has the agent or carrier rep worked the Medicare market? Maybe feel more comfortable talking with someone at Medicare.gov or a volunteer and a not-for-profit organization.

Surely they will be impartial?

Or will they?

Turning 65 Medicare Options

How does Medicare work?

Bob Vineyard explains in this Georgia Medicare Minute video

If you are turning 65 and enrolling in Medicare, this may be your only chance to purchase a Medigap plan. Here is your guide to understanding GA Medicare.

You don’t have to receive Social Security to enroll in Medicare insurance. CMS is the agency that oversees Medicare.

Senior healthcare insurance is commonly used to describe Medicare.

How to enroll in Medicare? You may sign up for Medicare 3 months before your 65th birthday, the month you turn 65, and 3 months following your 65th birthday. You may enroll online (highly recommended), by mail or by visiting a Social Security office.

Original Medicare has 4 parts.

Medicare Part A covers hospital inpatient charges and has a per admission deductible

Medicare Part B is for outpatient health care treatment. Doctor visits, labs, X-rays, MRI, CT scan (CAT scan), ambulance, ER, outpatient clinics, etc. Essentially any Medicare approved health care received outside the hospital setting. Treatment considered medically necessary under Medicare guidelines. Medicare Part B has a calendar year deductible. Once satisfied, Medicare pays 80% of the approved charge, you are responsible for the remaining 20%.

Most seniors worry about hospital stays, but your major expenses will more than likely fall under Medicare Part B outpatient expenses. Original Medicare stand alone has no cap on your out of pocket expenses.

You pay until you run out of money, get well or die.

Medicare Part C is now referred to as Medicare Advantage. More on that later.

Medicare Part D covers outpatient prescription drugs. Some Advantage plans have drug coverage built into the plan.

Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage?

Medigap and Advantage plans cover the same things, but what you pay out of pocket for your care, and where you receive your care, is very different.

Original Medicare does not have networks. You can use any doctor or hospital anywhere in the US. Another plus is the ABN form which is only used with Original Medicare.

Advantage plans are managed care plans. Some are PPO, some are HMO. In 2018 about half the plans are HMO with the balance being PPO.

If you receive non-emergency out of network care under a PPO you may have higher copay’s and deductibles. Your max OOP may also be higher. Some plans do not cap out of network charges.

Non-emergency out of network care charges may be denied if you have an HMO.

Medicare Questions – FAQ

How Much Does Medicare Cost?

In 2018 most Advantage plans issued in Georgia limit your out of pocket for approved in network health care expenses to $6700.

The American Cancer Society tells us that more than half the 1.4 million new cancer diagnoses occur in people age 65 and older. Roughly 20% of retiree deaths are a result of cancer. Medicare pays for almost half of the $74 billion spent on cancer treatment. The elderly account for 70% of cancer deaths each year.

Some cancer centers, such as Mayo Clinic, Sloan Kettering and MD Anderson may not participate in certain Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare and Cancer

Not all cancer responds to chemotherapy, but 80% of cancers are treated with chemo. Those treatments occur in an outpatient setting and are covered under Medicare Part B.

Chemotherapy drugs administered in a doctor’s office or clinic normally fall under Part B. Medication from a retail pharmacy or by mail fall under your PDP.

This is why most of us chose a Medicare supplement plan in 2018. Bob Vineyard, independent Medicare insurance broker in Georgia, can explain your Georgia Medicare insurance options and will allow you to decide.

We represent several carriers including Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Humana and more.

According to the Mayo clinic, “new cancer treatments are routinely priced at over $100,000 per year of treatment.”

A study from the Medicare Rights discovered the number one reason for disenrolling from a Medicare Advantage plan was “provider access problems”. Number 4 on the list was “cost sharing too high”.

Who is giving you Medicare advice? An experienced agent who is enrolled in Medicare or someone that works in a fast food restaurant?

