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Do you have comments or concerns about your Medicare coverage? Issues regarding getting your needed prescriptions from your Part D plan, or a Medicare Advantage plan representative's marketing practices? Let us know at .

We are dedicated to making Medicare's program work well for all beneficiaries. Your feedback from your own or your client's concerns and experiences with Medicare, will guide our Medicare advocacy efforts with key policy and decision-makers in both California and nationally with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Congress.

  • 02Oct

    Medicare Open Enrollment is a once-a-year window from October 15 – December 7 where beneficiaries can review and change their Medicare health plan and/or their Part D prescription drug plan. While people don’t have to switch plans, it’s important to review how their current plan will change in the new year. Otherwise people can end up paying hundreds of dollars for a drug that was covered under this year’s formula but not next year’s. This is especially true as certain drug prices have soared in the past few years. For example, a generic cholesterol medication recently went up from $27 for a year’s supply to $196. Doxycycline hyclate, a common antibiotic jumped from $20 for 500 capsules to $1,849 between Oct 2013 and April 2014.

    Open Enrollment is also an important time to be on heightened alert for scams. With so much information being thrown at seniors, the potential for confusion is high, and scammers feed off of this confusion. In a recent article, our Senior Medicare Patrol Project Director, Micki Nozaki, gave some important tips to avoid fraud, including:

    • Do not move out of your Medicare plan unless you want to.
    • Be leery of free prizes, giveaways or other gifts offered in exchange for signing Medicare forms.
    • Beware of unsolicited phone calls or knocks at your door by people claiming to be Medicare agents (Medicare will not call you or come to your door).
    • If someone calls saying you must switch Medicare plans to keep your doctor, contact the doctor’s office yourself to confirm.
    • Never give out your Social Security or Medicare number to strangers.

    For questions about your coverage and help reviewing your health care and drug plan options, contact your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222. They provide free, individual and unbiased counseling on Medicare and other health insurance related issues. To report suspected fraud, call our California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-855-613-7080.

    Read the article, Medicare Sticker Shock: Soaring Drug Prices Could Trip Up Seniors, for more information on rising drug costs, tips on reviewing your coverage and ways to avoid scams. And, great job to Margaret Reilly, HICAP Program Manager, Micki Nozaki, our SMP Project Director, and Rajul Patel, assistant professor at University of the Pacific pharmacy school and one of our CHA board members, all quoted in this article. :-)

    Also, see our webpage on Medicare Open Enrollment.

  • 21Sep

    While Medicare’s fall open enrollment will begin in a few weeks on Oct 15, CalPERS (California Public Employee Retirement System) fall open enrollment has already begun. Their Medicare and non-Medicare members have from Sept 14 – Oct 9 to review and change their coverage, which is then effective January 1, 2016. For their members on Medicare, CalPERS is dropping most of their Medicare Advantage HMO plans in 2016. These plans include those currently offered by Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Health Net and Sharp. Kaiser Permanente will continue to offer its Medicare Advantage plan and the CalPERS preferred provider organization (PPO) Medicare Supplement plans will remain in place. CalPERS’ new offering to replace these several Medicare HMOs is a PPO plan through UnitedHealthCare (UHC).

    Those who enroll in this plan will have a $10 copayment for services and can see any provider or use any facility that accepts Medicare. There is a $1,500 out-of-pocket maximum, and optional dental and vision coverage available for $26.32 per month through the plan. The dental portion covers check-ups every 6 months and x-rays once per year with no copay. The vision benefits include an annual allotted amount of $999.00 and a $70 co-pay for glasses. A glasses allowance is provided every 24 months and an annual eye check-up is provided with no copay. Members can call 1-888-867-5581 for additional information. Here are also some FAQs on UHC’s Medicare PPO plan (PDF).

    In addition, pasted below is a list of the plans unavailable after December 31, 2015 and a list of plans available in 2016, and a question and answer sheet sent out to CalPERS members regarding their 2016 options. Visit for more information. You can also contact your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) for free, individual and unbiased counseling on your options at 1-800-434-0222.

    2016 Medicare Changes

    Review our Medicare Quick Reference Guide(PDF) for an overview of whether you need to do anything during Open Enrollment. Also review the information below for specific details regarding plan availability, your status, and any actions you need to take.

