Calls from random numbers asking for important personal information are often cause for concern, but how do you know whether the request is real or not?
Fraud affects all of us in many ways – and it doesn’t just occur over the phone. The National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association estimates that fraud costs Americans at least $33 billion to $55 billion annually.
Here are a few simple tips to consider to help keep your and your family’s information safe:
Check your health insurance statements and Explanation of Benefits (EOB) regularly to ensure there are no discrepancies in your claims statements.
- Office visits you never made
- Health services you never received
- Upcoding – billing for a more expensive service than the one provided
- Duplicate billing for identical services
- Different dates of services from your records
- Incorrect admission or discharge dates on any hospital stays
- Receiving brand name medications when generic prescriptions were ordered
Protect your personal information.
- Never provide personal information, such as your member ID number, credit or debit card information and other health information, on a phone call you did not initiate.
- Do not send credit or debit card information or other personal information over email.
- Choose a PIN number that doesn’t appear in your wallet – not your birthdate or phone number
- Shred financial documents before discarding
- Monitor your financial accounts regularly
Don’t be afraid to ask for verification over the phone.
- Ask for a call-back number – a scammer will usually respond by hanging up or providing a non-working phone number.
- Ask what business or call campaign the caller is representing
Remain cautious online.
- After viewing personal health or financial information on a website, log off the site or shut down the browser
- Never access personal health or financial information on a public Wi-Fi network, such as at a coffee shop or a public library, or on a public computer
- Use a unique username and password for each of your accounts
- Do not use the same password for multiple accounts
- Keep security patches and anti-virus software up-to-date on your personal computer or smartphone
- Pay attention to spelling and grammar as scam emails often include misspellings or poor grammar
Be aware of the common guises scammers use.
- “Health care representative”
- “Government representative”
- Robocalls – prompting you to press any key to be connected to an agent
- Medical discount plans masquerading as health insurance
- “Health insurance counselor”
It’s not always easy to identify fraud – sometimes it might just be an error. In these cases, you should call the number on the back of your ID card to better understand the information you received. Or, if you suspect fraud or suspicious activity, you should contact the UnitedHealthcare Fraud Hotline’s toll-free number at 1-844-359-7736 or online at www.uhc.com/fraud.