Health care fraud costs Americans billions of dollars each year, but carefully reading Medicare quarterly statements can help people fight back when errors are spotted. AARP has launched new online tools to help Medicare recipients pinpoint errors quickly and better understand their benefits.

Press Release from Missouri News Service

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – AARP has launched new online tools to help people “decode” their quarterly Medicare statements.

With health-care costs on the rise, Missouri’s Medicare recipients need every possible tool to help them better understand the benefits and services they pay for and crack down on fraud that costs $60 billion a year nationwide. Craig Eichelman, AARP Missouri senior state director, says the new tools should empower them by helping them spot suspicious charges.

“Some of the things on their statement just might be a simple mistake, but those things need to be looked at and corrected. This online tool really demystifies how to go about doing that.”

For those who don’t have ready access to a computer, Eichelman suggests reading the quarterly statements and comparing them with the medical bills.

“I think there are a lot of roles to be played in protecting Medicare, and Medicare recipients can help strengthen the program by reducing fraud, abuse and errors.”

People who see a charge for services they don’t think they received should contact their doctor’s office, Eichelman says, because it may be a mistake. Medicare can help resolve disputes, he says, and recipients have the right to appeal in these cases.