Senior Medicare Patrol

Our Purpose

In 2010, we partnered with the Utah Department of Aging Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program in Salt Lake City. Our purpose is to focus on prevention, with a mission of empowering Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud and identity theft, errors, and abuse through outreach and education.  We are uniquely positioned to give and be the contact source of educating and training on Medicare scams, fraud and discuss/answer the 10-Most Common Medicare Questions an individual/client may have. 

The SMP is a national program for people with Medicare of all ages. SMP is administered by the Administration for Community Living. To learn more, volunteer or to locate your local Senior Medicare Patrol please call 1-877-808-2468 or visit https://www.smpresource.org.

Do you think you are a victim of Medicare fraud or abuse?

 If you need help contacting your local SMP, fill out the form here: https://smpresource.news/Contact

With the Northern Utah Coalition, Inc. (NUC) and the Utah Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) collaboration, we offer a one hour or less FREE Protecting Medicare and You from Identity Theft and discuss Medicare's 10-Most Common Questions presentation to your business or organization. For more information or to schedule a presentation, call Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm at (801) 393.4153.

FYI ... www.smpresource.org

During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP), you can switch from your Medicare Advantage Plan to another plan or to Original Medicare with or without a stand-alone prescription drug plan. It takes place annually from January 1 through March 31 and only applies to those with a Medicare Advantage Plan. Changes made during this period take effect the following month, and only one change can be made.

Contact your SHIP if you have questions about changes in costs and coverage of your Medicare in 2024. SHIP counselors provide unbiased Medicare counseling and assistance. www.shiphelp.org

FYI ... www.smpresource.org

World Cancer Day was on February 4, 2024, and is an international day to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage prevention, detection, and treatment.

If you would like to learn more about Medicare coverage of cancer treatment services, here is a helpful guide: https://smpresource.news/cancer.

#WCD #WorldCancerDay

FYI ... www.smpresource.org

A personal reflection written by Dorothy Height almost 30 years ago about Medicare and its impact on Black Americans is mostly celebratory toward the major changes Medicare made for civil rights. However, the issues noted about health disparities for Black Americans are still true today.

Statistics show that "people of color are more likely to report being in relatively poor health, have higher prevalence rates of some chronic conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, than White beneficiaries." Disparities mentioned that contribute to this are income and wealth.

Read Dorothy Height's remarks: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4193648/.

Read the study Racial and Ethnic Health Inequities and Medicare: https://www.kff.org/.../racial-and-ethnic-health.../.

#HealthDisparities #BlackHistoryMonth #Medicare

New year, new resolutions! Protecting yourself from Medicare fraud should be at the top of the list. Here are a few ways to keep yourself safe in 2024! 

What’s New in 2024?   

Reference: What’s New in 2024? :: State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (shiphelp.org) 

December 21, 2023  |  Shea Corti

Your Medicare coverage and costs can change each year, so it’s important to understand and review your benefits. Here’s an overview of what’s new in 2024.

Let’s start with Part A costs in 2024:

Part A Premium

Free if you’ve worked 10 years or more

$278 per month if you’ve worked 7.5 to 10 years

$505 per month if you’ve worked fewer than 7.5 years

Part A hospital deductible

$1,632 each benefit period

Part A Hospital Coinsurance

$0 for the first 60 days of inpatient care each benefit period

$408 per day for days 61-90 each benefit period

$816 per lifetime reserve day after day 90 in a benefit period

(You have 60 lifetime reserve days that can only be used once. They’re not renewable.)

Skilled nursing facility insurance

$0 for the first 20 days of inpatient care each benefit period

$204 per day for days 21-100 each benefit period

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facility services, home health care, and hospice. Most people don’t owe a premium for Part A, but if neither you nor your spouse have 10 years of Social Security work credits, you may owe a monthly premium. If you’re admitted to the hospital as an inpatient, you’ll owe a deductible of $1,632 at the beginning of your stay. If you have multiple hospitalizations, you may owe the deductible more than once. After you meet your deductible, your first 60 days in the hospital and your first 20 days in a skilled nursing facility cost $0 per day. After that, you owe an out-of-pocket cost each day for your continued stay.

And now Part B costs in 2024:

Part B premium (For individuals with incomes below $103,000 or couples with incomes below $206,000

$174.70 is the standard premium

Part B deductible

$240 per year

Part B coinsurance

20% for most services Part B covers

Medicare Part B covers outpatient costs, such as doctor visits and lab tests. In 2024, the standard Part B premium is $174.70. If your income is above $103,000 as a single person or $206,000 as a married couple, you may pay a higher premium. Keep in mind that if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may also pay an additional monthly premium for being enrolled in that plan. If you have Original Medicare, you‘ll owe a Part B deductible of $240 in 2024. You’ll continue to owe a 20% coinsurance for most services covered by Part B.

Your prescription drug coverage costs will depend on your specific plan, but there are some numbers that are helpful for everyone to know in 2024:

National average premium for basic Part D benefit

Around $30 per month

Part D maximum deductible

$545 per year

Coverage gap begins

$5,030

Catastrophic coverage begins

$8,000

Medicare Part D covers outpatient prescription drugs. In 2024, the national average premium for the Part D basic benefit is around $30 per month. Your premium and drug costs vary based on your plan and your prescription drug needs. If your Part D plan has an annual deductible, it can be no higher than $545 in 2024. If you reach the catastrophic coverage phase in 2024, you then won’t owe any of the cost of your covered drugs. This is a new change and basically means that your Part D out-of-pocket spending will be capped at $8,000. This cap will be further lowered to $2,000 in 2025.

