Nebraska woman’s Medicare account had $2,100 in fraudulent charges — and she’s not alone
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Kerry Milius was gathering her mother’s medical records when she noticed something strange on her Medicare charges.
Five pharmacies, all out of state, had sent at-home COVID-19 tests to her mom.
“Every month, there was one or two claims for COVID home tests,” Milius said. “She did not order these.”
Because Milius’ mom was getting older, she wanted to help her with medical needs.
She said her mom received some of the at-home tests in the mail but threw them away because she didn’t know what they were for.
So Milius called Medicare to ask what was going on.
“They looked at her account, connected me to the fraud department, and they went, ‘Oh my, oh my. She’s had 22 claims for $96 on her Medicare account,'” Milius said.
In total, the 22 claims added up to over $2,100 in fraudulent charges.
The charges were all from different pharmacies – four in Texas and one in Florida.
“They were just all scamming Medicare,” Milius said.
She felt she had to do something more, so she contacted the state attorney general’s office, which pointed her to Nebraska State Health Insurance Assistance Programs.
And she learned that her mom was not the only one this has happened to.
“This was widespread fraud,” Milius said. “And that it’s happening all over.”
The inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a COVID-19 scam alert online, and this particular form of fraud is listed.
Milius posted about it on Facebook to let people know what happened to her mother.
She said she got several comments and a phone call from others who have been affected by this scam.
And she wants others to know what to do if it happens to them.
It’s best to report it right away to Medicare, and it’s also helpful to file a fraud complaint with the attorney general’s office.
Milius said it’s terrible that people are targeting the elderly.
“I know that Medicare dollars are short,” she said. “Our Medicare system is in trouble. So to get it scammed out of us, it’s horrible.”