COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A local man is asking seniors across the country to use their Medicare perks to help others.

Certain Medicare recipients are eligible to receive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other self-care items monthly and don’t even know it.

“Typically, the hand sanitizer, face masks, disposable gloves, things that are typically in short supply,” said Alan Mittermaier, owner of the website

These are the items people on Medicare could be receiving for free and they don’t even know it.

“Recently in the last couple of years, expanding the benefit of over-the-counter items that members can order and go to drug stores and purchase free with an allowance,” Mittermaier said.

Mittermaier would know. Along with ordering the items himself, he’s a so-called Medicare expert, running the website, where he explains the ins and outs of the system and how to make the most of your benefits.

He said seniors looking to give back during the pandemic don’t need to look further than the over-the-counter benefit, ordering items they don’t need and donating them to people who could use them.

“The allowance could be as much as maybe $50 to $75 a month and it’s a benefit that if you don’t use it, you lose it,” Mittermaier said.

Meaning at the end of the year, someone could have donated hundreds of dollars worth of goods without spending a dime, but just a little time to give people peace of mind.

“It’s just one small way that we can mobilize the older audience to feel like they are making a contribution in helping to overcome the serious COVID virus,” Mittermaier said.

To find out more about your Medicare benefits, check your plan or head to Mittermaier’s website.