How Does Your Brain Score? Take the Staying Sharp Brain Health Assessment


Military and Veterans Discount


Free AARP E-Books

Protecting Yourself Online for Dummies

Here's the mini guide you need to steer through the hazards with confidence.

Learn More


AARP Games - Play Now!


AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy

News & Politics Forums

Share your opinions on news and current events that matter most to you.

Join the discussion »

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.

member benefit aarp financial service auto insurance

AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford offers members no-cost quotes.

membership benefit financial college aarp

Advice on saving for education from AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can earn 3% cash back on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Member Benefits

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

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points