| Wed, Oct 12, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

Making Sense of Medicare Initiative Helps Boomers Prepare

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

TeacherNot sure how to find the Medicare coverage that best meets your needs? Trying to help a loved one with their health care decisions but not sure where to start? Understanding Medicare can feel overwhelming, but resources are available to help empower beneficiaries and their caregivers as they make decisions about Medicare.

This year, the oldest of the 76 million baby boomers are turning 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare at a rate of 10,000 a day.* So the need for clear, easy-to-understand information about the program and how it works is continually increasing. To help address this need, UnitedHealthcare® is partnering with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) on an education initiative called “Making Sense of Medicare: What you need to know about your health care choices.”

NCOA is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization whose mission is to help improve the lives of older adults, especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged. NCOA and UnitedHealthcare both recognize that health care coverage is critical to Medicare beneficiaries’ well-being and that understanding Medicare isn’t always easy.

The Making Sense of Medicare initiative includes several components designed to help eligible adults, their caregivers and baby boomers understand Medicare, learn more about their choices and find the coverage that meets their needs. Activities include:

  • Grassroots initiatives, such as public service announcements and local market events at senior community centers, to educate seniors and their families about the importance of researching Medicare choices and finding the right plan for them. View or listen to the public service announcements.
  • An independent survey of adults aged 60+ to gauge their understanding of the Medicare program.
  • A panel discussion in Washington, D.C., where experts from UnitedHealthcare, NCOA and other leading aging organizations such as the Alliance for Aging Research, examined the key issues facing many beneficiaries today as well as how baby boomers will interact with Medicare in the years ahead.

“Our goal is to help improve the health and well-being of Medicare beneficiaries by empowering them to ask the right questions and know their options,” said Tom Paul, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “Consumers who understand Medicare are more prepared to make informed health care decisions. Better decisions contribute to better health outcomes.”

“Increasing access to benefits and resources is at the core of our mission,” said Jim Firman, president and CEO, NCOA. “Collaboration among various stakeholders is the most effective way to identify solutions. By partnering with UnitedHealthcare, we hope to provide Medicare beneficiaries with important information to help them find the support they need to live secure lives.”

For more information contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. You can also contact UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Made Clear to learn more at 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.

*Cohn, D. & Taylor, P. “Baby Boomers Approach Age 65 — Glumly.” Pew Research Center Publications. Dec. 20, 2010.

Resources:

Learn more about the Making Sense of Medicare initiative.

Read the research, Baby Boomers Approach Age 65 – Glumly, from the Pew Research Center.

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