The internet is a powerful tool for seniors who want to stay connected with their loved ones and continue learning. Its also a convenient place for scammers to commit fraud, especially against older adults.Whether from identity theft or malicious software hacks, there are ways seniors can prevent themselves from becoming a target.Avoid Responding to Unfamiliar Emails. Scams come in many forms, but email is a primary method for scammers to connect with unsuspecting victims. Never respond to an email that asks for personal information like your address, phone number, or credit card information. Instead contact the company or vendor directly.Practice Safe Web Browsing. Be aware of what and where you click while visiting a website. One careless click can lead to a popup ad that could potentially cause harm to a computers hard drive. Also, look at the websites address for misspellings or illegitimate naming.Avoid FREE Gifts. If the deal seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Scammers create these types of emails or ads, and vacations, prizes and giveaways are typically bait-and-switch tactics aimed at accessing personal information.At Shell Point, residents have access to a Technical Support Services team that provide a variety of services to help alleviate any frustration that can be associated with the ever-evolving arena of computers and technology.
Seniors as well as their caregivers should be aware of the risks posed by Medicare scams and how to avoid falling victim to this type of fraud.Each year, Medicare loses tens of billions of dollars to abuse and errors. Older adults who receive Medicare may be subject to this type of fraud perpetrated by identity thieves, scammers, and deceitful health care providers.Safeguard Yourself From Medicare ScamsTo start, there are several easy ways for you to lower your risk of being scammed in the first place.Dont share your Medicare number over the phone.Have your Medicare card with you only when necessary. Otherwise, leave it at home. (Think of it like a Social Security card or credit card and protect it in the same way.)Be aware that Medicare representatives will never come to your residence uninvited. They also will not call you out of the blue to verify your information or to offer free or low-cost equipment, such as a back or knee brace.Hold onto your receipts and bills from past medical appointments so that you can compare them to your Medicare statements.Always look through your Medicare Summary Notices when you receive them. Keep an eye out for any errors or discrepancies regarding services, tests, or medical supplies that you did not receive, or that you were charged for more than once. You can call your health care provider and ask them to explain a charge and, if necessary, you have the right to dispute charges that are wrong.Why Do I Need to Report Medicare Fraud?Medicare abuse is far from being victimless. Reporting fraud to the proper authorities is crucial to help stop it.If someone steals your Medicare card or number, you could receive bills for health services you did not receive or become a victim of identity theft.A health care provider who may be fraudulently charging you for services can spell trouble for more than your wallet. A dishonest provider could be misdiagnosing you or even subjecting you to treatments or services you do not need or that could potentially negatively impact your health. Sometimes, billing errors are made by accident, but if you find that your provider makes these types of mistakes frequently, it may signal a potential case of fraud.Ultimately, fraud that goes unchecked can lead to higher Medicare costs for you as the consumer.What to Do If You Suspect Medicare AbuseThere are a number of options for reporting incidents that you suspect may constitute Medicare fraud:Call the Office of Inspector General hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or file your complaint online.Call 1-800-MEDICARE to report suspected abuse by a Medicare provider.In addition, each state (and the District of Columbia) has a dedicated Senior Medicare Patrol, or SMP. This service can monitor your Medicare account for fraud and TBD. Search online for your local SMP.Experienced elder law attorneys are also equipped to help protect you from abuse. Contact Sharek Law Office at 412-347-1731 or click here to schedule a complimentary 15-Minute Call to learn how we can help. This article is a service of Sharek Law Office, LLC. We dont just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Life and Legacy Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than youve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Life and Legacy Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge. Please note this is educational content only and is not intended to act as legal advice.
