April AARP Bulletin Special Report: US Government losing $1,000 to health fraud per every Medicare beneficiary; Losses are "massive," Attorney General Jeff Sessions tells AARP
WASHINGTON, April 2, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Roughly $60 billion is lost each year to Medicare fraud or waste, equal to 10 cents of every dollar budgeted for the program. Put another way, the amount lost to Medicare fraud in 2017 was roughly equal to the entire budgets for Homeland Security and NASA combined, an investigative report by AARP reveals. And the amount could be far worse, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions who answers AARP's questions in an exclusive interview in the April Issue of AARP Bulletin.
AARP's special report highlights the devastating impact of Medicare fraud; the link between Medicare fraud and the country's opioid crisis; and major convictions of Medicare scammers. And in an exclusive set of profiles, AARP goes undercover with the Medicare Fraud Task Force, the federal government's top team for fighting fraud, to reveal the investigative methods being used to put criminals into jail.
Additionally, the special report outlines how Medicare theft directly impacts recipients and ways individuals can protect themselves. Over the next year, recipients will begin receiving new, safer Medicare cards. The new card will no longer display Social Security numbers, which aided scammers in opening fraudulent financial accounts, filing bogus tax refunds and otherwise stealing money and identity. But ironically, the replacement of the cards has opened a new opportunity for scammers to exploit.
Other stories in the April issue:
- Midterm Primary Season Kicks Off: AARP kicks off its 2018 election coverage with a handy user's guide to the primaries: How they work, what you need to do to vote, and why voting this year is so important. Voters over age 50 will need to scrutinize candidates' positions on everything from strengthening Medicare and Social Security to bringing down the cost of prescription drugs. AARP provides educational resources on primary and general elections and how to find elections rules in individual states.
- The Good And Bad Of Target-Date Funds: Target-date funds are the self-driving cars of retirement savings. These set-it-and-forget-it mutual funds have rolled into most 401(k) plans, and they are getting more popular by the day. Yet just as with their automotive counterparts, the convenience of target-date funds creates special hazards. We detail why they can be more risky than they appear, and what consumers need to know before investing in them.
- Charged Up: The Best Credit Card For You: Do you ever wonder if your credit card is subpar -- and if another one might get you better perks or deals? No wonder, given the 1,000-plus cards you can choose from. To match you with a card that's a good fit, we found the best ones for seven types of consumers.
- The Full Truth About Heart Stents: The studies made headlines a few months ago: Heart stents, used to keep arteries open and flowing, aren't nearly as useful as once thought. In fact, new research reveals this very common procedure is often unnecessary. AARP goes beyond the scary headlines and provides answers to many of the questions and fears raised by these studies. There's also guidance for people who already have them implanted, or are candidates for the procedure.
- The Conundrum of Foster Teens: It's a quiet crisis that most Americans rarely think about: Thousands of teenagers are living in temporary foster care without biological or adoptive parents. Every year about 20,000 of these teens "age out" of the system and are released without ever having the stability of a permanent family. Many end up homeless or in jail. Perhaps older Americans could solve this issue by considering adopting teens in foster care. AARP shares several stories of families and organizations who are succeeding in helping teens in foster care. But it's not an easy task, and experts share the challenges.
Learn more at http://www.aarp.org/bulletin/. Interviews with AARP's experts are available upon request.
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.