    Medicare Health Plan Availability
    Unavailable after December 31, 2015

    • Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Preferred
    • Anthem Blue Cross Senior Secure
    • Blue Shield 65 Plus
    • Blue Shield Access+
    • Blue Shield Access+ EPO
    • Blue Shield NetValue
    • Health Net Seniority Plus
    • Sharp Performance Plus

    Available January 1, 2016


    UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Group Medicare Advantage

    PPO Plan Questions & Answers


    A: CalPERS moved to a single non-Kaiser Medicare option for HMO subscribers in 2016 because it will provide our members with more extensive Medicare coverage and reduce costs. The UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Group Medicare Advantage PPO plan has HMO-like pricing and the geographic freedom of a PPO. The UHC Medicare plan will allow members to receive care from any provider who accepts Medicare. They’ll be able to use it in all 58 California counties and anywhere in the United States and its territories.


    A: The UHC Group Medicare Advantage PPO plan will replace the HMO Medicare health plans offered by Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Health Net and Sharp. Kaiser Permanente will continue to offer its Senior Advantage Medicare plan and the CalPERS PPO Medicare supplement plans for PERS Select, PERS Choice and PERSCare will remain in place.


    A: Yes, it will cover Medicare Parts A, B and D (prescription drug coverage). In addition, the UHC Medicare plan includes an optional dental and vision benefit for retirees in public agencies who don’t have those benefits through their former employer. The retiree will pay the full cost of the dental and vision premium directly to UHC.


    A: No. The dental and vision benefit will only be available to those in the UHC Group Medicare
    Advantage PPO plan.


    A: Yes. In the unlikely event that your provider says it does not accept your coverage or isn’t contracted with UnitedHealthcare, contact UHC. Their staff will work to get your coverage accepted and ensure your services are paid for.


    A: Yes, subscribers and all their dependents must receive health benefits through the same insurance carrier. If you switch to the UHC Group Medicare Advantage PPO plan, your spouse will move to the UHC Basic plan, Signature Value Alliance. You and your spouse may also choose to switch to the Kaiser Permanente (if Kaiser offers both the Medicare and Basic plans in your area) or CalPERS PPO Medicare Supplement plans.


    A: Some people in combination plans may find that they have to change doctors when they switch to the UHC Medicare and Basic plans. However, the majority of people who switch will find that they won’t have to change doctors. Very often the same doctors who accept Medicare and Basic coverage under our current non-Kaiser HMO plans will also accept the UHC plans.


    A: You can find a current list of Medicare doctors and providers in the UHC network online at Click on “Find a Provider” and follow the prompts.


    A: Members enrolled in the UHC Group Medicare Advantage PPO plan will have a co-pay of $10. Your co-pay will be same whether you live in California or out of state.


    A: An out-of-pocket maximum places a limit on how much money you pay out of your pocket for your covered medical expenses in a calendar year. With this plan, the maximum amount that you would pay out of your pocket for covered medical expenses in a single year is $1,500. Once you have paid $1,500 in covered medical expenses, including your co-payments, your UHC Medicare Advantage plan pays 100 percent of the cost of your covered medical care expenses for the rest of the year.


    A: The UHC Group Medicare Advantage PPO plan includes over 65,000 regional and local pharmacies in its network including major national retail pharmacies. Some examples include: Walgreens, CVS, Target, Costco, Rite Aid and many others.


    A: Yes.  The UHC Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug benefit will allow you to obtain a refill of your maintenance medications by providing your UHC ID card at the local pharmacy (i.e., CVS, Walgreens, Longs, Rite Aid, Safeway, Costco, and Target etc.). You may obtain up to 90-day supply of maintenance medication at the local pharmacy or use the mail order service.

    The Medication Transition Coverage for new members in the plan may cover up to a 30-day transition fill (for drugs with new Prior Authorization, Quantity Limit or Step Therapy requirements or drugs that are not covered) during the member’s first 90 days with the plan.  This transition prescription fill will give you time to talk to your doctor about switching to an alternate therapy or to request an exception.