#GeorgiaMedicarePlans #GAMedigapQuotes #Turning65 https://youtu.be/uMROeyRxqEI

Answers to Common Medicare Questions

I have answers to your most common Medicare questions. Here are just a few examples of questions asked by people just like you who are turning 65.

  • How do I know which Medicare plan is right for me?
  • When should I enroll in Medicare?
  • Should I have the same plan as my spouse?
  • How much does Medicare cost?
  • Does Medicare cover (fill in the blank)?

Many of your questions can be answered by copying this into your Google search bar – site:http://www.georgia-medicareplans.com

Answers to Common Medicare Questions

 

Answers to Common Medicare Questions

Below are links that correspond to the questions shown above.

  • https://www.georgia-medicareplans.com/ufaqs/find-right-medicare-plan/
  • https://www.georgia-medicareplans.com/enroll-in-medicare-at-age-65/
  • https://www.georgia-medicareplans.com/medicare-traps-and-mistakes/
  • https://www.georgia-medicareplans.com/ufaqs/how-much-do-medicare-premiums-cost/
  • https://www.georgia-medicareplans.com/does-medicare-cover-my-cancer-treatment/

You have Medicare Questions.

I have answers.

Give Bob Vineyard a call. I would love to help. (404) 252-5859

 

Medicare Supplement – What If You Just Bought?

Let’s say you turned 65, enrolled in Medicare and just bought a Medicare supplement plan. Did you make the right decision? What are some of the traps and mistakes?

Please take 3 minutes to read this then decide if you need to reconsider your decision. It might just save you a lot of time, money and grief.

You are turning 65 and about to go on Medicare. Here are some things you need to know about your journey.

Medicare Supplement - Turning 65

 

About That Medicare Supplement Plan You Just Bought

You are not alone.

Roughly 80% of retirees about to turn 65 have never bought health insurance before.

My 40 years in the health insurance business was not enough to prepare me for understanding the Medicare system. It took me about a month of research and talking to Medicare specialists before the light bulb turned on.

If it was that difficult for me I can imagine how confusing it is for you and everyone else.

Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage?

 

Your Friends May Offer the Worst Advice

Your friends that are on Medicare are probably still confused about what they have and how it works. I know this because I talk to people every day that were told something about Medicare that is 100% wrong and will prove very costly down the road.

They are probably very good at many things, but Medicare experts they are not.

Ask your friends who THEY talked to in making their decision. If they were pleased, ask for a recommendation. Then you talk with that person and decide if they are giving solid advice or simply pushing a product.

Sadly, most agents talk too much and never listen to your needs.

If they bought a $0 premium Advantage plan (along with a bunch of junk to fill the gaps), or Medigap plan F they will learn to regret that choice later down the road.

 

Things You Probably Don’t Know

When you turn 65 you have ONLY ONE Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). During that time you can purchase ANY PLAN from ANY CARRIER without answering health questions. Your initial enrollment for Medigap begins the month when you turn 65 AND go on Medicare Part B. It ends 6 months later.

During your IEP you can freely change Medigap plans within the same carrier or move from one carrier to another without penalty. Most people we talk to will end up paying a lot more for their coverage than was necessary. It is not too late to change. Don’t let pride stop you from making a better financial decision. (More on this later)

You have 60 days from the time you turned 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B to pick a Part D drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan. If you wait, your next opportunity will be during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) and you will pay a LIFETIME late enrollment penalty.

If you bought an Advantage plan and then learned that was the wrong decision you can still purchase a suitable Medigap during your IEP. This happens with some frequency so no need to feel embarrassed.

Many of the newer Advantage plans are “front end loaded” so you pay most of the costs of your care without the benefit of a copay. The networks are also more restrictive than you may have been accustomed to with traditional health insurance.

Get instant GA Medigap quotes, then request our FREE Medicare Supplement rate report that shows ALL the Medicare supplement rates.

