Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Medicaid Services Card Attracts Scam Artists

The Arc sent this out in an e-mail... heads up!

OLYMPIA – A North Central Washington family reported an apparent “phishing” scam by an unidentified telephone caller who asked them for $327 and private financial information in exchange for sending them a new ProviderOne “Blue Card.”

The couple refused, and they later discovered that the toll-free telephone number he had given them was bogus. In the call, he identified himself as “Chris Cassidy, ID No. 582,” and claimed he worked for a private firm hired by the government.

It was the latest in a handful of apparent scam attempts linked to the new Services Cards – a plastic identification card that was mailed to about one million Medicaid and medical assistance clients around the state during April and early May. The cards are part of the launch of ProviderOne, a new Medicaid payment system.

The cards are absolutely free and have no value or personal information recorded on them. Like the plastic ID cards used by private health insurance plans, they merely help providers establish the client’s identity and eligibility for services. No representative of the Medicaid program or the Department of Social and Health Services will call and ask for money or personal financial information in exchange for the cards.

Medicaid officials said clients who receive the cards need to make sure they take the card along with them when they visit their doctor, dentist, clinic or pharmacy. It is also a good idea to write down the new ID number on the front of the card. If they lose their card, their provider can use that number and their date of birth, Social Security Number, or address to verify eligibility.

Clients or providers with questions about the new cards can call the Department at 1-800-562-3022 or they can find more information about the cards on the Internet at http://dshs.wa.gov/ServicesCard/.

Information about the new cards is also posted on YouTube in a new Department video brochure.  Clients and family members, as well as providers, are invited to view the video at http://www.youtube.com/WAstateDSHS.

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