Don’t Stand by…..Speak Up!
Have you ever witnessed something that you knew was wrong and wondered if you should report it? Did you want to say something, but didn’t because you were afraid of negative consequences? Don’t be afraid, because there are federal laws to protect you. Indeed, as a bystander, you can play an essential role in preventing violence, wrongdoings, and fraud.
Reporting information or activity that you suspect is illegal, dishonest, or false is your right. Reportable violations could be abuse of authority, gross waste of funds, a specific danger to public health or safety, or gross mismanagement.
Social Security’s programs were originally created to serve the American public, and 80 years later they still provide critical support to people of all ages. As good stewards of the tax dollars, Social Security Administration designs its systems to protect against fraud, waste, and abuse. However, its systems can’t catch everything. And that’s where you can help. Report wrongful acts and protect lives as well as taxpayers’ dollars.
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- Ask students to comment on the statement: “Nearly 70 percent of consumers believe the Medicare program would not go broke if fraud and abuse were eliminated.”
- What would YOU do if you suspected fraud or other wrongdoings, including wasting taxpayers’ dollars?
- Social Security Administration (SSA) will pay about $887 billion in Social Security benefits to almost 60 million individuals in 2015. What specific tools the SSA uses to fight fraud and protect taxpayers’ dollars.
- How does the SSA investigate people who provide false, incomplete, or inaccurate information to defraud the government?
Each day, you make important choices about your finances, health, privacy, and more. Medicare has 5 things you can do to help you become an informed Medicare consumer.
- Know your rights. As a person with Medicare, you have certain rights and protections designed to help protect you and make sure you get the health care services the law provides.
- Protect your identity. Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes. Keep the following information safe:
- Your name
- Your Social Security Number (SSN)
- Your Medicare Number (or your membership card if you’re in a Medicare Advantage or other Medicare health plan)
- Your credit card and bank account numbers
- Help fight Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud takes money from the Medicare program each year, which means higher health care costs for you. Learn how to report fraud.
- Get involved with other seniors with the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). The SMP educates and empowers people with Medicare to take an active role in detecting and preventing health care fraud and abuse.
- Make informed Medicare choices. Each year during the Fall Open Enrollment Period (October 25-December 7), review your plan to make sure it will meet your needs for the following year. If you are not satisfied with your current plan, you can switch during the Open Enrollment Period.
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- Ask students to prepare a list of medical expenses that Medicare does not cover.
- Ask students to check out the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) videos for tips on preventing Medicare fraud and see how seniors are learning to stop, spot, and report fraud.
- Why is it vital to fight against Medicare fraud?
- Why is it important to review your health care plan during the Fall Enrollment Period?