Genetic Testing Scam Targets Elderly
Source: Area Agency on Aging
The Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, Area Agency on Aging (AAA), advises that the Genetic Testing scam, targeting Medicare beneficiaries, has hit the Santa Barbara area.
"The Genetic Testing Scam is offered as a 'free' test, but isn't free and may not be necessary," stated Barry Jay Marks, Chair, Area Agency on Aging. "Genetic testing needs to be ordered by your primary physician and be 'medically necessary.' Seniors may be approached at a senior center or at senior living facilities."
"We have learned that some scammers may call Medicare beneficiaries and encourage them to have genetic testing or cancer screenings," continued Mr. Marks. "The offer will include a free test kit and ask that it be returned with their insurance information. This will then allow scammers to bill Medicare for thousands of dollars of expensive and unneccessary testing."
The California Senior Medicare Patrol provides these three tips:
1. Don't give your DNA away to a stranger! Beware of folks who are calling you, visiting senior centers or senior apartments to advertise free genetic testing and cancer screenings. Check with your doctor first!
2. Don't become a victim of medical theft. Watch out for folks who promise genetic testing and cancer screenings covered 100% by Medicare. Medicare only covers tests and procedures that are medically necessary.
3. Look for charges on your Medicare Summary Notice statements for unnecessary tests or screenings that you did not want or were not ordered by your doctor.
For additional information contact Barry Jay Marks, Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council Chair, or Mrs. Julie Posada, HICAP Program Manager at 805-928-5663 or 1-800-434-0222.