    A: On the CalPERS website at, or at You may also contact the UHC Retiree Customer Service line at (888) 867-5581.


  • 15Sep

    Statements about your Medicare coverage contain important information about the costs of medical care and prescriptions you have recently received. Below we explore 2 main types of Medicare statements: the Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) and the Explanation of Benefits (EOB). It is important to note that MSNs and EOBs are not bills. Rather, they provide a summary of health care services you have received during the previous months and should be saved for about seven years, as you might need them in the future to prove that a payment was made.

    Point 1: Know which statement you will receive about your Medicare health services.

    If you have Original Medicare, you will receive an MSN in the mail every 3 months for your Medicare Part A and Part B covered services. Keep in mind that Medicare often provides separate MSNs for Part A and Part B covered services. The MSN will list the services or supplies that providers and suppliers billed to Medicare during the 3-month period, what Medicare paid, and the maximum amount you may owe the provider. If you do not receive any services or medical supplies during that 3-month period, you will not get an MSN for that particular 3-month period. You can also create an account at and view your MSNs online at any time.

    If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may receive EOBs on a monthly basis (if you received services). Other plans send an EOB for each claim and then a quarterly summary of your health claims, and give you the option of creating an online account that allows you to access your EOB any time. Your EOB tells you how much your provider billed, the approved amount your plan will pay, and how much you have to pay. While all EOBs provide the same basic information, the layout and other specifics may vary. If your EOB shows that an item or service is not being covered, look for a section that includes footnotes, comments, or remarks to find out the reason why. You should contact your plan to get more information if any of your services or items were not covered.

    Point 2: Understand the statements you receive about your Medicare Part D coverage.

    In addition to an EOB or MSN that details your Medicare health coverage, you will also receive a summary statement for your Medicare Part D plan. These statements are also called EOBs. Remember, if you have Original Medicare, you must get your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage through a private stand-alone prescription drug plan. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, your Medicare Part D prescription coverage is generally provided through your Medicare Advantage Plan. Regardless of how you get your Medicare benefits, you will get a separate EOB for each month in which you had prescriptions filled.

    Point 3: Keep track of what you may owe for your health and drug benefits, and identify if additional action is needed.

    When reviewing your Medicare statements, identify the services or medications you have received and your share of the cost for each item. Your statement will clearly mark the services received, the amount that Medicare or your plan will cover, and the maximum amount that you can be billed for the service. These statements will also list if Medicare or your plan has denied coverage for care or medications you have received. It is important to check your statements for any denials of coverage. Your provider will also send you a separate bill for any fees you owe.

    If you see a denial, call your provider to ensure that the service was billed to Medicare correctly. If the service was billed correctly and is being denied, follow the instructions on your statement to file an appeal. If you need assistance with denials, appeals, or understanding your coverage, contact your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP). If you do not think you received the service, item, or medication outlined on your MSN or EOB, contact your provider to inquire about a possible error. If you are unable to resolve the issue with your provider, contact our Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) to discuss potential abuse or fraud at 1-855-613-7080.

    Take Action:

    1) Review each MSN or EOB you receive to determine how much your provider billed, the approved amount covered, and how much you have to pay.

    2) Check your statements for accuracy and any denials of coverage, then call your provider or your plan with any questions.

    3) For one-on-one assistance and counseling regarding your Medicare coverage, denials, or appeals, contact your local HICAP at 1-800-434-0222.

    4) For one-on-one assistance and counseling regarding suspicious services, items, or charges, contact our Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-855-613-7080.

    This article is from the Medicare Minute program, a program of the Administration on Community Living.

  • 08Sep

    Durable medical equipment (DME) is equipment that helps you complete your activities of daily living. Wheelchairs, walkers, and home oxygen equipment are some examples of Medicare-approved DME. Most people need some kind of DME at least once during their lives. In this presentation, we will learn how Medicare DME rules work so that you can limit your costs in the future.

    Most people need some kind of DME at least once during their lives. Medicare Part B covers DME if equipment is:

    • durable, meaning you can use it again
    • designed to help your medical condition or injury
    • appropriate for use in your home
    • likely to last for three years or more

    To show that these criteria are fulfilled, your doctor must prescribe the equipment. In addition, you must get the equipment from a certain group of Medicare-approved suppliers. If you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan and you need DME, call your plan to find out if the equipment is covered and how much you will have to pay.

