Convenient, safe for New Yorkers yet watch for insurance scams exploiting arms-length sessions

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ALBANY, N.Y. (07/31/2020) (readMedia)-- COVID-19 is spurring more New Yorkers to seek the safety and convenience of distance healing by telemedicine, yet consumers must stay alert for costly insurance scams, warns the New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud.

Telemedicine by remote is widely available for consumers sheltering at home throughout New York. So to stay safe, consumers are increasingly holding video and audio healthcare sessions with their doctors and other medical providers from the comfort of their homes.

Convenient medical exams, advice, diagnoses and even treatment are all being accessed by remote. Yet insurance scams can exploit the burgeoning arms-length telemedicine. Tele-schemes can steal patients' identities and defraud their insurance policies, the New York Alliance warns.

Bogus telemedicine sessions for illicit profits also can damage a patient's health.

Get the most out of your telemedicine sessions, yet stay alert to insurance scams:

Quiet area. Hold your session in a quiet area, free of home noises and distractions. Make sure the lighting is good, and your devices are plugged in or charged.

Prescriptions. Have your prescription bottles ready so you can accurately discuss your medicine needs.

Flashlight. Bring a flashlight so your medical provider can better see injuries, sores or inside your mouth if needed.

Telemed app. Know your telemed app or portal before your session. Test to make sure it operates compatibly on your system.

Refuse strangers. Scam artists cold-call people, often seniors. The callers offer free telemed exams with a doctor you've never met. You're promised free braces, medicines or other health benefits - just hand over your insurance information. These are ploys to steal your medical identity and falsely bill your insurance.

Suspicious charges. Check your medical statements carefully. Was your insurance billed for telemed sessions you never had? Charged for full-hour sessions that lasted only a half-hour? Billed for braces or medicines you never received?

Report scams. Call 1-844-FRAUDNY or click here.

Telemedicine offers a new era of convenient healthcare throughout New York during the pandemic, and beyond. Watch for insurance scams to ensure your telehealth session is safe, secure and healing, the New York Alliance urges.