We strive to keep you informed about the latest Medicare news. Each month, we recap the top information you need to know about recent developments in the Medicare industry. This month, we cover Medicare coverage when traveling, a recent scam alert and Social Security premium deductions!
Traveling with Medicare – Are You Covered?
The good news is that for those with Original Medicare, medical services and supplies are covered when traveling in the U.S., which includes Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Although Medicare plans vary, they each cover emergency and urgent care in the same way. Whether you use a Medicare Advantage plan or Original Medicare as your primary insurance, you are entitled to urgent care or emergency care anywhere in the United States. This type of care will always be considered “in-network” for you.
When it comes to travel outside of the U.S., in most cases, Medicare will not cover any health supplies or services you receive. Before traveling abroad, we recommend you review your Medicare plan to understand what it covers. Based on your situation, it may also make sense for you to consider options for a travel policy.
Learn more about Medicare coverage for both domestic and international travel in our recent blog!
Protect Yourself Against the Latest Medicare Scam
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is warning Medicare beneficiaries against a recent increase of scammers who call, go door-to-door or target individuals at public events saying they will provide genetic testing in exchange for the beneficiary’s cheek swab. These fraudsters are using this swab to obtain their information for identity theft or billing information.
To avoid being caught up in the latest Medicare scheme, the Office of Inspector General has issued the following advice:
If a genetic testing kit is mailed to you, don’t accept it unless it was ordered by your physician. Refuse the delivery or return it to the sender. Keep a record of the sender’s name and the date you returned the items.
Be suspicious of anyone who offers you free genetic testing and then requests your Medicare number. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
A physician that you know and trust should approve any requests for genetic testing.
Medicare beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare numbers. If anyone other than your physician’s office requests your Medicare information, do not provide it.
If you suspect Medicare fraud, contact the HHS OIG Hotline.
Important Notice Regarding Social Security Premium Deductions
We encourage you to take a few minutes to read this article from Kaiser Health, which provides details about a recent Social Security error relating to premium deductions.
Due to this error, if you’ve arranged for your Medicare plan premium to be drafted from your Social Security check, we recommend that you contact your insurance company directly at the number listed on the back of your ID card to ensure the amount is being drafted correctly. Note that if you are affected, this error only applies to your medical or drug plan premium, not your Medicare Part B premium.
We’d Love to Hear from You!
If you are not yet a RetireMEDiQ client and have questions about how these topics may affect you as you approach retirement, contact one of our advisors at 1-866-600-5638.