Skip to main content

TARCOG News & Headlines

Read on for recent happenings, announcements, and notable headlines from TARCOG and its communities throughout the region.

Medicare Fraud Prevention Week

Most people become eligible for Medicare when they turn 65. Each year, the week of 6/5, is observed as Medicare Fraud Prevention Week.

It’s important because Medicare loses an estimated $60 billion each year due to fraud, errors, and abuse. Every day, these issues affect people across the country and can lead to identity theft and cost you money.

“Medicare fraud has a devastating impact on both beneficiaries and the Medicare program,” said TARCOG’S Area Agency on Aging Director Sheila Dessau-Ivey, who oversees the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). “We teach people how to avoid experiencing Medicare fraud. By preventing fraud from happening, this program helps individuals and protects the Medicare program for generations to come.”

Sheila encourages the community members to learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones with some simple tips.

Watch for warning signs of a scam.

  • Unsolicited calls, emails, or visits – someone contacting you out of the blue, claiming to be from Medicare and offering free services.
  • Requests for personal information – a demand for your Medicare number, Social Security number, or other personal information.
  • Pressure to act quickly – any threat that you’ll lose benefits or face other consequences if you don’t comply with a deadline, often by paying or providing personal information.
  • Billings with errors – charges for services or supplies that weren’t ordered, were never received, or that Medicare already covered.
  • Suspicious websites or mailings – fake websites created to look like official ones but that have inconsistencies, errors, or other odd elements.

How to Reduce your risk

  • Only share your Medicare and Social Security numbers with people you trust.
  • Carry your Medicare card only when you need it.
  • Keep a record of all your medical visits and procedures.
  • Carefully review Medicare statements for mistakes and charges you don’t recognize.
  • Trust your instincts and report any suspected fraud.

Ask for help

If you have questions about how to protect yourself, need to report fraud, or want help determining whether you’ve been a victim, Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) can help. Call TARCOG at 256-830-0818.