 

Discovering What You Bought

Medigap “gotcha’s”

Medigap is simple, but not as simple as some might think. Sure, the plans are standardized. All plans with the same letter (plan F for example) are identical in every way except the price you pay.

But the simplicity stops there.

Financial ratings don’t matter. “A” rated carriers like AFLAC and Omaha have sucker punched retirees in the past. Offer a low going in rate then substantial increases in later years. Sometimes they stop writing new business with that carrier name.

Then what happens?

Look for LONG TERM STABILITY in the Medicare supplement market. If a carrier doesn’t have at least 5 years in the Medigap market operating under the SAME NAME, you probably want to cross them off your list.

The carrier names are interchangeable and every 3 – 4 years an old carrier will be swapped for a newer one that has rates 20 – 30% below the “old” carrier. The new, lower rates are only for NEW APPLICANTS.

Some carriers have “hot” rates in Georgia right now. But none of them have more than 2 years in the Medigap business an at least one has already had a 9% rate increase.

 

Which Carrier Did I Pick for My Own Coverage?

My choice

You don’t have to do what I do but consider this. I have more experience in the health insurance business than anyone you have talked to so far. There are some paths I won’t take because I know the pitfalls. Maybe you should do the same.

I enrolled in Medicare in September 2015. How many agents have you talked to so far that are also on Medicare?

My guess is none.

I didn’t buy a plan from any carrier with less than 5 years in the Medigap business.

I didn’t buy Medicare supplement plan F.

I didn’t buy a Medicare Advantage plan. Even if I did, I certainly would NOT buy a hospital indemnity plan, a cancer plan, a heart attack plan, etc to fill the gaps. An agent that pushes those policies is all about making as much money as possible off you.

 

It’s Your Plan and Your Money

Choose wisely.

Ultimately, whatever choice you make should fit your needs and budget. I don’t expect everyone to make the same decisions I make, nor would I pressure anyone to buy something just because I am doing it. But I do believe my clients deserve to know the choices I will make and why I am making them.

There are more than 250 different Medigap plans and rates in Georgia. You probably looked at half a dozen or less. What did you miss by not seeing ALL the rates?

There are only TWO or THREE Medicare supplement carriers with competitive rates that have 5 or more years in the Medigap business. If you didn’t buy from them you probably are, or will eventually be, paying too much.

When you pay more you don’t get more. You simply paid too much.

Let me know how I can help. Call (404) 252-5859 to speak with Bob Vineyard. 

Medigap Plans and Rates Georgia

Medigap plans in Georgia.

Georgia Medigap plans. Stop throwing money away!

Shop and compare up to 40 Medigap plans in 60 seconds. Free, no obligation quote. Save $350 – $600 per year or more vs. Blue Cross, Humana, Mutual of Omaha and most others.

Click for Instant GA Medigap Quote

GA Medigap Quotes

With over a dozen carriers offering Medigap plans, Georgia seniors have plenty of options to save money by making wise choices and finding the lowest Medigap rate.

With more than 240 different Medigap plans in Georgia, you need our FREE report.

When you pay more you don’t get more, you simply paid too much.

Compare Georgia Medigap Plans and Rates

There are 11 different Medigap plans available in Georgia. None of the carriers offer all plans, but most offer Medigap plans A, D and plan F. Medigap rates vary considerably for the same plan. Georgia Medigap carriers include:

 

Anthem Blue Cross and More

Blue Cross, United of Omaha and United Health Care are the dominant Medicare supplement carriers in Georgia but they also have some of the highest Medigap rates.

Most GA seniors buy Medicare supplement plan F simply because that is the one that is sold to them. Many times Medigap plan F is presented as the only option or as the “best” option.

Truth is, Medicare supplement plan F is usually the most expensive plan and delivers no additional value for the high rates.

All Medigap plans with the same letter have identical coverage. A plan F from Blue Cross is no better or worse than plan F from United Health Care (AARP).

