WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) -- AARP officials say online tools help seniors or their caregivers "decode" quarterly Medicare Summary Notices listing their medical services billed to Medicare.
Nicole Duritz, vice president at AARP, says the online tools at www.aarp.org/healthtools provide an easy-to-use, interactive sample notice that helps users understand their Medicare statement and out-of-pocket health expenses and possibly spot suspicious charges.
"With healthcare costs already rising, people in Medicare and their families need every tool available to understand the services they pay for and crack down on the fraud and errors that cost them billions of dollars each year," Duritz says in a statement.
AARP encourages seniors and their caregivers to review their notices regularly and to:
-- Compare bills, dates, billing codes and the service descriptions on your Medicare Summary Notice to the statements and invoices from your doctor and other health care providers. If you don't see codes or other needed details on your provider's paperwork, ask for copies that include that information.
-- Contact your healthcare provider if you see an entry for services or supplies you believe you did not receive. It may be a simple mistake that can be corrected, but if there's an entry for services or supplies that Medicare did not cover, call your medical provider's office to make sure the claim was submitted correctly.
-- Contact Medicare if you still have questions about your Medicare Summary Notice 800-633-4227.
-- Appeal a claim, if Medicare did not pay a claim you think it should have.