Senior citizens are uniquely familiar with the large healthcare programs Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare in particular is available only for seniors. Alternatively, Medicaid is based on financial need–one must have assets below a set figure to qualify. Medicaid is critical for many seniors, as it pays for permanent long-term care at nursing homes, whereas Medicare does not pay for extended stays. Any way you look at it, however, these programs are critical to the health and well-being of seniors in Illinois and throughout the country.
That is why the elderly–and their family members–have a huge stake in the financial stability of the programs. Lawmakers are constantly discussing possible changes, mostly spurred by concerns about budgets. One easy way to help the budget problems is to root out fraud and ensure that all funds spent on the programs are effective and useful. Unfortunately, billions of dollars allegedly are lost each and every year as a result of mistakes and outright fraud. The losses accrue when the programs are billed for services that are not provided, unnecessary, or provided inadequately.
Training Seniors to Spot Problems