The only difference is the price you pay. Medigap rates can vary as much as 200% for the same plan.

An age 65 female in Atlanta can pay anywhere from $139 per month to $296 for plan F. The difference in the highest premium to the lowest premium is over $3000 per year!

That  $3000  is money down the drain.

That same female can purchase a Medicare supplement plan G for as little as $110 per month, saving an extra $250 per year in premiums vs. the lowest rate for Medigap plan F.

When you pay more for GA Medigap plans you don’t get more, you simply paid too much. Compare plans and Medigap plans and rates online or ask for a personalized proposal.

 

#MedicareSupplementRatesGeorgia  #MedigapRatesGeorgia #BobVineyard

(Edit)

13 Silent Signs of a Thyroid Problem

Symptoms of a thyroid problem are often vague, but if you notice any of the following thyroid symptoms persisting, or have more than one, see a doctor.

Source: 13 Silent Signs of a Thyroid Problem

Does Medicare cover thyroid testing?

As a general rule, Medicare Part B covers most preventive screening including most tests for thyroid issues. Do you have hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid)? How do you know? What kind of tests are involved in checking my thyroid? Will Medicare pay for those tests?

 

What happens when your doctor checks your thyroid?

Your thyroid rests just below your Adams apple. During a routine exam, such as your Welcome to Medicare exam, your doctor thyroidmay ask you to hold your head back and swallow. While you are swallowing your doctor is feeling for bumps or nodules on your thyroid.

If your doctor detects an abnormality in your thyroid they may recommend additional testing such as a thyroid scan and uptake, imaging testing or perhaps a needle biopsy.

Most diagnostic testing is covered by Medicare Part B. If you have Medicare supplement plan F your out of pocket for approved claims would be $0.

Several Georgia Medicare supplement plans have competitive rates. Often we can save our clients $450 per year or more with no loss of coverage.

Shop and compare now. Your information is NEVER sold. Instant GA Medigap quotes.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

 

What is hypothyroidism? Hyperthyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition where your gland does not produce enough hormone. If your thyroid is under-performing you may feel sluggish.

Other symptoms may include an irregular menstrual cycle, constipation, loss of hair, unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

Hyperthyroidism is the opposite of hypothryroidism. In this situation your gland produces too much hormone.

Symptoms include quick weight loss, rapid heart rate, you sweat a lot, are moody or anxious.

If you have any of these symptoms you should see a doctor.

Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are easily treated with prescription medication.

Other common thyroid issues include:

  • goiter
  • thyroid nodules
  • thyroiditis
  • thyroid cancer

Ask your doctor if you have any concerns, and relax. The exam and testing is usually covered by Medicare and your Medigap policy.

 

If you found this article to be of help, share this link with your friends.

 

 

#MedicarePartB  #13SignsOfThyroidProblems #Hypothyroid  #Hyperthyroid #MedicareSupplementPlanF #GAMedigapQuotes

 

 

Apply Now for Low Medigap Rates

Wednesday, 4/29, last day to apply for low Medigap rates with Manhattan Life. Shop and compare now. Instant GA Medigap quotes. 

Juanita, age 65, 30157, just purchased plan F for $115 per month.

 

GA Medigap Rates March 2015

GA Medigap rates are increasing for some carriers in the next few months. Lock in lower rates now. Prepare for increases on grumpy old personrenewal. Continental Life closing their block. Aetna introducing new, lower rates. New Era Medigap rates increasing slightly. Manhattan Life rates jump.

Click to shop and compare GA Medigap rates now.

GA Medigap rates

 

Aetna GA Medigap rates

History teaches us that when a carrier closes out a line of coverage, or stops issuing new plans, the rates increase. In some cases rate adjustments are slight at first but pick up steam over the next few years.

In 2010 Mutual of Omaha introduced Medigap plan N for the first time. Less than a year later they pulled the plan off the market and began increasing rates at a steady clip. In some years plan N rates increased by double digits. If you bought a Mutual of Omaha plan N in 2010 you probably can no longer afford it.

