SCAM ALERT Mail Order Diabetic Supply Abuse

                           - from Gail Schwersenska of Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups

The expanded diabetic supplies benefit under Medicare is a good benefit that helps us monitor our diabetes and hopefully prevent some of the complications by keeping it under control. The cost of the testing supplies is one of the reasons that people donít test as often as they should and the complications that result can be much more costly to treat.

Most local pharmacies do not offer this benefit because they donít participate in Medicare and they choose not to because of billing issues. This lack of access to local

Pharmacies has opened the door for the national "800" supply companies to fill the gap. The problem is that many of these mail order companies are taking advantage of customers.

Sending Supplies Not Ordered

We have cases where supplies were sent double and sometimes triple the amount needed or ordered.

Inflated Charges

A woman received an order of supplies that included two AAA batteries for her glucometer. She did not order the batteries but was billed $15.00 for the two batteries and Medicare approved $12.50. She checked at the local Walgreenís and found the same brand of batteries was $7.97 for a 6 pack.

Several folks have called outraged at the prices billed to Medicare. In most instances these folks have checked with their local pharmacy and found that the charges are anywhere from $30 to $100 more than what they could buy locally.

The Supplies Just Keep on Coming

In one instance a woman died shortly after she ordered her first supply. It took her husband 4 months to get the company to stop sending supplies, even though he sent them back, called and told them she was dead and called the carrier to tell them they were being billed for supplies he did not order and had returned.

This fraud and abuse alert is brought to you from SCAMS (Senior Counselors Against Medicare Swindlers),
a program of The California HICAP Association.

For more information, or to report Medicare scams:


or call HICAP at 800-434-0222 or (909) 697-6560

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