February 25, 2019
Could You Afford to Lose 10% of Your Annual Income?
Could you afford to lose 10% of your annual income? Could you afford to lose out on Medicare coverage?

Medicare fraud is a continuing problem throughout the United States. In 2017, over $60 billion was lost to Medicare fraud according to AARP. The losses to fraud are larger than the budgets of Homeland Security, NIH-Sponsored Medical Research, Pell College Grants, and NASA.

The wonderful volunteers at Pro Seniors in Ohio created the above video to show how Senior Medicare Patrol Volunteers educate beneficiaries across the country on how to Protect, Detect, and Report any potential fraud.

If you or anyone you know think they have fallen victim to a scammer, you can report any potential Medicare Fraud to the llinois SMP at AgeOptions at (800)699-9043.

You can also find out more about volunteering with the llinois SMP here.
Does Your Medicare Advantage Plan
Work for You?
If you are currently in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan and are not happy with your current coverage, you can switch to a different MA plan or go to back to Original Medicare if you act before March 31. This period to make this switch is only available to people currently in an MA plan. This gives you a chance to try out your MA plan early in the year, see if the plan's provider network works for you, and make a change or go back to Original Medicare if needed.

If you would like to make a switch to your coverage, we encourage you to talk to a SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Program) counselor. They can help you compare plans and can talk to you about other options that might be available to you, including other enrollment periods that might be available. In Illinois, call (800)252-8966 and ask for a SHIP counselor near you.

Insurance agents should not be marketing Medicare Advantage plans between now and March 31. The Illinois SMP has received some reports of insurance agents trying to sell MA plans. If you encounter this, please call the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions at (800)699-9043.
Medical Identity Theft is a REAL Problem
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) has put together a great public service announcement about how to protect yourself from Medical identity theft. Click the play button on the video above or watch it here.

Medical identity theft can happen when someone other than yourself takes your Social Security number, Medicare number or any other personal information without your permission. Always remember never to give this information out to anyone you do not know!

Click here to read more on the HHS OIG website about how to protect yourself against scammers.
Have a wonderful week!

Travis Trumitch
Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area. If you would like to sign up to receive the Fraud Alert directly, visit click here.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0036, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.
The Illinois SMP at AgeOptions partners with agencies across the state to empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse through outreach, counseling, and education.

Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area and visit our website to sign up for our Fraud Alert email list.