Medicare scam pretends to offer genetic testing

Watch out for scammers offering “free” genetic testing services.

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By Wally Pearce Special to the Express

It never ends with scams these days. Here’s yet another Medicare scam offering free cheek swabs for DNA or genetic testing to Medicare beneficiaries on the rise. The scammers target senior centers, care facilities, as well as set up in public places like grocery stores and ask beneficiaries to provide their Medicare number and other identifying information before providing them with genetic testing kits. In some instances the scammer submits a fraudulent claim to Medicare for reimbursement. Medicare covers genetic testing only when a beneficiary has an order from their doctor and when the test is medically necessary. In other instances, the scammers are using the test to obtain beneficiaries’ personal information for improper uses.

Advocates should caution their clients to never provide identifying information, including their Social Security number, Medicare number or other personal information to unknown parties. Nor should beneficiaries agree to medical testing that their doctor has not ordered.

To report Medicare fraud, contact 1-800-MEDICARE or the Senior Medicare Patrol at 877-808-2468. You can also contact the Winters Police Department at 530-795-2261.

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