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Fraud Timed to Reform (Chicago Tribune)

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When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was first passed in 2010, a wave of medical identity theft schemes swept the marketplace, often targeting seniors who were on Medicare. As we move toward January 2014 and the Act’s full implementation, officials are bracing for another round of fraud. In fact, two common ploys have already been exposed. The first is scheme in which older people are told that, as a result of health care reform, they will need a new Medicare card. In the second, perpetrators offer up services they claim are free. Both schemes give culprits access to insurance information and/or a person’s Medicare number (which is also their Social Security number), allowing them to bill for services that were never provided, or even set up false accounts in the patient’s name.