Unordered COVID-19 tests — and bills — are arriving on doorsteps around the country. What’s going on? It’s another scam targeting people with Medicare. Here’s what to do if you get billed for tests you didn’t order.
In June, the FTC warned about scammers stealing people’s Medicare numbers and billing Medicare for COVID-19-related services (and other things) that they sometimes got — and sometimes didn’t. The difference now? You might be getting the bill instead of Medicare. That’s because after May 11th, when the COVID-19 Health Emergency officially ended, Medicare and other health insurance plans stopped paying for many at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 tests. Once Medicare denies payment, those scammy companies could come back with a bill in your name.
Here’s what to do if you get one of these bills for unordered COVID-19 tests:
Don’t pay it. By law, companies can’t send you things you didn’t order and then demand payment. If you get a bill like this, report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
Check your Medicare Summary Notices (MSN) and Explanations of Benefits (EOB) to see if your account was billed. Statements are available by mail or online at Medicare.gov. Look for services, products, or equipment Medicare paid for that you didn’t get. Do the statements show any double charges, or things you or your doctor didn’t ask for?
If you suspect Medicare fraud, call your health care provider or Medicare plan and ask for an explanation. If you aren’t satisfied with their response, call your local Senior Medicare Patrol for help filing a report or call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE.
Report Medicare fraud to the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General online or at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). It helps them track down the scammers and try to stop them.