Volunteers educate friends and neighbors on how to prevent Medicare fraud
Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm recently issued a press release warning North Dakota citizens of a Medicare scam asking beneficiaries to pay for not having Part D coverage. This is just one example of the many Medicare scams that are occurring locally and nationally.
What can you do so that you or your neighbors don't become a victim of these scams? You can volunteer for the N.D. Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). Recent national articles have described how more than 4,700 SMP volunteers across the country help fight Medicare fraud. Here in ND our volunteers assisted us in conducting almost 100 events, where we educated 6,895 Medicare beneficiaries last year about how to avoid becoming victims of health care fraud. We also intervened on behalf of many Medicare beneficiaries with complicated problems, including fraud and identity theft, related to their Medicare benefits.
SMP projects recruit and train retired professionals and other senior citizens. These volunteers work in their communities, senior centers and elsewhere to educate Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, family members and caregivers to actively protect themselves against fraudulent, wasteful and abusive health care practices.
Volunteers use their time and experience to help peers protect their identity, read their Medicare Summary Notices and avoid getting taken by scammers. They work one-on-one with beneficiaries, give presentations to groups and represent the SMP at events.
They don't do it alone. SMPs prepare volunteers for this important work with seminars, personalized help and information they can take home to study.
The future integrity of the health care system depends upon you. Join the effort to help save our precious health care dollars for the care that you may someday need. If you'd like to become a volunteer, contact us at 858-3424 or 1-800-233-1737. Contact us also if you are interested in attending one of our educational events or if you would like more information about how to avoid becoming a victim of health care fraud or identity theft.
Linda Madsen is project director for N.D. Center for Persons with Disabilities in Minot