In 2011 Aetna offered Medicare supplement plans using a Continental Life as a subsidiary issuing carrier. An age 65 female in Macon, Georgia would be expected to pay a non-tobacco rate of $145.

Today that same plan through Continental would be $175.

Aetna Health and Life is currently offering that same Medigap plan F for $126.

GA Medigap rates

 

 

New Era Medigap quotes

New Era is one of those carriers you don’t hear much about. About 40 years old with 10+ years in the Medicare supplement market (including 5 in Georgia), you won’t find their rates on most instant quote engines.

Medicare supplement plan F ratesMost Medicare shoppers looking for instant rates believe they should limit themselves to the “brand name” carriers like Blue Cross, Mutual of Omaha and United Healthcare (co-branded with AARP).

The 2015 edition of Choosing a Medigap Policy tells you on page 9.

All Medigap policies must follow federal and state laws designed
to protect you, and policies must be clearly identified as “Medicare
Supplement Insurance.” Medigap insurance companies in most
states can only sell you a “standardized” Medigap policy identified by
letters A through N. Each standardized Medigap policy must offer
the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company sells it.
Cost is usually the only difference between Medigap policies with
the same letter sold by different insurance companies.

That’s pretty simple and easy to understand. In other words, what CMS is saying is this.

When you pay more for a Medigap plan you don’t get more, you simply paid too much.

We have been using New Era consistently for  years and will gladly share their rates with prospective clients. The recent 3% increase in GA Medigap rates is the lowest we have seen for any carrier in the last 5 years.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

 

Manhattan Life Medicare supplement rates

Manhattan Life is a 100+ year old company with a storied past but they are new to the Medigap business. They entered the GA market a little over a year ago and took off like a bandit. Their plan F rates were among the lowest in the state at younger ages and in certain zip codes.

Our 65 year old female in Macon could buy Medigap plan F from Manhattan for as little as $115 when household discounts are applied.

In May of this year Manhattan Life Medigap rates for plan F will increase by 9%. In some situations those rates are still competitive but you need to take into account we have not seen that kind of rate increase from anyone (other than Continental) in almost 2 years.

 

GA Medigap rates, last 5 years

The last few years have been interesting times.

Aetna bought Continental, dropped their rates significantly, and suddenly started writing new business.affordable medigap plans

The Duck (AFLAC) entered the Medigap market for the second or third time in 2012 and then disappeared in 2013. If you bought an AFLAC policy then and didn’t change to another carrier when you could you are probably paying too much now.

In the early part of 2010 Mutual of Omaha was issuing Medigap plans in Georgia under the United World umbrella. That came to an end in the summer of 2010 when they introduced United of Omaha with “new lower rates” (but only for new applicants). In October of 2013 Omaha Insurance Company was rolled out with “new lower rates”.

At the end of 2012 Blue Cross of Georgia withdrew plans G and Hi F. In January, 2014 they changed their rating structure and started charging more for males vs. females  and added a higher rate for tobacco users. It didn’t help since they are still not competitive.

If you bought one of these Medicare supplement plans and can qualify for new coverage, you probably should check your rates. We just save Ted in Clermont, GA over $100 per month by switching him off his old, old Mutual of Omaha plan F.

Shop and compare GA Medigap rates now.

Your information is never sold

 

#GAMedigapQuotes #AetnaMedicareSupplementRates #NewEraMedigap #ManhattanLifeMedigap

Health Care Fraud – Medical Identity Theft

Health care fraud and medical identity theft is a growing concern for Georgia retirees on Medicare. Stone Mountain nurse convicted of health care fraud. New study finds medical identity theft grew by 22% last year.

The recent Anthem Blue Cross hack is just one more example of how thieves gain access to your information and can file fraudulent claims using your identity. Here is just one example of how this “victim-less crime” can impact you.

