The emphasis of the non-profit Pro Seniors’ Ohio Senior Medicare Patrol program, funded through the U.S. Administration on Aging, will be to educate volunteers who want to help enlighten seniors on how to deal with the problems evolving from fraud and identity theft, as well as give them tips on how to stay safe from those crimes.
The training is free of charge and includes lunch. For more information or to make a reservation contact Jane Winkler at 1-800-488-6070 or call the Meigs Senior Center.
“Ultimately, the non-profit Pro Seniors would like to have people in every county of Ohio who would like to help seniors understand this growing threat,” said Winkler, “and Ideally, the organization is seeking recently-retired people as volunteers.”
At the one-day Pro-Seniors training session volunteers learn the basics of Medicare and some of the Medicare fraud schemes — what they are, how to detect them and what is being done about them. Once they have the information they can then do as much as they want or as little as they want to spread the word.
Winkler explained that volunteers can do group presentations, one on one counseling or just staffing a table at events such as senior health fairs distributing information. The emphasis, she said, is on educating seniors about the dangers of Medicare fraud and identity theft and how to recognize and address the problems of each.
“The benefit for volunteers is that they get a better understanding of the Medicare program through Medicare training at no cost to them,” said Winkler, and “In addition, they get ongoing support and education on how to help others.”
A second training session has been scheduled in Athens on Thursday, Sept. 22, in the community room of the State Highway Patrol at 13600 Della Dr.
The Ohio Department of Insurance is offering the program to give seniors a basic understanding of Medicare, an overview of healthcare fraud and identity theft, along with tips on how to stay safe from these crimes, and then to share the information with other senior citizens.
“Medicare fraud is a huge crime in this country,” said Winkler, who gave the cost of fraud as much as $60 billion annually.