CMS: Fraudulent schemes target Medicare beneficiaries

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid officials put out a warning that individuals in 11 states have targeted Medicare beneficiaries with fraudulent prescription drug discount card programs. These people are either making phone calls or going door-to-door, asking for senior's bank information, social security numbers or credit cards.

The discount card program, to start in May, is part of the Medicare reform law to help beneficiaries save 10% to 25% on prescription drug costs until the program's benefit takes effect in 2006.

The governmental agency will announce which companies will be authorized to offer the prescription drug discount cards within a few weeks. It will begin advertising the program in May.

States reporting such scams include Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.