September 8, 2021
The Ohio SMP program offers volunteers an opportunity to make an important difference in their communities. Our volunteers take pride in working to ensure that the Medicare program will be protected for future generations. Thanks to our Ohio SMP volunteers, in 2020, we provided more than 200 educational presentations to seniors, helping empower them to prevent, detect and report fraud, identity theft and other scams. In addition, over 9,000 seniors, their families and caregivers were reached through community education programs, and 27,000 pieces of educational literature providing timely, up-to-date information about preventing Medicare fraud and scams were distributed.
The Importance of SMP Volunteers
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke to SMPs at a National SMP Conference and she had this to say about the role of SMP volunteers:
“…We know that one of the most effective and direct steps we can take to improve Medicare’s long-term health is ridding the program of waste, fraud, and abuse.” And for years, the Senior Medicare Patrol has been on the front lines of that fight. Secretary Sebelius continues, “No one feels more strongly about keeping criminals out of Medicare than seniors themselves. When someone defrauds Medicare, it means higher premiums and co-pays for beneficiaries. It also threatens the program that they have worked so hard for – and that they want to make sure is there for their children and grandchildren.”
What SMP Volunteers Do
The SMP project matches a volunteer’s skills and interests to the needs of the program. In Ohio, SMP volunteers may partake in the following activities:
- Distribute information: Help with transporting and disseminating SMP information materials to sites and events; may include presenting prepared copy or performing scripted activities for small groups
- Staff exhibits: Help by staffing information kiosks or exhibits at events such as health fairs; also may provide general information about SMP to the public and answer basic questions
- Make group presentations: Help by giving presentations on SMP topics to small and large groups.
Brian Rhame shares his thoughts on making a difference by helping others in his role as an Ohio SMP Volunteer Peer Educator. See video.
If you are interested in becoming an SMP volunteer in your area, please contact Ohio Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-488-6070 ext. 8 or contact Jane Winkler directly at 513-458-5523.
Source – SMP Resource Center, https://www.smpresource.org/Content/You-Can-Help/Become-a-Volunteer.aspx