The director of Iowa’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), Kris Gross, explains the program.
“Senior Medicare Patrol or SMP is a program to help Medicare beneficiaries prevent and detect fraud, errors and abuse,” Gross says. Gross says there are a couple of ways Medicare users can help.
“One is their Medicare summary notices — which shows what services they’ve had — and by monitoring those summary notices they can see if there are inappropriate charges, or things that they really didn’t receive services for,” Gross says. And she says they can help by reporting scams that try to get personal information. “Remembering that Medicare and Social Security are never going to call you for your Medicare number. They have it,” Gross explains. “So, you should not be giving out those numbers to anyone who would just call you on the phone.”
The program allows you to call and talk to someone about any concerns. “If someone suspects fraud, errors or abuse, they can call SMP. Our 800 number is 800-351-4664. Or they can email us at [email protected],” according to Gross. While she doesn’t have the state specific numbers — Gross says Medicare fraud added up to $50 billion nationwide in 2017. “That’s a big number, and the SMP program and our SMP counselors across the state are hear to help people investigate those fraud errors and abuse — and if necessary — get them reported to the appropriate federal agency,” Gross says.
You are also are encouraged to visit shiip.iowa.gov/smp To learn about new Medicare insurance scams and discover tips and tools to prevent and report Medicare fraud.