Do you worry about your elderly parents?

We do too, so let us help you protect your loved ones from being the victim of a Medicare scam.

TIP 1:  DO NOT give out your Medicare # to anyone you do not trust.  Safeguard your number as you would your bank account or credit card numbers.

TIP 2:  Hang up the phone or shut the door if you are contacted by someone claiming to be a Medicare representative.  Guess what… Medicare will not call you or make a home visit.  “It’s shrewd to be rude.”

TIP 3:  Shred your Medicare, health care, and other important documents before throwing them away.  Take advantage of free community shredding events.

TIP 4: Be sure to read  your Medicare Summary Notice even though it says “This is Not a Bill.”  Be on the lookout for services not provided, services that were billed twice, or for services not ordered by your doctor.   If you see something that doesn’t look right, call your doctor’s billing office right away.

TIP 5:  Use a calendar or health care journal to record all of your doctor visits, medical tests and procedures.  Compare your Medicare Summary Notice with your calendar or journal.  If you see something that does not look right, call your doctor’s billing office right away.

TIP 6:  Count your prescription pills.  If you are short the prescribed number, complain to your pharmacist.  Don’t be afraid to speak up.

TIP 7:  Have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail from your mailbox if you are away for more than one day.

TIP 8:  Are you aware that effective July 1, 2013, the rules for durable medical equipment have changed?  Medicare beneficiaries MUST obtain their equipment & supplies from a contracted Medicare provider in order to be covered.  Check www.medicare.gov for a list of contracted suppliers in your area or call 1-800-Medicare.

TIP 9:  Do you know that Medicare Part D prescription drug plans change annually?  Your plan premium may increase and your prescriptions may no longer be covered.  Protect yourself by revisiting your existing Part D plan during open enrollment which is now, October 15 – December 7,2013, the last day you may select a new plan for 2014. Need help?   Call 1-800-Medicare or your State Health Insurance Assistance Program at 1-800-792-8820.

TIP 10: Beware… if you have Medicare, don’t let someone sell you a new Marketplace plan which is for people without health insurance.  Medicare is your health insurance.

TIP 11:  If you think you’re the victim of health care fraud, call the Senior Medicare Patrol of NJ at 1-877-SMP-4359.  It’s a toll-free number and we’re a federally funded program that works to educate and empower seniors to prevent health care fraud.  There is no charge for our services.