Every year billions of federal dollars are lost in Medicare due to health care fraud, error and abuse. To combat this and help consumers better protect themselves, the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) project recruits and trains retired professionals and other volunteer senior citizens on recognizing and reporting instances or patterns of health care fraud. The SMP is a national program funded by the Federal Administration on Aging beginning in 1997.
The Kentucky Senior Medicare Patrol is a volunteer group that works to protect seniors and preserve Medicare dollars through educating and counseling Medicare beneficiaries to recognize and report fraud and scams. SMP staff and volunteers empower Medicare beneficiaries on how to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud by visiting senior centers, churches, support groups and other opportunities where seniors gather. During presentations SMP focuses on the importance of their main message: Protect, Detect, and Report.
Identity Theft: Seniors and their families need to be aware of scams and schemes criminals use to steal personal information to gain unauthorized benefit from the Medicare program or to drain senior’s bank accounts. The first step is to protect your personal information ( download a Kentucky Attorney General's consumer ID Theft Kit).
Never give out information to strangers that call or visit offering free services. Informed seniors know how to detect suspicious activity on healthcare statements and know how to report it to the proper authorities. Every SMP presentation focuses on teaching seniors these three basics and afterwards SMP volunteers are ready to answer questions and give advice on other ways seniors can protect themselves and the Medicare program.
Trained Volunteers: SMP volunteers' outreach protects seniors, preserves the Medicare system and keeps taxpayer dollars out of the hands of criminals. SMP volunteers are retired professionals who are highly trained in Medicare issues. SMP volunteers and staff help beneficiaries to understand Medicare and other healthcare documents and can provide assistance to beneficiaries who have Medicare billing issues. SMP volunteers are constantly out in the community educating seniors about how to prevent Medicare fraud, waste and abuse. SMP volunteers can participate in a variety of activities ranging from administrative and office duties to counseling beneficiaries through complex Medicare billing issues.
Ready to Serve: SMP visits senior groups, community events to distribute information. Organizations and individuals may call the Kentucky SMP office on weekdays to ask Medicare-related questions or to schedule events or presentations toll-free: 1-877-603-6558.
Volunteers Needed: Kentucky's SMP is always looking for people who are passionate about protecting Medicare and seniors to help them spread the message.
Find more volunteer opportunities: www.louisvilleky.gov/Health/HealthEducationandPromotionServices/SeniorMedicare/