Do you know that Senior Advocacy Services relies on the work of our volunteers to reach seniors across Sonoma County? Our next Ombudsman Training begins in August, and we need more volunteers to help advocate for residents of long term care facilities across our county.
Did you know Medicare gives you access to a variety of preventive tests and screenings, most at no cost to you?
Be advised that California Senior Medicare Patrol has seen an alarming increase in fraudulent billing where older adults are deceived into submitting to a cheek swab procedure (aka genetic testing). The scammer claims the procedure tests for cancer and/or other health-related benefits and that is fully covered by Medicare or Medi-Cal.
The scammers offer their fraudulent services to administrators at senior centers, senior residential facilities and other locations including setting up stands at supermarkets and other public locations.
We have additional reports that insurance agents and other service-oriented professionals are unknowingly recruited to serve as lead generators.
Please help us prevent the victimization of our older adults by alerting your networks to this most recent fraud scam. Please, also let us know others who would benefit from this alert.
California Senior Medicare Patrol
Missed going paperless with Medicare on Earth Day 2019? It’s not too late! Visit Medicare.gov/GoPaperless to sign up for your “Medicare & You” eHandbook.
Instead of mailing you a paper handbook every year, Medicare will send you an email each fall when the new eHandbook is available. They will also email you about any major updates to the handbook throughout the year, including cost changes.
Sign up by May 31. It’s an easy way to go green — and save Medicare paper and money!
Not sure if Medicare will cover your medical test or service? Medicare’s free “What’s covered” app delivers accurate cost and coverage information right on your smartphone.
Search or browse in the app to learn if Medicare will cover your medical test or service. Medicare’s free “What’s covered” app delivers accurate cost and coverage information right on your smartphone. Use the app at the doctor’s office, in the hospital, or anywhere you use your smartphone or tablet.
Get the app directly from the App Store or Google Play.
Missed your Initial Enrollment Period last year? If you’re eligible for Medicare, you may still be able to sign up for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) during the General Enrollment Period.
The General Enrollment Period runs from January 1 to March 31, for coverage starting July 1. You can apply for Medicare Part A and/or Part B now if both of these apply:
- You didn't sign up when you were first eligible.
- You aren’t eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
Visit Medicare.gov to learn more about sign up periods.
Note: In most cases, if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
For individual help with Medicare details call for a HICAP appointment with a registered counselor in your community.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new rules that limit enrollment and
disenrollment from Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. The new rules went into effect on January 1, 2019.
Prior to 2019, dual eligibles receiving both MediCal and Medicare, as well as Low Income Subsidy (LIS) beneficiaries, had a continuous Special Enrollment Period (SEP)–known as the LIS SEP–that allowed them to enroll or disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan or Part D prescription drug plan monthly.
CMS has extended equitable relief through September 30, 2019 and modified the eligibility criteria to make the relief available to certain individuals who were dually enrolled in both Medicare Part A and coverage through the Health Insurance Exchange. Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria can request the relief at any time through Social Security.
Some beneficiaries did not disenroll from the Exchange upon turning age 65 or they were advised incorrectly. When they attempt to enroll in Part B, there are penalties. This relief gives them an SEP to enroll correctly at any time without penalty.