Friday, July 24, 2015
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In This Issue
Fraud in the News
The following are current news articles about health care and fraud issues.


Consumer Fraud:

1. "Attention Grandparents: Watch Out for Phony Debt Collectors" (FTC)


2. "It's Criminal" (FTC)

3. "Scammers Impersonate the Police" (FTC)

Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area. If you have any questions about the Illinois SMP program, or to receive these Fraud Alerts directly, please contact Jason Echols, Healthcare Consumer Protection Coordinator at AgeOptions.


This document was supported in part by a grant (No. 90MP0216) from the Administration on Aging (AoA), Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Grantees carrying out projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Therefore, points of view or opinions do not necessarily represent official AoA, ACL, or DHHS policy. 


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Dear SMP Readers, 


This week's Fraud Alert features the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. 


Have a great weekend!

Happy Birthday Medicare & Medicaid! Here's to Another 50 Years

Medicare and Medicaid celebrate an important milestone next week. July 30th is the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing legislation that established the Medicare and Medicaid programs. It may be hard to imagine today, but in 1965, about half of all older adults in the U.S. had no health insurance. Today, Medicare and Medicaid cover almost 1 in 3 Americans, providing needed services for over 100 million people. 

Medicare and Medicaid have helped many people over the past five decades, but unfortunately some providers have tried to abuse and defraud the system for financial gain. Health care fraud threatens these important programs by disrupting the delivery of needed services and putting the program's future at risk. If we want these programs to continue helping Americans for another 50 years and more, we must prevent, detect, and report fraud:
  • PREVENT fraud by never giving your Medicare number to anyone other than your trusted doctor or for services ordered by your doctor.
  • DETECT fraud by reading your Medicare Summary Notice and comparing what was billed to Medicare to what you actually received.
  • REPORT health care fraud by calling the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions (800)699-9043.
To read more about how Medicare and Medicaid are impacting lives after 50 years, click here for a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) article. 

To join the 50th anniversary celebration, share your story of how Medicare or Medicaid have impacted your life with CMS - click here.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare and Medicaid into law with former President Harry S. Truman by his side, July 30, 1965
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare and Medicaid into law with Harry S. Truman by his side, July 30, 1965
(Photo courtesy of Harry S. Truman Library)

Did You Know?
President Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri (see photo below
above). Truman was the first president to publicly propose a national health insurance program in 1945. Johnson wanted the nation to remember Truman's dream and honor his legacy. Harry Truman and his wife Bess were also the first two recipients of Medicare cards.

AgeOptions Ideogram


Jason B. Echols, MSW,
Health Care Consumer Protection Coordinator
1048 Lake Street, Suite 300
Oak Park, IL 60301
phone (708)383-0258 fax (708)524-0870


AgeOptions, the Area Agency on Aging of Suburban Cook County, is committed to improving the quality of life and maintaining the dignity of older adults and those who care about them - through leadership and support, community partnerships, comprehensive services, accurate information and powerful advocacy.

Fraud Alerts contain information about current scams taking place in Illinois, announcements and updates about programs or services related to health care and/or fraud protection, and links to news articles about health care and fraud topics. Please forward any recommendations or announcements that you would like to be included in a future Fraud Alert to