When navigating the complexities of aging in the Sunshine State, elder law attorneys can be your guiding light.Whether you are contemplating assisted living, independent living, memory care, or planning to age in the comfort of your own home, having an elder law attorney by your side can make the journey smoother and safer.Florida Seniors are All UniqueWith 4.2 million seniors, Florida is the retirement capital of the US, with great weather, no state income tax, and plenty of outdoor activities, parks, and attractions for seniors and their visiting families.Florida seniors all have unique lifestyles, health conditions, and circumstances. Some are active and healthy, others are beginning to notice the effects of aging, and some need assisted living or other care and assistance right now.But one thing that all Florida seniors have in common is the need for a qualified Florida elder law attorney. Heres why.Why Elder Law Attorneys are Essential for Florida SeniorsElder law attorneys are specialized legal professionals who understand the unique challenges that Florida seniors face.They possess knowledge spanning various fields such as estate planning, long-term care arrangements, Medicaid eligibility, veterans benefits, and more.These experts can be instrumental in securing your financial well-being, healthcare arrangements, and overall peace of mind as you or your senior loved ones age.Crafting a Long-Term Care PlanChoosing the best long-term care options can be a tough decision. Emotions often run high among family members, and an elder law attorney can provide the necessary objective perspective to create a comprehensive plan tailored to your needs.They can help you assess the legal necessities, whether staying at home, moving to an assisted living community, or opting for specialized memory care or other services and communities.An elder care attorney can also help you determine the best way to pay for long-term care and whether to use real estate or savings, or other income to pay for it. Also, your Florida elder care attorney can tell you what benefits your long-term care insurance will or wont pay.Establishing a Durable Power of AttorneyMany seniors will face conditions where others might have to eventually make decisions for them, like dementia, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and other chronic and worsening conditions.A Florida elder law attorney can draft the proper and needed documents allowing a designated individual to make medical or financial decisions for you or your senior loved one should you become physically or mentally incapacitated.In Florida, this might include powers of attorney, a living will, a Health Care Surrogate Designation, an Advance Directive, and more.An advance directive in Florida is a written or oral statement about how you want medical decisions to be made when you cant make them yourself. You can also express your wish to make an anatomical donation after death.Some people make advance directives as part of their estate planning. Others make them when concerned or diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.A qualified Florida elder law attorney can help with all of these documents and the planning for future events. And an elder law attorney can also assist with guardianship proceedings if needed.Navigating Medicaid and Veterans BenefitsUnderstanding Medicaid eligibility can be a daunting task, but it doesnt have to be. An elder law attorney familiar with Floridas Medicaid system can guide you through the process and advise on how it can impact your financial decisions.Additionally, if you are a veteran, an elder law attorney can help you apply for the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit and other resources that can offset the cost of long-term care.Protecting Assets and Establishing Living TrustsElder law attorneys can help safeguard your assets from potential financial exploitation. They can also assist in setting up a living trust, an effective estate planning tool that can prevent your assets from going through probate and ensure your estate goes to the loved ones or organizations you choose.Choosing an Elder Law Attorney in FloridaSelecting the right elder law attorney is crucial. Look for a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) who has significant experience in elder law and has fulfilled the required number of hours of continuing education. You can search the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) or the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) for a certified elder law attorney in Florida.Remember, the goal is to find an impartial professional dedicated to protecting your best interests. With the right guidance, you can confidently and effectively navigate your senior years in Florida.Is an Elder Care Attorney Right for You?A trusted and qualified elder care attorney is vital for you and your senior loved one. Legal decisions are complex and impact the quality of life and medical and financial decisions for seniors and their families.You must know your legal rights and have the proper legal documents signed and drafted before they are needed. When there is an accident or medical emergency, it is often too late.A qualified Florida elder care attorney can avoid these issues and give you the peace and comfort you need to age in comfort.At Florida Senior Consulting, we constantly work with elder care attorneys to help ensure your wishes, or those of your senior loved one, are fulfilled.We are a Florida-based company with expert knowledge of the Florida senior market. While senior options and decisions can seem confusing, this is all we do.We have certified staff, professional nurse advocates, and decades of experience in the field.Senior living should be on your terms, and the choice should always be yours.Call us, and we will answer all your questions and help you decide what is best for you or your senior loved one.For peace of mind, call us at (800) 969-7176 or visit us at FloridaSeniorConsulting.com.