06 October 2023- Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh is informing Pennsylvanians of a potential scam targeting individuals who receive Medicaid wherein a scammer implies that an individual’s health care coverage is in jeopardy and asks for their personal payment information to continue their coverage.
“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.”
Please 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).
The scam involves a text message from “Health Services,” “Health Solutions,” or “Innovative Partners” that claims a recipient may need to review their health care plan; an example of the scam is below. Further interaction with this message directs individuals to a phone number that a person will answer. This person claims the caller’s Medicaid policy was terminated, and they are required to pay additional premiums
PLEASE NOTE: DHS 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.”
The public can make such reports through OSIG’s website or by calling the Public Assistance Fraud Tipline at 1-800-932-0582.
DHS does send informational text messages and phone calls to people who receive SNAP, Medicaid, and other benefits from the number 1-833-648-1964. However, DHS’ text messages will not include:
- Details about a person’s benefits, such as the amount of SNAP they are authorized to receive,
- A request for specific personal information, and/or
- Links to unofficial sites; most DHS texts will direct people to dhs.pa.gov, COMPASS, or a site that ends in .gov or .org.