Did You Know… About NCSMP?

— Written By Pam Brylowe

The North Carolina Senior Medicare Patrol (NCSMP) Program is housed within the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) at the North Carolina Department of Insurance. NCSMP is a preventive educational program whose goal is to reduce Medicare error, fraud and abuse through statewide coordinated efforts of educational and promotional activities and to encourage reporting of discrepancies by Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers to the NCSMP Program.

NCSMP’s purpose is to educate Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers about Medicare benefits in order to understand Medicare Statements such as Medicare Summary Notices, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) Explanations of Benefits (EOB) and other related health care statements. Through this knowledge, a person can identify, resolve and/or report possible billing errors, fraud, abuse and waste to NCSMP.

Did you know that:

  • 68 billion dollars of the taxpayers’ money is lost annually to billing discrepancies, fraud, abuse and waste in the Medicare program?
  • “fraud and abuse” in the Medicare program often times are actually billing errors or discrepancies?
  • the process of reporting suspected fraud abuse and waste is to contact the provider to seek resolution; to contact their Medicare carriers and insurance companies and to file an appeal by following the appeal instructions found on the back of the Medicare Summary Notice? And if your situation is not resolved satisfactorily, you should contact the North Carolina SMP Program at the nationwide toll free number, 800-443-9354?

Remember to:

  • review your Medicare statements
  • protect your Medicare number
  • do not be influenced by advertising for services, medications or products that sound “too good to be true”
  • educate yourself about your Medicare benefits
  • rarely are Medicare services “free”
  • Medicare does not solicit door-to-door


In Jones County your SMP contact is Ivy Reid with Jones County Cooperative Extension. For more information contact her at 252-448-9621 or ivy_reid@ncsu.edu. Educational programs are available on this subject for civic, church or other organizations needing this information.

North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.

Ivy Reid, Jones County Extension Director, wrote this article for the August 1, 2013 issue of the Jones Post.