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Medicare Fraud Protection Program Expands Volunteer Opportunities

Retired psychologist Richard Tiemeyer of Fort Madison says his 40+ years of counseling and public speaking were “a great warm up” for his second act career as a full-time volunteer advocate for a number of organizations, including Iowa’s Senior Medicare Patrol and AARP.

“There’s so much value in using your skills through volunteering in retirement to make a difference and to help you keep on top of things and stay engaged. I love it,” said Tiemeyer, who’s spoken to more than 1,100 Iowans and given more than 100 presentations since volunteering for Iowa’s Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) for the past 12 years.

Tiemeyer is part of a corps of more than 100 SMP volunteers across the state work to educate and inform Iowa Medicare beneficiaries on ways they can protect themselves from fraud. They give tips on how to detect errors, fraud and abuse in Medicare Summary Notices, and how to report mistakes or errors they find.

Among the tips Tiemeyer and the SMP program teach is: Don't give out your Medicare number over the phone or to someone you don't know. Always protect it as you would your Social Security number.

Iowa’s SMP, which is coordinated by the Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging in coordination with the 13 local Area Agencies on Aging across the state, is part of the nationwide Administration on Aging grassroots program to fight fraud in Medicare and Medicaid.

Recently Iowa’s SMP received a grant to help increase the capacity of the program to reach out to more Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries through presentations, counseling, and representing SMP at events.

“Richard really exemplifies the “Power of One” an SMP volunteer has in tackling the multi-billion dollar health care fraud problem,” said Deb Yankey, Iowa SMP state coordinator.

“The Administration on Aging has recognized Iowa for the consistently high numbers of people we reach through the educational and community outreach efforts of Richard and all of our volunteers. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to expand the program and empower even more Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers to tackle and solve Medicare payment programs and become more careful consumers of health care insurance.”

Find more information about opportunities to get involved with Iowa’s Senior Medicare Patrol.

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