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A Surviving Spirit

Mrs. Jane A. Harding is 74 and has lived on her own for more than 40 years. She receives a fixed income every month from Social Security, which is just enough to buy a few groceries and cover her medical bill deductibles. Nevertheless, she always finds a way to help out her family. Since the economic crisis began, family members have come to Mrs. Harding so that they can get back on their feet, and she is always ready to help them.

These days, helping others can be a very difficult or impossible task, but Mrs. Harding always finds a way to support her children and grandchildren. Although she uses wheelchairs and walkers to get around, Mrs. Harding has very independent spirit.

Tips to Avoid Insurance Fraud

Note: These are helpful tips for senior citizens on how they can avoid becoming victims of health insurance fraud. This is from Federal Bureau of Investigation website. Older Americans are less likely to report a fraud because they don’t know who to report it to, are too ashamed at having been scammed, or do not know they have been scammed. In some cases, an elderly victim may not report the crime because he or she is concerned that relatives may come to the conclusion that the victim no longer has the mental capacity to take care of his or her own financial affairs.

  • Never sign blank insurance claim forms.
  • Never give blanket authorization to a medical provider to bill for services rendered.
  • Ask your medical providers what they will charge and what you will be expected to pay out-of pocket.
  • Carefully review your insurer’s explanation of the benefits statement. Call your insurer and provider if you have questions.
  • Do not do business with door-to-door or telephone salespeople who tell you that services of medical equipment are free.
  • Give your insurance/Medicare identification only to those who have provided you with medical services.
  • Keep accurate records of all health care appointments.
  • Know if your physician ordered equipment for you.

© 2009 Carolina Photojournalism | Credits