Senior Medicare beneficiaries need to regularly review their Medicare Summary Notices statements as the first step to protect against Medicare fraud, a Delaware Health and Social Services representative told federal retirees.
Cynthia Allen, program administrator and director for the state’s Senior Medicare Patrol, was the luncheon speaker at the March meeting of the Sussex Chapter 1690 of NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees) held at 1776 Steakhouse, Rehoboth Beach. “Everyone should check their Medicare Summary Notice of benefits to make sure that the services listed were what providers actually did,” Allen said.
The local Sussex Chapter 1690 is part of NARFE, a national organization that represents federal employees, retirees, and annuitants, promotes their general welfare, and provides advice and advocacy services with respect to their rights and benefits under federal and state retirement laws and regulations. Any federal retirees interested in joining the Sussex chapter should email Ron or Carol Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Allen said the Delaware Partners of Senior Medicare Patrol serves as a boots on the ground advocate for Medicare recipients. “We provide educational services to seniors and also provide follow-through case work on complaints about potential Medicare fraud or abuse,” she said. The Senior Medicare Patrol is a program under the Delaware Division of Services for the Aging and Adults with Disabilities, which is in the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services.
Allen told the NARFE attendees they should watch out for and identify theft involving their Medicare cards. “Treat your Medicare cards just as safely as you treat your credit cards,” she said. She also warned seniors to be wary of telephone or other solicitations for Medicare services. “Medicare officials do not go door-to-door, and do not make solicitations by phone,” she said.
“The goal of the Delaware Partners of Senior Medicare Patrol is to help Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries prevent, detect and report healthcare fraud,” Allen said. She said Delaware Medicare recipients or their caregivers can report questionable Medicare charges or activities to the Senior Medicare Patrol at 800-223-9074, or can get more information at www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dsaapd/index.html.