Couple says they’re victims of Medicare fraud

Posted at 8:49 AM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 10:49:28-05

Click here for updates on this story

    HAUGHTON, La. (KTBS) — It’s free. I won’t cost you a cent. Medicare will pay for it all.

That’s what predators tell the elderly over the phone when they’re trying to get them to accept something about which they have absolutely no knowledge. That happened to a couple in Haughton and while they may not have incurred any out of pocket expenses, they know what happened to them was wrong.

“And that is why I’m proud to stand with my colleagues and friends and support Medicare for all,” said freshman U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California).

But maybe we already have Medicare for all. Sort of.

Consider the case of James and Eloise Keith of Haughton. Inundated by calls promising this: “They informed us they wanted to give us a back brace. They stressed the fact it was free,” James Keith said.

The callers on the other end promised Medicare would pay for it; it wouldn’t cost them a cent. Despite the Keiths’ protests, the calls kept coming.

“They called me back again and wanted my blood count. I said, ‘You don’t have to have a blood count for a back brace.’ And I said, ‘I’ve told you I don’t want it. Don’t mail it to me.’ And a few days after that, we got it at the post office,” Eloise Keith said.

Here’s what the Keiths did.

“I didn’t even take it out of the post office. I said, ‘Return to sender. I do not want this,’” James Keith said.

But the Keiths discovered the brace was already paid for.

“And they billed Medicare on her summary for $1,300 and Medicare approved $1,100 something of it,” James Keith said. “My supplemental insurance stated they also filed and my supplemental insurance paid the $230 something supplement.” So now the Keiths had no back brace. But their insurance paid for it. The Keiths provided a copy of the transaction to KTBS to verify the amounts paid.

To add insult to injury, since they returned it, the Keith were told if Eloise Keith ever needed a back brace she couldn’t get it because the records showed she already had one.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.