    Point 2: Understand Medicare costs and coverage of DME.
    Depending on the equipment, you may have to rent or buy your DME. Know that most equipment that costs more than $150 is initially rented. For rentals, Original Medicare pays 80 percent of the cost of a monthly rental fee for needed equipment for 13 months. You are responsible for the remaining 20 percent coinsurance. In the 10th month of rental, suppliers are supposed to notify you of the option to purchase vs. renting; with the exception of oxygen, which can only be rented. If you are buying your DME, have Original Medicare, and use approved suppliers, Medicare covers 80% of the cost, and you or your supplemental insurance are responsible for the remaining 20%.

    Note that if you are paying a monthly rental fee for your equipment, your supplier must perform all needed repairs and maintenance requiring the work of a professional—without charging you extra. If you own your equipment, Original Medicare will pay 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for repairs and maintenance, and you will be responsible for the 20% coinsurance. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may pay a fixed rate or a coinsurance to rent or buy your DME. Call your Medicare Advantage Plan to find out the coverage rules and costs for your specific DME.

    Point 3: Understand where to order your DME. As mentioned earlier, Medicare will only cover your DME if you use an approved supplier. If you have Original Medicare, the type of supplier Medicare has approved for you will depend on how Medicare pays for equipment in your area and the kind of DME you need. In many areas, called competitive bidding regions, Medicare will usually only pay for DME from a select group of suppliers known as contract suppliers. In other areas, you can use any supplier that has signed up to bill Medicare. However, remember that it costs the least if you use a supplier that accepts Medicare assignment. They are identified on with a blue M icon.

    Visit or call 1-800-Medicare to get a list of approved participating suppliers in your region. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you must follow your plan’s rules to get your DME covered, which typically include using in-network suppliers. Contact your plan to find out its rules before you order your DME. Your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) can also provide individualized counseling and education about Medicare coverage of DME, based upon your unique needs and location. To find your local HICAP, or call 1-800-434-0222. Finally, Medicare has rules preventing DME companies from making unsolicited contact with you to sell their products. If you think a DME supplier is making unsolicited contact with you, report it to our Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program at 1-855-613-7080.

    Ways to Take Action:
    Visit your doctor to obtain a prescription that certifies your need to use DME.

    1. Contact Medicare or your Medicare Advantage Plan to find out the rules and costs for getting DME.
    2. If you have Original Medicare, go online to to find a list of suppliers who provide your equipment. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, call your plan to ask for a list of in-network DME suppliers in your area.
    3. If you want one-on-one assistance and counseling regarding Medicare coverage of DME, contact your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program and/or call 1-800-434-0222.
    4. Report violations of the DME marketing rules and potential fraud to our SMP at 1-855-613-7080.

    This article is from one of the Medicare Minute topics, a program of Medicare Rights Center and the Senior Medicare Patrol which is funded by the Administration for Community Living.

  • 02Sep

    While you can start receiving your Social Security benefits any time between the ages of 62 to 70, if you can wait, you can potentially receive a significantly larger monthly check for the rest of your life. Those who need the benefits right away at age 62 should not hesitate to use them. That’s why they are there. But, if you can wait, even an additional year or two, your monthly payments can increase substantially.

    The National Academy of Social Insurance has some great short fact sheets and video clips on Social Security and things to consider when deciding when to receive your benefits. See their section, When to Take Social Security: It Pays to Wait.


  • 28Aug

    Thanks to your collaborative advocacy and the advocacy of our partner organizations, SB 33 is now on its way to the Governor’s desk and could be signed into law!

    As a refresher, this bill SB 33 would limit Medi-Cal estate recovery for those who are 55+ years of age to only what is required by federal law, and eliminate optional recovery for other services. It would also eliminate recovery on surviving spouses’ estates, allow hardship exemptions for homesteads of modest value, and limit the amount of interest the state can charge.

