Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)
The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program provides Medicare beneficiaries with the most current information on Medicare benefits and educates them on ways to identify and prevent errors, waste, fraud and abuse of the Medicare system.
Medicare statements can be challenging to read and understand. Sometimes beneficiaries donâ€™t even look at them, and consequently never know if Medicare has been charged for a service that was not performed.
Usually discrepancies in the statements between the services received and the services charged, are due to simple mistakes. But sometimes it can be actual Medicare fraud. Either way, it adds up to millions of dollars a year charged to the government.
The SMP program is taking steps to help beneficiaries be aware of the charges on their statements as well as letting them know where to call if they find a mistake.
SMP also has specially trained volunteers who go out into the community to spread the word about Medicare benefits and problems.
SMP coordinators work with these volunteers and with Medicare beneficiaries one-on-one. They also speak to groups.
If youâ€™re interested in helping Mainers understand Medicare and empower them to prevent Medicare errors, fraud and abuse, contact your local Area Agency on Aging at 1-877-353-3771 and ask about SMP volunteer opportunities.
SMP services include:
- Individual and community education on Medicare including the benefits available
- How to read and understand a Medicare statement
- Other Medicare issues
- Web and informational resources
SMP maintains a number of current Medicare related publications and can mail them upon request.
Also, check out the consumer Medicare website at www.medicare.gov for information about benefits and services offered by Medicare.