HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Dr. Val Arkoosh, the secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), is warning residents of a scam that targets those who receive Medicaid.
The department says that a scammer implies that an individual’s health care coverage is in jeopardy and will ask for personal payment information so that coverage can continue.
“DHS has been communicating with Medicaid recipients for the past year about their renewals, but DHS will never ask for personal information in an unsolicited text message or phone call. If someone is claiming to be from or affiliated with the Department and they are asking you for your personal information, it is a scam,” said Secretary Arkoosh. “Please do not fall victim to identity theft. If you ever receive a suspicious call or text asking you for information about your benefits or for your financial information, please inform the DHS fraud tip line immediately so the proper authorities can investigate.”
The scam involved a text message from ‘Health Services’, Health Solutions’, or ‘Innovative Partners’. They claim that a recipient may need to review their healthcare plan.
The message tells individuals to call the number that was provided. The person who answers the phone claims the caller’s Medicaid policy was terminated and they are required to pay additional premiums.
The scammer will then ask for payment information and state that failure to provide it will result in the department not renewing their Medicaid application.
DHS states they will not ask for payment to process a Medicaid application or renewal except in limited circumstances (such as to pay a premium), and DHS will not request personal or account information over the phone, in email, or via text messages. DHS is required to give 15 days notice before the closure of a Medicaid case.
State Inspector General Lucas M. Miller added, “The men and women of the Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) are dedicated to protecting the integrity of public assistance programs, and we need your help. Please report to OSIG any individual or business that may be trying to steal benefits.”
You are asked to report any texts or calls about DHS benefits that seem suspicious by calling the DHS fraud tip line at 1-844-DHS-TIPS (1-844-347-8477).