Posted: Jan 19, 2012
TUCSON - Are you or is someone in your family on Medicare? The News 4 Investigators has an important fraud alert impacting nearly 1,000 people, most of them right here in Tucson.
Some of you contacted The Investigators after you noticed your insurance coverage was switched last year during open enrollment without your consent.
One of the victims wants to help get the word to the hundreds of elderly and vulnerable people about the problem.
"It was switched again after the 7th of December."
David White was diagnosed with leukemia 14 years ago.
"Now in my wife's case she suffers from a multitude of things."
When The Investigators were at the Whites' home, Anita had a migraine so severe she couldn't join us for the interview.
The Whites care for each other. David worries about proper medications. They're happy with the Medicare plan they have through Health Net.
Last month they started getting mail thanking them for changing to AARP Medicare Complete Plus with United Healthcare.
"First of all something we didn't elect," David explains. "And secondly it was somebody else playing games with our name."
The Whites never signed for a change. David started working the phone making several calls to Health Net, United Healthcare and the fraud unit with Medicare. He eventually he got it all back on track.
"The amount of paperwork that's entailed has to be astronomical."
David worries about others who did not catch the switch.
"And then all of sudden they have an emergency and they go to the emergency room and they have no idea who they are insured with," he says. "When you're talking senior citizens and people that are subject to easy prey, this is really an insult."
The investigators contacted Medicare and received this Press release:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is investigating an alleged fraudulent scheme to enroll about 900 Arizona Medicare beneficiaries in different Medicare health plans without their consent.
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” Buddha[/color][/i]