If your income is limited, you may qualify for help with your Medicare costs. Contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, to see if you’re eligible. Use our online SHIP Locator or call 877-839-2675 (and say “Medicare” when prompted) to find your local SHIP.

Remember that you have opportunities to change your coverage in 2024.

Many people must wait until Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period to change their coverage if they aren’t happy with it. You may have the opportunity to change your coverage earlier in 2024, though, depending on your circumstances. 

Still have questions? 

Your SHIP is here for you! You can contact your SHIP for any Medicare-related questions or concerns you have. SHIP counselors are government funded to provide trusted, unbiased Medicare counseling at no cost to you. (Depending on your state, your SHIP may go by another name.) Use our online SHIP Locator or call 877-839-2675 (and say “Medicare” when prompted) to find your local SHIP.


FYI... www.SMPResource.org

If you have Original Medicare, your health care costs depend, in part, on the type of provider you see. There are three types of providers, and each has a different relationship with Medicare. To pay the least for your care, see a participating provider when possible.

If you have Original Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit www.Medicare.gov for help finding participating providers near you. For questions about your Medicare, call a SHIP near you (1-877-839-2675) or visit www.shiphelp.org. 


If you’re eligible for Medicare because you turned 65, you may be wondering when to sign up. If you’re over 65 & have employer coverage, in most cases, you don't need to do anything until you (or your spouse) retire or you lose employer coverage. https://go.medicare.gov/47XSfRC 




Turning 65 Soon? Congratulations!!!

Medicare: Where Do You Start?

WELCOME TO MEDICARE ARCHIVED TRAINING

Reference https://www.shiphelp.org/about-medicare/news or https://www.smpresource.org/

Watch short recordings on what you need to know when you are new to Medicare. In June 2021, expert trainers from the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) national network present on Medicare eligibility, enrollment, costs, and coverage options. National experts from Social Security, Medicare, the Senior Medicare Patrol, and the National Council on Aging also presented on the federal government's role in Medicare, avoiding Medicare fraud, and Medicare cost assistance programs. Information from this event that is still relevant has been retained on our YouTube channel. Questions? Contact us at info@shiphelp.org.

ENROLLING IN MEDICARE THROUGH SOCIAL SECURITY

This fact sheet helps you understand how to enroll in Medicare through the Social Security Administration and how your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) can help.

Is it time for your annual wellness visit? Medicare covers one a year. Here is what you can expect at one! Don't forget to take your My Health Care Tracker from the SMP to record what was talked about and what happens at the appointment to reference later. 

Every state including Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and D.C. have a Senior Medicare Program (SMP). The state locator has so much information about the SMP like their website, toll-free, and links to their social media. Find your state: https://smpresource.org/locator/.

Social Security Online Access

Did you know you can manage your Social Security online by creating a my Social Security account? 

Reference:  www.smpresource.org

My Social Security is a secure account that puts you in control with access to your information from any device. Encourage a family member to create their personal my Social Security account today: http://ow.ly/AQVz50L1iTX.

SMP Consumer Fraud Alert

FYI... www.smpresource.org

If you receive therapy services, be sure to review your Medicare statements. Sometimes, services will be billed for longer than provided, like a 15-minute session being billed for an hour, or even for days that services weren't provided at all. If you have questions on what to look for, contact your local #SeniorMedicarePatrol at 877-808-2468 or email info@smpresource.org. 

FYI... www.smpresource.org

Paper or plastic? Not when it comes to your Medicare card. Offers of a plastic Medicare card are scams. Don't accept these, no matter how good the offers sound. Medicare only offers and approves of using a paper card. If you have given out your information to receive a plastic Medicare card, contact the #SeniorMedicarePatrol. 

FYI... www.smpresource.org

Lost your Medicare card? The first step is to contact Medicare.


Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or log in to your Medicare.gov account.

If you think someone may have taken your card and is using your Medicare number, contact your #SeniorMedicarePatrol. 

Here are 3 tips to prevent #Medicare fraud! Share this information with your friends and family so they can stay alert! #SeniorMedicarePatrol 

Here are 4 signs that the call, email, or text you got is a scam. Be sure to share this with your friends and family to help prevent scams! #SeniorMedicarePatrol 

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between fraud, errors, or abuse? This scale of intent can help show the difference. #MedicareFraud #SeniorMedicarePatrol #PreventDetectReport 

Have you heard the term DME before? DME stands for durable medical equipment: things like back braces and wheelchairs. DME scams are a huge cost to Medicare.

Share this video with your friends and family to help protect them against DME scams!

To report suspected Medicare fraud, error, or abuse, contact your Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-877-808-2468 or visit www.smpresource.org.

Are you looking for a way to give back? Volunteer with your local #SeniorMedicarePatrol! Learn more about the benefits here: https://smpresource.org/you-can-help/become-a-volunteer/. #IVD2023 

NEWS: 

Recent proposals in Congress would drastically impact Medicare beneficiaries by linking U.S. health care costs to foreign countries and encouraging government price controls. We ask Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Mitt Romney, Rep. Rob Bishop, Rep. Chris Stewart, Rep. John Curtis and Rep. Ben McAdams to actively oppose any policies that would be harmful to Utah’s nearly 390,000 Medicare beneficiaries. Utah's representatives should support patient-centered reforms that cap out-of-pocket drug spending in Medicare Part D and ensure pharmaceutical discounts negotiated by insurance companies are shared with patients at the pharmacy counter.


SMP Newsletters

February 2024

January 2024