DECEMBER  2020 Fraud Prevention Fact

It is that time of year again – open enrollment for Medicare prescription drug coverage and Medicare Advantage plans. Open enrollment annually occurs from October 15 to December 7. If you are on Medicare, you have an opportunity to change your Part D Prescription Drug Plan and/or Advantage plan during this time. In order to safely navigate through changes, the Missouri SMP wants you to be aware of the marketing guidelines for the plans. Medicare plans cannot: • Call you if they have no prior relationship with you. • Send emails to you if you have not agreed to receive emails from them. • Mail or call you if you have opted out of receiving communications from them. • Claim they come from or were sent by Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. • Make uninvited visits to your home – door-to-door sales. • Leave information such as leaflets, flyers or door hangers on your car or at your home unless you were a “no show” for an appointment. • Talk about other insurance products, such as life insurance annuities, during a visit or meeting about prescription drug coverage or Medicare Advantage. • Return uninvited to your home after an earlier “no show.” To avoid becoming the target of abuse or fraud, do not give out your Medicare information to anyone calling you on the phone or emailing you. If the callers are from Medicare or your insurance company, they would already have that information. If you have questions, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or the Missouri CLAIM at 1-800-390-3330. To learn more or report suspected Medicare fraud, call the Missouri SMP at 1- 888-515-6565.

The Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) wants to remind you that Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D and Advantage Plans is right around the corner.
Open enrollment annually occurs from October 15 to December 7. If you are on Medicare, you have an opportunity to change your Part D Prescription Drug Plan and/or Advantage plan during open enrollment.
The Missouri SMP highly recommends that you look at the plans, their costs, their benefits and how they work with your medications. Because plans change every year, it’s important for beneficiaries to review their options annually as well.
To get ready for open enrollment, you need to know your Medicare number, your preferred pharmacy, your primary care physicians if you are considering an Advantage Plan that has preferred providers, and a list of your prescription drugs. You may visit medicare.gov to enroll online.
You can review your options with the help of a State Health Insurance Program counselor. In Missouri, that’s called the CLAIM program, which can be reached calling toll free 1-800-390-3330. A certified CLAIM counselor will help you understand your options.
During this time, you also may be faced with phone calls from salespeople. Medicare has put into place guidelines that regulate the sales of Medicare Advantage plans. For example, those companies are not allowed to call you (without an invitation from you) if you are not already enrolled in a plan through them.
Medicare is complex, which is why the Missouri SMP assists beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse.
To avoid becoming the target of abuse or fraud, do not give out your Medicare information to anyone calling you on the phone or emailing you. If the callers are from Medicare or your insurance company, they would already have that information.
If you have questions, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or the Missouri CLAIM. To learn more or report suspected Medicare fraud, call the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0040, 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.

FEBRUARY 2021 Fraud Prevention Fact

August 2020 Fraud Prevention Fact

OCTOBER  2020 Fraud Prevention Fact

NOVEMBER  2020 Fraud Prevention Fact

As the COVID-19 pandemic grows, so do the scams associated with it. Because older people are at greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, the Missouri SMP warns that they also are prime targets of potential fraud. As of the beginning of December, there was no FDA-approved vaccine for COVID-19. The first vaccine is expected to be available to a limited number of people under emergency FDA approval as soon as this month. There also is no COVID cure. Scammers may try to convince you otherwise, though. Don’t believe them. Call your doctor if you have questions. It’s also important to remember public health officials may contact you if they believe you may have been exposed to the virus. However, they will NOT not need to ask you for insurance or financial information. The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) recommends that you: ◼ Contact your own doctor if you are experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19. ◼ Do not give out your Medicare number, Social Security number, or personal information in response to unsolicited calls, texts, emails, home visits, or booths at health fairs and other public venues. ◼ Be suspicious of anyone going door-to-door to offer free coronavirus or COVID-19 testing, vaccines, supplies, or treatments. Call your doctor or health department if you think you need a test or to see if you qualify for a vaccine when one is approved. ◼ Carefully review your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB), looking for errors or claims for products or services that weren’t received. ◼ Follow the instructions of your state or local government for other actions you should be taking in response to COVID-19. To learn more or report suspected Medicare fraud, call the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565.

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine slowly continues in Missouri, and Medicare beneficiaries now qualify to get the vaccine as it becomes available.
Patience and vigilance are necessary as local health departments, clinics and pharmacies set up vaccination events and alert the public. The Missouri SMP reminds older adults to watch out for strangers claiming to be a healthcare provider or health department ready to provide a vaccination, especially in exchange for your personal information.
Here are some facts so that you don’t fall for scams or lies.
You can receive the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. You may be asked to give your insurance information (including your Medicare card) to the provider, but you can do so in person when you are getting your vaccine. Don’t give personal information over the phone unless you have made the call and know for certain who is on the other end of the line.
State governments are handling the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Look for updates from your state and local health officials. As of Feb. 1, Missouri was in Phase 1B, which means that all Medicare beneficiaries qualify to receive with the vaccine. To learn more, visit https://covidvaccine.mo.gov.
There is no early access to the vaccine in exchange for money. Be very wary of anyone who calls or texts you “out of the blue” asking for your Social Security number, Medicare number, or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.
The Missouri SMP is a non-profit agency that empowers and assists Medicare beneficiaries to prevent, detect and report healthcare fraud, errors and abuse.
To learn more or report suspected Medicare fraud, call the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0040, 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.Type your paragraph here.

The Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) wants older adults and their caregivers to be on the lookout for potential COVID-19 vaccine fraud and scams. Here are some tips to protect yourself from potential vaccine fraud: •You likely will not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency. •You cannot pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine. •You cannot pay to get early access to the vaccine. •No one from Medicare or the Health Department will contact you. •No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine. •Beware of providers offering other products, treatments, or medicines to prevent the virus. Check with your health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment. •If you get a call, text, email — or even someone knocking on your door — claiming they can get you early access to the vaccine, stop. That’s a scam. The Missouri SMP is a non-profit agency that empowers and assists Medicare beneficiaries to prevent, detect and report healthcare fraud, errors and abuse. Medicare fraud and abuse costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion-plus annually. To learn more or report suspected Medicare fraud, call the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565

July 2020 Fraud Prevention Fact

Kennett O.A.K.S.

Serving Seniors Since 1973

SEPTEMBER  2020 Fraud Prevention Fact

The Missouri SMP wants you to be on the lookout for fraud related to COVID-19 contact tracing. Contact tracing helps to slow the spread of COVID-19 and helps protect you,
your family, and your community by letting people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19. It helps people get testing if they need it and lets them know if they need to isolate or quarantine.
Unfortunately, scammers also see contact tracing as a new opportunity to defraud you, to get your personal information, and use it with bad intentions.
Here’s how you can protect yourself:
Be cautious of anyone who asks for specifics about your health insurance, like your Medicare number. Be wary of anyone who claims they need a credit card or cash to pay for a COVID-19 test. Be cautious of anyone who wants your personal information to set up a COVID-19 test.
Legitimate contact tracers will be state or local Department of Health employees or their contractors. They will ask about your symptoms to screen you for possible COVID-19 infection. A contact tracer will ask you about who you may have come into contact with recently. They also will be able to refer you to other medical and social resources. They may ask you if you have insurance so that they can help connect uninsured people with resources. They will not demand a personal credit card, Medicare number or bank account information in exchange for a test.
The Missouri SMP stands ready to provide you with the information you need to protect yourself from Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse; to detect potential fraud, errors, and abuse; and report your concern. To learn more or report suspected Medicare fraud, call the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0040, 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.Type your paragraph here.

JANUARY 2021 Fraud Prevention Fact

The Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) once again is reminding older adults and their caregivers to be wary of potential Medicare fraud and abuse schemes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the pandemic began spreading across the United States, scammers have been working nonstop to try to trick older adults and to take their money.
Scammers have been targeting seniors to sell them COVID-19 testing kits, sell them so-called miracle cures, and to issue false alerts that their Social Security benefits have been suspended. All of these are scams.
If you think you need a COVID-19 test, you should contact your trusted family physician. There are no over-the-counter COVID tests available yet. There are no cures or approved vaccines for the virus yet. If you have questions about claims such as these, call your primary care physician or local health department.
Also, the pandemic is causing NO interruption in Social Security payments.
These are a sampling of the scams running rampant since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bottom line remains the same: Social Security, Medicare and the IRS will NOT call you asking for your personal numbers, your credit card or your bank account information. This has not and will not change. The best place to get medical advice is your primary or trusted specialty physician.
As always, report suspected Medicare fraud to the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565.

(Older Adults Keep Serving)

The Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) wants to remind you that we are here for you when you have questions concerning possible Medicare errors, abuse and fraud.
The Missouri SMP is one of 54 non-profit projects with a mission to empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse. We are a grant-funded project of the federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL). Our work is in three main areas:
Providing Outreach and education. During this pandemic, most outreach is done by producing fraud facts such as this one and posting online and on Facebook. Check us out at www.missourismp.org or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MissouriSMP/
Engaging civic-minded volunteers to help protect older adults’ health, finances, and medical identity while saving precious Medicare dollars. If you are interested, we have an online volunteer training.
Receiving beneficiary complaints. When Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and family members bring their complaints to us, we determine whether fraud, errors, or abuse is suspected. When fraud or abuse is suspected, we make referrals to the appropriate state and federal agencies for further investigation.
So, what does that mean for you? It means we are a trusted source of information and assistance.
To learn more or report suspected Medicare fraud, call the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0040, 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 policyType your paragraph here.