Top the Trizzle leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more


AARP Real Possibilities



AARP Games - Play Now!

Contests and

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program



Elections 2010

Eye on the Issue: Medicare Fraud

Medicare fraud is a serious problem, whether it is phony billing schemes, identity theft or telemarketers that sell products beneficiaries don’t need. Today, law-enforcement authorities estimate that Medicare fraud, waste and abuse cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars, and that doesn’t include the fraud that occurs throughout the rest of the health care system. Estimates of overall health care spending lost to fraud range from 3 percent to 10 percent.

Some of the most common tactics used to commit Medicare fraud include: 

  • False claims: Billing for health care services that are unnecessary or were never delivered, such as hospital or doctors’ services, prescription medications, or medical supplies such as wheelchairs or oxygen.
  • Identity theft: Using another person’s Medicare card to obtain medical care.
  • Kickbacks: Paying another provider for a patient referral or paying a patient to seek Medicare services for phantom symptoms.
  • Scams: Deceiving Medicare patients by posing as a Medicare representative authorized to sell them medical supplies or to suggest appointments or treatments.


AARP is calling on Congress to continue to strengthen Medicare’s ability to crack down on fraud and abuse. Specifically, Congress should increase legal penalties — both fines and jail time — on scam artists for fraud; give investigators and prosecutors more tools to catch and punish criminals; and shine a spotlight on fraud committed against Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers. Taking these steps will help protect seniors from harm, strengthen Medicare and help reduce the federal deficit by lowering skyrocketing health care costs.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members save 20% on digital hearing aids with AARP® Hearing Care Program from HearUSA.

AARP Discounts on Consumer Cellular Phones and Plans

Members save 5% on monthly service and usage charges with Consumer Cellular.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can locate discounts via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder mobile app.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.