By Gitzel Puente. CREATED Jan 24, 2014
INDIO - California Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-36th District) said health care fraud is a growing problem especially when it comes to seniors.
"In 2011 alone, one million people fell victim to healthcare fraud," addressed Congressman Ruiz to a group of seniors at the Sun City Shadow Hills in Indio.
He held a forum to bring awareness to the problem.
"We have a very large retirement community and nobody wants any of our grandparents and parents being taken advantage of," said Ruiz.
One of the speakers from the Senior Medicare Patrol program, Sandy Diaz, shared about a popular phone scam.
"The caller calls the medicare beneficiary or the senior, claims to be a medicare representative, says that medicare is going to be issuing new medicare cards and that all they want from you is bank account information, credit card and some types even social security number," explained Diaz.
She said most scammers seem to be preying on the public's confusion over the changes with the Affordable Care Act, but with some simple steps she said seniors can avoid becoming victims.
"Protect, detect and report. Protect your information. Guard your card. Review medicare summary notices and explanation of benefits and look out for those suspicious charges," said Diaz.
This seminar comes two months after Congressman Ruiz passed new legislation that would protect seniors from these scams.
"The bill creates collaboration among agencies and consolidates that information and puts it in the hands of our seniors so they're better able to protect themselves from health care fraud," said Congressman Ruiz.