When thieves use your information to file claims everyone pays. Retirees on Medicare aren’t giving birth but their medical ID can be used to gin up claims and diagnoses that have nothing to do with you.

For instance, your ability to obtain needed pain medication could be compromised if a junkie is using your Medicare card to commit health care fraud and obtain prescriptions for pain killers.

 

Health care fraud, the victim-less crime

One reason why health care fraud is difficult to track is because most of the time it isn’t discovered until after the fact. There are no hidden camera’s to record a thief using your Medicare card to obtain medical services. When the crook uses your identity to fill prescriptions a fraud alert does not show up on the pharmacy computers.computer hacker

Have you had your medical identity compromised?

In most cases the only way to know is to regularly review your claims. One way is by using iBlueButton to track your Medicare claim activity.

Unfortunately, too many people don’t look at Medicare claims or health insurance claims as their money. Claims paid by Medicare doesn’t come out of your pocket (directly) so why care?

Would you report a shoplifter to the store manager?

Most people probably would.

Why?

Because when someone steals from a store that store has to raise prices to compensate for the lost revenue. Similarly, when someone steals from Medicare or the insurance carrier prices have to rise. In the end, you pay more.

Higher health care costs.

Higher Medicare premiums.

We save our clients an average of $450 per year in Medigap premiums and over $1,000 yearly in out of pocket drug costs. Shop and compare now.

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Georgia Medigap plans & Prices

Medical identity theft impacts millions

The Anthem hack made headlines for many reasons, including unauthorized access to 80 million personal records.

my medicare cardAccording to Forbes, the distinction between medical identity theft and other types of identity theft like consumer financial information or credit cards is important for many reasons.

  • Data breaches in healthcare (like the Anthem breach) often involve permanently identifiable information like Social Security numbers and date‒of‒birth. This makes the data itself much more valuable, with a much longer shelf-life and easier for criminals to sell.
  • The direct out‒of‒pocket costs to victims of medical identity theft are significant. While the financial liability for consumer credit cards is often limited to $50 (and the card itself can be easily cancelled and replaced) the Ponemon study suggests that 65% of medical identity theft victims had to pay an average of $13,500 to resolve the crime.
  • Unlike credit card theft, medical identity theft victims are rarely informed by a healthcare entity about suspicious and potentially fraudulent activity for health services.
  • On average, medical identity victims typically learn of the fraudulent activity more than three months after a crime has been committed and 30% do not know when they became a victim. Of those who found an error in their Explanation of Benefits, about half didn’t know who to report the claim to.
  • Full resolution of medical identity theft is hard to achieve and the Ponemon research suggests that only 10% of respondents reported achieving a completely satisfactory conclusion.

Think about that.

If someone gains access to your credit card your liability is minimal as long as you report the fraud on a timely basis. Your card is revoked and a new one is issued.

Game over for the crook.

Not so when they have your name, Social Security number and date of birth. They can continue to use your identity to commit health care fraud for years.

 

Health care fraud hit’s close to home.

A stone mountain nurse filed fraudulent claims for services that were never provided.

Prosecutors say that between May 2013 and September 2013 Daphne Patterson billed five health insurance companies, including UnitedHealthcare and Aetna, for services she did not provide, reports WABE.

The indictment says Patterson “sought reimbursement for at least approximately $2.2 million for the various allergy tests and treatments that had not been provided to the health care benefit program beneficiaries.”

The indictment adds, “In total, Patterson received more than $1 million from the health care benefit programs as a result of the fraudulent claims.” – Atlanta Business Chronicle

All of that took place over 5 months. Consider the damage that could have been done if allowed to continue for years?

Protect yourself against health care fraud by regularly reviewing your claims.  Report Medicare fraud when you discover it.

Save money by allowing us to help you shop and compare over 170 different GA Medigap plans.

medicareplansgeorgia

 

 

#healthcarefraud #medicalidentitytheft #anthem #medicare