    Except for one no vote – from Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside)  in Assembly Health – SB 33 has passed unanimously out of every Committee and in the Senate. Both Democrats and Republicans see SB 33 as a positive step toward a fair and equitable recovery process and recognize that taking away the homes of the poor is no way to grow California.

    We encourage you to write to the Governor and tell him to sign SB 33 into law!

    You can email him on his website or write, call or fax him at this address and numbers:

    Governor Jerry Brown
    c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: (916) 445-2841
    Fax: (916) 558-3160

    Thank you for your continued advocacy! For more information, you can also view our letter, CHA Calls for Limit on Medi-Cal’s Estate Recovery.

  • 18Aug

    Let’s celebrate 80 years of Social Security! In the same year Medicare “turns” 50, Social Security is 80. Below is an article contributed by our Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in the Northern Area, Deogracias Santos.

    Social Security has provided critical financial help to people of all ages for the last 80 years, and despite our age, we’re far from retiring! As the Social Security program celebrates its historic birthday this August, we’re reflecting on our diverse history, our current strengths, and ways we can continue to improve our services to you.

    On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. In doing so, he promised the law would protect “the average citizen and his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.” Today, we continue to provide financial security for our country’s most vulnerable citizens. In fact, Social Security provides world-class service to millions of people every day — online, on the phone, and in our network of field offices across the country.

    As we celebrate 80 years, we’re proud to present our “Celebrating the Past and Building the Future” anniversary website. There, you can read 80 interesting facts about an agency that touches everyone’s life at some point or another! For example, did you know the original name of the Social Security Act was the Economic Security Act?

    The anniversary website also includes a timeline of our history. It begins with the signing of the Act in 1935 and ends with this year’s announcement of Vision 2025, our bold vision that will guide the agency as we work to meet the future customer service needs of the public. A memorable spot on the timeline is November 2, 2000, the date when we started taking retirement claims online.

    Since our agency’s beginning, we’ve relied on our passionate and hard-working employees to face challenges and provide exceptional service. Throughout the 80 days leading up to our anniversary, we’ve been posting employee testimonials that answer the question, “Why do you serve?” We also invited you to share your story with us. You can tell us how Social Security has made a difference in your life and/or the lives of your family and friends. We would love to hear from you, the people we serve every day.

    When the Social Security program started 80 years ago, our goal was to provide an economic lifeline for people in need. Today, Social Security continues to protect millions of people. Join us in commemorating this significant milestone! Visit

  • 11Aug

    Did you know that 1 in 5 hospital inpatients return to the hospital within 30 days of leaving? To make the transition from the hospital as smooth as possible for you or a loved one, learn about Medicare discharge planning requirements, appeal rights, and coverage of post-hospital care. Below are 3 tips, plus additional action points to make sure you get the hospital care you require while in the hospital and are well prepared with a discharge and post-hospital care plan when you leave.

    Point 1: Understand hospital discharge planning and know if you qualify.
    Discharge planning helps ensure that you and your caregivers have the information, resources, and care you need as you transition from the hospital to your home or other living arrangement. A discharge plan should identify your post-hospital care needs and the most appropriate next setting for your care. All hospitals must follow certain guidelines when preparing hospital inpatients for discharge. Although Medicare recommends that all inpatients receive an in-depth discharge plan, hospitals must only provide discharge plans to Medicare patients who were screened and found to be at high risk of complications . Keep in mind that Medicare discharge planning requirements and recommendations apply whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan. Also, note that Medicare recommends but does not require discharge planning if you are a hospital outpatient.

    Point 2: Know how to appeal if you think the hospital is discharging you too soon.
    You should appeal the hospital’s decision to discharge you if you think you are being told to leave too soon. To appeal, first consult the Important Message from Medicare notice, which the hospital should provide you at least once during your inpatient hospital stay. Among other things, the notice tells you how to request a review of your case by the Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization, often called the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO).

    To begin the appeal, call the QIO listed on your notice by midnight of the day of your discharge. The QIO should make a decision within 24 hours. If the appeal is successful, you can remain in the hospital, and Medicare or your Medicare Advantage Plan will continue to cover your care. You are not responsible for the cost of your care during this first appeal, even if you are unsuccessful. If you are unsuccessful, there are additional levels of appeal you can use – but you may have to pay for the care you receive if those appeals are unsuccessful.

