Regulators warn: Don’t pay for COVID-19 tests you didn’t order


TAMPA, Florida (WFLA) – In a first, the crooks sent unordered COVID-19 tests to Medicare recipients and billed Medicare millions of dollars. Now, regulators warn that they are sending the bill directly to seniors.

Months ago, dozens of Medicare recipients called Better Call Behnken to investigate an influx of mysterious shipments of COVID-19 tests they didn’t want. Despite reporting the fraud to Medicare, the government kept paying.


Robert Baxley showed us the tests he sent his mother, and described the situation as “ridiculous.”

“It’s $96,” he said. “They paid $94.”

Medicare promised to stop paying for “free” COVID-19 tests in May. Now, turn of events.

Once a crook steals your Medicare number, submits a claim to Medicare and it’s denied, the crooks are now billing you directly, according to a new warning from the Federal Trade Commission.

If you receive a bill for a COVID-19 test you did not order, do not pay. The FTC urges you to report this to them and Medicare.

Regularly check your Medicare explanation of benefits and question anything you don’t recognize. The FTC sent this advice:

  • Don’t pay it. by lawCompanies can’t send you things you didn’t order and then demand payment. If you receive a bill like this, report it to reportfraud.ftc.gov.
  • Check your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) and Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to see if your account was billed. Details are available by mail or online at Medicare.gov. Look for services, products or devices paid for by Medicare that you can’t find. Do the statements show any double allegations, or things you or your doctor did not ask for?
  • If you suspect Medicare fraud, call your health care provider or Medicare plan and ask for an explanation. If you are not satisfied with their response, call your local Senior Medicare Patrol or call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE for assistance in filing a report.
  • Report Medicare fraud to the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General Online or at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). This helps them detect scammers and try to stop them.

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