Latest News on the Medicare Program for Informed Seniors

Healthcare Tracking Tool Prevents Medicare Fraud

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare keep track of what happens to their doctor appointments. It can also help detect and prevent Medicare fraud.

My Health Care Tracker is provided by Senior Medicare Patrol and instructs recipients on how to compare the health care services, tests, and medical equipment items they receive with what was billed on their Medicare extracts.

Seth Boffeli, an advisor to the AARP Fraud Watch Network, said Medicare fraud can be committed against both the government and the seniors enrolled in the programs. He advised that the best way to protect yourself from scams is to be your own detective.

“The way a lot of waste, fraud and Medicare abuse is detected is that people care,” Boffeli noted. “They get that statement, they pass it on and they say,‘ Hey, wait. I didn’t get that medicine or I didn’t get that treatment. “And they’re able to label it.”

By the end of 2021, there were about 652,000 Medicare-enrolled residents in Arkansas, which is more than 21% of the state’s population.

Arkansas residents can request My Health Care Tracker, in Spanish or English, by contacting the Arkansas Senior Medicare Patrol at 866-726-2916.

Boffeli explained that detecting fraud early is crucial because it not only saves people money, but could have ramifications for access to future care. He added that there are small things that Medicare recipients can do to prevent scams.

“It is very important that when you provide your Medicare information, or accept a test or a device that will pay for Medicare, you do so in consultation with your doctor,” Boffeli recommended. .

The AARP Fraud Surveillance Network offers advice sheets on more than 70 types of scams that affect the elderly. My Health Care Tracker also provides information on state health insurance assistance programs, which offer local insurance counseling and assistance to people eligible for Medicare, their families, and their caregivers.

Three projects have been selected in Idaho to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Memorial on Human Rights in Boise.

Dan Prinzing, executive director of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, which oversees the monument, said they received a grant of more than $ 21,000 to install a permanent sound system.

“The Community Challenge grant allows us to really realize a dream we’ve had for a few years, and that’s how we amplify the sound within the memorial,” Prinzing explained. “We are literally amplifying the message of the memorial.”

The memorial is the only Anna Frank memorial in the United States and is one of the few places in the world that displays the full text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is also recognized as an international place of consciousness. Prinzing noted that about 120,000 people visit the memorial each year.

Prinzing hopes the memorial site will be able to install the sound system before August 16, which will be its 20th anniversary. He added that many people often come to the place to show solidarity with each other.

“The memorial is often used for community vigils when something happens nationwide,” Prinzing noted. “The memorial represents a place where we can meet.”

AARP is funding 260 projects nationwide through a total of $ 3.4 million in grants. They selected projects to make cities more livable for people of all ages. Efforts are due to be completed by November 30th.

Other projects in Idaho include a remote locker system for Emmett’s public library and an electric charging bike, which will bring games and other items to Boise this summer.

Iowa’s new elder abuse law goes into effect this Friday. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

The changes include a new crime that addresses the financial exploitation of an elderly person, and there are improved penalties for assault and theft, when a person is attacked for their age.

Anthony Carroll, AARP Iowa’s defense manager, said these crimes are often not reported. Not only do they want to prevent incidents, but they also want to inspire action.

“If you live in a community, you’re worried that someone might be abused or isolated,” Carroll explained. “Make sure you really are such a good neighbor and move on.”

Carroll noted that the law strikes a good balance when it comes to accountability, while allowing older adults to seek services from financial institutions and make donations to trusted fundraisers. In addition to law enforcement, Iowa’s six area agencies on aging offer guidance and the Iowa AARP posted more details of the new law on its website.

Laura Kriegermeier, senior rights coordinator at the Heritage Agency for Aging in Eastern Iowa, said they often get calls from people concerned about abuse. He added that older people who are taken advantage of by a loved one often worry about having them in trouble. She hopes the new law will convince them that the authorities must intervene.

“Just as it’s wrong for someone to abuse a child or take advantage of a child,” Kriegermeier stressed. “There are consequences … people go to jail.”

Kriegermeier added that in past situations, victims often limited themselves to seeking justice in civilian courts, but did not have the resources to carry out the process. He noted that the new law provides tools for others to take these cases forward, if the person feels comfortable filing a complaint.

“The potential for this, as it is criminal, could be much more fair,” Kriegermeier predicted.

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With a few months to go before the 2022 midterm elections, Ohio residents have a chance to make their voices heard on the issues that matter most to them.

The AARP Ohio Deciding Voices Listening Tour will be held in five cities, starting tomorrow in Cincinnati. AARP Ohio advocacy and outreach manager Kalitha Williams said candidates need to understand the challenges Ohio seniors face.

“It’s important for everyone to know the importance of voters over the age of 50,” Williams said. “In the last election, the voter over 50 has been the most consistent and largest voting bloc in Ohio.”

Listening sessions will take place over the next few weeks in Cleveland, Portsmouth, Columbus and Lima. There is also an online survey for those who are unable to attend in person.

AARP Ohio will present the findings to candidates and policymakers in the early fall. More information online at aarp.org/ohvotes.

Williams said in the listening sessions, participants can share their experiences and opinions about what they need to thrive.

“The small focus group talks are an opportunity to really get to the issues that concern Ohio’s over-50s,” Williams said, “health care, retirement savings, housing and other issues.”

Williams said issues affecting older voters need to be addressed at the highest level. Many Ohio residents have a fixed income and explained that they are struggling to make ends meet with rising prices at the grocery store, gas station and pharmacy.

“The average American takes four to five life-saving prescription drugs,” Williams said, “and the cost of health care in our country has skyrocketed.”

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