    Point 3: Understand Medicare’s requirements for post-hospital care.
    Hospitals must maintain an accurate, up-to-date list of Medicare participating facilities and providers that can provide appropriate post-hospital care. Follow-up care can include placement in nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, long-term acute care centers, and rehabilitation facilities. If you are returning home, you may get referrals for therapy services, home health care agencies, or hospice care. It is important to understand the coverage requirements for each type of post-hospital care to maximize your coverage and minimize out-of-pocket costs.

    Regardless of whether you are being discharged to a facility or to your home, be sure to ask the hospital staff if you qualify for Medicare coverage of follow-up care. If you qualify for a discharge plan, the hospital must arrange transfers to skilled nursing facilities and provide referrals to home health and hospice agencies that accept your Medicare coverage. Hospital staff must also educate you, your family, and/or your caregivers about your care needs if you are returning home, and provide a clear list of instructions for your care, including all medications you will need.

    If you are an Original Medicare beneficiary, you will receive a Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) every quarter that lists the health care services you have received during the previous three months, and their costs. Similarly, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you will receive periodic Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your plan, listing the services you have received and their costs. Review your MSN or EOB carefully to make sure the services and provider locations are accurate. If you think you are being held wrongfully responsible for the cost of a service, contact the billing department of your hospital or post-hospital facility to request a correction. If the hospital is uncooperative or if you are still suspicious, call your  our California Senior Medicare Patrol – or SMP- program for further assistance at 1-855-613-7080.

    Take Action Points:

    1) Ask whether you qualify for a discharge plan if you think that it would be helpful to you when you leave the hospital.

    2) Appeal the hospital’s decision to discharge you if you think you are being discharged too soon.

    3) If you want one-on-one assistance and counseling regarding your hospital transitions – help understanding your discharge plan, the appeals process, or Medicare’s requirements for post-hospital care – contact your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 800-434-0222.

    4) If the billing for your hospital stay is suspicious, contact your SMP for assistance using the contact information below.

    This info is taken from the July 2015 Medicare Minute, a program of the Administration on Community Living.

  • 04Aug

    Can a nursing home evict you for being “too difficult”, limit the hours your family and friends can come visit, or deny you needed physical therapy services because you’re not improving? The answer to all of these questions is a big NO. Yet many people are uninformed of their rights when in a nursing home, which creates the right environment for some nursing homes to get away with activities that are both illegal and harmful to residents.

    One of our partners, Justice in Aging recently updated their guide, 20 Common Nursing Home Problems and How to Resolve Them. This guide informs people of their rights according to the Nursing Home Reform Law and their entitlement to receive quality health care. Some of the common problems reviewed include:

    • Discrimination against Medicaid eligible residents
    • Failure to take care planning seriously
    • Disregarding patient preferences
    • Failing to provide necessary services
    • Improper use of physical restraints and/or medications
    • Refusing to bill Medicare
    • Imposing visiting hour limits on family and friends
    • Excessive use of feeding tubes

    Please read and share this guide. One of the biggest tips, in addition to being informed, that Justice in Aging gives is to “be a squeaky wheel”! Those who are shy or afraid to ask for anything, generally will receive less care and attention than those who determinedly, politely and confidently ask and request the care for which they are entitled.

    20 Common Nursing Home Problems and How to Resolve Them


  • 27Jul

    Phone scams are ongoing and, like a virus, are always morphing. Yet, even with the constant change, below are some easy tips from the Senior Source newsletter (a publication from Senator Susan Collins, Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging) to help you and your loved ones avoid being victims of fraud and to help stop fraud.

    Remember that con artists:

    • Force you to make decisions fast and my threaten you.
    • Disguise their real numbers, using fake caller-IDs.
    • Sometimes pretend to be the government (i.e. the IRS)
    • Pressure you not to contact your friends or family.
    • Try to get you to provide your personal information, like your Medicare number or other account numbers.
    • Try to get you to give your credit card or other bank account information.

    If you receive any such suspicious calls, hang up and report it to our California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-855-613-7080. See our Fraud & Abuse section for more info on Medicare fraud.

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