New Scam Alert: Know the Signs
What would you do if someone called to offer you a free healthcare product that sounded as if it might help you? In the event that you experience regular discomfort or pain, you might jump at the opportunity to try something that might bring relief – especially if this person promises to handle all Medicare billing for you.
You’d be in good company. The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association reports that con artists are scamming the system for billions of dollars each year. While private health care systems can also be targeted, many of these incidents involve Medicare. As you move into retirement, knowing the signs of Medicare fraud can save you a lot of trouble (and sometimes money).
The latest scam involves call centers, whose operators call you up to offer orthopedic braces for various aches and pains. If you express interest, you are forwarded to another call center which verifies your Medicare benefits and then prescribes the brace over the phone.
Medicare is billed with false claims, and the money is often laundered overseas. So far, 1.2 billion has been stolen from Medicare via this scam. But it’s not just braces; any type of cold call could be a sign of a health care con job.
What are the signs of such a scam?
- “Free” offers, especially when you didn’t request information on the product or service
- A cash payment or gift in return for receiving some type of health care
- Medicare “representatives” who show up at your doorstep (they are not from Medicare)
- Unfamiliar items on your Medicare statements
And of course, always keep your Medicare card in a secure location. If stolen, thieves can use the information on it to commit fraud.
Even if you are never targeted by a con artist, health care can simply be expensive throughout retirement. Remember to meet with us regularly to examine your budget and make necessary adjustments to your retirement plan.
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In addition to managing clients’ money and giving investment and diversification advice, Mark offers something that “the other guys” don’t - a unique approach to Retirement Tax Strategies and distribution. Time and time again, Mark meets with new clients who tell him they have a great relationship with their financial advisor but have never been offered information on this kind of approach to securing their financial futures. Mark has taken this feedback to heart and works tirelessly to ensure that his strategies focus on taxes and distribution.
Mark started selling insurance for a major insurance company right out of high school to help put himself through college. After graduating with a degree in finance, he dove into estate planning on the financial side to set himself apart from other financial advisors. However, as changes were made to estate tax laws over time, Mark shifted his focus to income tax strategies.
Mark’s philosophy is “the blue prints are more important than the wall paper or carpet.” The wall paper and carpet represent products like investments and insurance policies, whereas the blue prints represent the strategies. Once strategies that truly fit the client’s needs are put in place, our focus can shift to providing you with the right products. According to Mark, “It doesn’t matter what carpet we use if the walls are not in the right place.”
Our approach to money management is designed to generate the largest alpha (quality) with the lowest standard deviation and beta (risk). By doing this, we help provide clients with the highest return on the lowest risk. Generating income for our retirees is also very important. Because withdrawing money from your portfolio hurts the account rather than helping it, our goal is to design income strategies to harm the portfolio the least making the money last longer.