Helping Iowans Understand and Prevent Medicare Fraud
Medicare fraud can be difficult to spot, especially when fraudsters can make fake phone calls and medical bills seem so believable. According to the U.S. General Accounting Office, it is estimated that $60 billion dollars is lost nationally each year to Medicare fraud.
The Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) is a national program funded by the Administration for Community Living, administered by the Iowa Insurance Division. SMP empowers people to prevent healthcare fraud, mainly through educating people on Medicare about fraud, errors and abuse. The best way to fix Medicare fraud is to keep it from happening in the first place.
So what can people do? First, start by never giving out your Medicare number unless you know who you’re speaking too. Second and most importantly—read your statements. If you see something you don’t recognize or understand, call your provider or call SMP.
If you, or someone you know, suspects they have been a victim of Medicare fraud, they can report the incident to 1-800-351-4664 (TTY 1-800-735-2942). The Iowa SHIIP-SMP will help the victim receive support, find solutions, and learn what can be done to reduce future risk.
Whether it’s explaining Medicare, comparing plans or policies, or reviewing medical billing statements to uncover fraud, SHIIP-SMP helps Iowans understand and prevent Medicare fraud. Today everything seems to be more complicated, but understanding Medicare and protecting your health insurance doesn’t have to be.
For more information about SHIIP-SMP, visit shiip.iowa.gov or click here.